Friday, September 05, 2014

A Summer Full Of Gratitude!

This past summer wasn't particularly exciting. In fact, there were no great adventures, no trips. (Although Noah went up north a couple of times to my parent's cottage on the lake.) But really, nothing note worthy or interesting took place, and I am just so grateful for that!

You see, last summer was HORRIBLE. Our beloved cat Priya died, and we spent two months not knowing if Willow had feline leukemia (which thankfully she didn't. It was a false positive.) We had tons of stress over some home repair issues and then trouble with faulty repair work that was difficult to get corrected. Just a string of set backs and disappointments and sad stuff. I was glad when that summer was over.

So when this summer was perfectly quiet and status quo, I thanked my lucky stars each day. No need for a fancy vacation. I was just glad for some sun, watching Noah enjoy his summer camp days and the chance not to have to wear a coat outside. 

Here are some other summery things that I appreciated..........

Walks on my street, (the quiet end, not the town end) that looked like this!

(There was a family of Green Heron living in the trees surround the pond this summer!)

The Woodward Dream Cruise. This is the largest one-day classic car event in the entire world, and it happens two blocks from my house! For one day and one evening, 40,000 classic cars (I'm not joking) and roughly 1.5 million people, come to cruise and stand along the famous Woodward Avenue. It's a ton of fun. We make a weekend out of it. The cruising starts the week before honestly, but all weekend you can hear the rumbling sounds of old cars and the city is filled with excitement. We take advantage of this to see friends and walk in the evening with ice cream while watching the cars cruise by.

This year was really special. We had the chance to take an evening drive on the day of the Dream Cruise in our friend Colonel's vintage Land Rover. Her name is Barbara.
This was part of the view.

She has a double clutch and is right-hand drive. I can't imagine how hard that must be.

We began the weekend eating alfresco at Luxe. I suggest their BVB (Best Veggie Burger) mushroom burger style. There were lots of classic cars to watch and perfect weather. After this we got ice cream, walked and listed to a great Beatles tribute band!

Jon took this rare snap of the two of us before heading out to the official cruise. I wasn't posing, I hadn't realized that he was about to take the picture, I was just adjusting my eating, but it came out ok!

Anyway, I was thankful for Dream Cruise weekend, even if it smell like diesel fuel exhaust and the roads are so clogged that you can barely get out of your driveway.

I appreciated trips to our library this summer.

And like I mentioned earlier, so happy to not be wearing a coat. Michigan winters are long and freezing and snowy and wet, even during the years when it's not the polar vortex. Warmer weather means a lot. Interesting to note though, this summer was cooler than most Michigan summers. It still felt fantastically comfortable and perfect though. At least to me.

Grateful for good salads and iced tea and this  book.  "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown.

 I am mesmerized. A total convert. This is what I need, essentialism. YES!

 If you search Greg McKeown and his book on iTunes, there are a few, great podcasts that really explain the, well, essentials of essentialism. It really is a powerful book and helpful concept.

Noah and I saved a palm tree that was put in the trash outside of a classroom at school. We were there visiting his new teacher, when we came across this 6' 4" palm tree, lying outside another building. There are two things I can not do: kill bugs and leave a dying plant.  The teachers who worked in this classroom came out when they saw us and said we could take the giant plant. They loved this palm tree and had him for years, but he had just grown too tall and continually fell over.

I don't know what we were thinking. It weighs a ton and I....... drive a mini Cooper.
Somehow, in a moment of super human strength, I was able to carry the six footer and his large, dirt-filled pot across the parking lot and then into my car. This is a picture BEFORE we got him all the way in. We must have looked like a clown car driving down the road with a palm tree smashed up against the from windshield.

We brought him home and I tied the palm tree  up to one of my curtain rods with some soft, foam covered floral wire. Now he just needs a larger pot and some new soil.

Meet Dustin Hoffman the palm tree. Did I tell you? Now I am in love with Dustin Hoffman I have decided. He's just great. What a brilliant actor, and a seemingly intelligent, sensitive, insightful human being. (Click on the link for a short, moving video where Dustin talks about his character in Tootsie and the poignant thing that playing a woman has taught him.)

Thankful for summer mornings like this, and the fact that we still have mailboxes and snail mail!

What were you grateful for this summer?

Until next time, 
Lauren :)


Sarah said...

Wow, those flowers on your street are beautiful! Oh, there's so much to be grateful for this summer! Too many things to list and hard to pick just one. :) Good health, good jobs, a loving husband and a house and barn full of hysterical animals would be right up at the top. :)

Lauren said...

Hi Sarah!!!

Oh thank you so much for your comment. I loved all of your things to be thankful for. That's wonderful! :)

Especially a house and barn full or hysterical animals! Awesome!

Thanks for sharing. <3

~Sheryl said...

Hi Lauren - funny, I drove up through your neighborhood on my way home from work during the week of the dream cruise to try to escape some of the madness.

What a fabulous summer you have had. Yes it's been cooler (until today!!) but it sounds like you had a great one.

I am thankful for so many things; great job, great family and the ability to see it.


Lauren said...

Hi Sheryl!!!

Thanks so much for joint in! Ah, that's fantastic! So glad to have you by my neck of the woods. :)

Oh my gosh, YES, it was cooler until......TODAY! Hasn't it been crazy the past two days. The rain that came in cooled things off nicely though. I hope your power stayed on. Ours, knock on wood, has so far.

I love your "thankfuls" especially the part about being able to see it. I really like that.

Thank you for coming by!
xoxoxoxo :)

Unknown said...

Ah Lauren - you are beautiful. You crack me up - that tree in a pot in your house!! Your post made me smile from start to finish - not just because it's lovely but because I am exactly like you in so many ways - that sounds stalker-ish but I mean I am a massive cat lover, I can't kill bugs, feel guilty cutting flowers and I too would have not been able to bear seeing that tree ripped from it's life support and would have done the same thing as you!!
Those pics of your street - just make me sigh and mumble "lovely". Might buy that book too - I think I am in desperate need of it!
It's spring here in Aus and the blossom trees are now blooming and that makes me very happy. :)
On another note - I am not loving my grey!!! I think it is because it's so short and not soft and flowing like I am thinking of cheating and trying Surya Henna Cream - supposed to be semi-permanent - my only worry is that it might stain the whites permanently...anyway...I am not sure yet - probably need another afternoon of googling beautiful grey haired women like yourself to keep me from grabbing that bottle!! jane :) x

Lauren said...


It sounds as though we are two peas in a pod! :)
I loved your comment. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's reassuring to know that other people worry as much as I do about the littlest guys, like insects and plants. So thank you Jane! And you are not a stalker at all. I appreciate your insights and friendship! <3

You must do what you are most comfortable with and follow your heart in regard to coloring or not. I really mean that. The decision to keep your gray or to dye your hair is so personal to each of us, and there is no right or wrong. :)

I know Surya Henna! I've used it before, it's neat stuff! I am trying to remember Jane, but I hate to say this but I think you might be right. I think it might "stain" and "dull" white hair. If I am remembering correctly, it might make your whites look like little highlights. That can be good if it is the look that you're going for! The only thing is, I feel as though it washed out of my brown hair more easily than my white.

I had a similar experience as you are having, when my short white hair wasn't my favorite, but I began to love the white when it was longer. It's just a waiting game. And not an easy one. :(

Hang in there and follow your heart. If you really want to be dye-free, it's so worth the wait, and if you're not sure what you want, Surya is an option!

Thank you again for your great comment. Have a wonderful week!!!
Lauren :)