Signs of Summer

You know that your summer must be going pretty well when you look back at the photos you've taken in the past 2 weeks and realize there's approximately 200 you'd like copies of. Just one of the many signs of summer! While I can't possibly post all 200 photos here, I do hope to share some of them with y'all, along with the stories that accompany them. Ahhh...stories: best served outside on someone's (preferably a loved one's) porch, hidden away form the oppressive heat, accompanied by the creaking sounds that only old, white, wooden chairs seem to make, the clinking sounds of ice against perspiring glasses of iced tea the only sound keeping your mind awake aside from the lulling voice of the storyteller. Zzzzzzz.

Whoa, almost put myself to sleep there for a second! Alright, so while not all of us may have access to the porch of a loved one this summer, I have a feeling that, by the end of summer, we all will come away with one thing in common: stories. And if you're like me, you'll come away with some (okay, so it's more like a ton) of pictures. Here's to summer!

To sunsets at the lake:

And feet raised high in the sky:

To beautiful mountain vistas. (Guadalupe Mountains NP):

And feeling like you're about to fry. (No, not really...I was fine...I think!):

To sublime, cool caves (56 degrees year-round) out in the middle of no-man's land where you can escape the world above and the heat that recently married it. (Carlsbad Caverns NP):

To a tree-lined creek that leads to aquifer-fed springs in the middle of desert-like West Texas...a welcome sight and swimming spot, indeed! (Balmorhea Springs State Park):

From hittin' the big city, the "Big D," if you will. (Dallas, Tx.):

(The Reunion Tower...it's main job is to rotate, be pretty, and, while we were there, be renovated. No elevator ride for us this time...but a good excuse to come back!):

To seeing all the animals at the Fort Worth Zoo. (The flowers/landscaping were reason enough to visit):

From playing on the playground with my niece and nephews to taking a swim in the pool. (In order of appearance: Emily, Jason, and Levi with his Papi...aka my brother, Michael):

To sleeping like rocks...or, as we say here in Texas, "hittin' the hay." (Just kidding...I know we're not the only ones who use that expression...it's all about the pride, though...the pride!)

And, if there is one thing for certain I have been getting a good dose of lately...it's pride. Pure, pleasant, plentiful, personal, perfect, personifical....wait, what? Huh? Uhhh...sometimes I just lose myself! I think you get my drift. (By the way, did you know that the word "drift" originated from the name of the cargo boats that used to pass through the small Texas town of Driftwood, via the Wood river. People never knew what to call these cargo boats, having been bigger than canoes yet smaller than steamboats, so the residents...often called "Driftwoodians"...held a town meeting one night, and unanimously decided to call them "drifts.") Isn't that fascinating?

Yeah...fascinating, but false! Oh, what pride can do to a person. If there is a second thing for certain, it's that I will never forget these past few weeks of summer. Not because I have approximately 200 pictures to remember them by, although that helps, but because through it all, I was with family, my family, which fosters a love and sense of pride within me all it's own!

And, last but not least, if there's is a third thing I know for certain, it's that summer isn't over yet, and plenty of trips and times with my family await! For now though, I think I'll just admire summer, and all it's signs and symptoms, from my front porch. Being swept up by the silence, with the exception of the rhythmic buzzing of the cicadas in the background. Awash in a mixture of peace, pride, and thankful prayer. Letting summer embrace me, and embracing summer back!