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Summer of 22, Still Saying Goodbye to You

Honey Hilliard

We started tackling our Summer Fun list in May, the minute school was out, quickly scooping up cousin Bella from Georgia and heading down to the gulf coast. Our favorite little dive, has gotten a cute makeover and is now a photogenic vintage motel. The Buccaneer Inn has a nice clean pool & is only about five steps from the ocean. Stella was intrigued with cousin Bella‘s boogie board skills but after getting smacked in the back by a wave, too trepidatious to try it herself. Beach, check! Weeks later we met friends Amelia and Violet for the day at Saint George Island. Seeing friends her age boogie boarding was just too much and Stella went for it, thus checking "boogie boarding" off the list. Mid-July got so hot I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such extreme heat. Sitting on the front porch with neighbors we witnessed - "iced underpants", the 7-year-olds' brilliant way to cool off: ice cubes in their underpants. The moms' necks and shoulders ended up melting a few cubes to cool off too. Did we make homemade Popsicles? Why yes we did, From organic cold pressed watermelon juice and peach juice. Check. Swim in a lake? Yes, Lake Hall at Maclay gardens. Check. Did we swim in fresh water springs? Yes, Wakulla Springs, THE largest freshwater spring in the WORLD. Check. Did we grow a summer garden from seeds? Why yes, in a little strip of dirt next to our driveway about 20 feet long and 1 foot wide, we grew purple hulled pink eyed peas, eggplants that never produced fruit, zinnias, petunias, basil, some really weird looking cucumbers and then one perfectly normal one. In fact, August 30, I decided the little urban garden outside my midtown studio was bedraggled enough to be uprooted. Ever hopeful to find one last cucumber I started ripping up and cutting back plants with not a single cuke to be found. Later that day, after Stella’s first cheerleading practice, we came back to the studio at about 7 PM, approaching from the north side of the property and saw the biggest, most perfectly shaped cucumber growing from our little plot... on the neighbors’ side of our fence! Having familiarity with the overhang law pertaining to tree limbs, I’m pretty sure that Tori and Phil could’ve rightfully picked and eaten this long, lovely fruit. Thankfully, my sweet neighbors left this jewel for us to discover. Summer garden, check. Did we drink smoothies, read fiction, make a blanket fort, swim without floaties across Trousdale’s Olympic size pool, make pottery, paint pottery at Paint a Pot on FSU‘s campus, forage for chanterelle mushrooms, decorate our Llewellin Setter with face paint, visit and help move recently graduated daughter in Gainesville, attend no fewer than THREE VBSs(!), start a new sorority beta tank with 3 fish, 4 snails and aquatic plants, have a colorful candle-lit outdoor dinner that we planned and cooked ourselves, get a trampoline with sprinklers (and jump a LOT), have a couple of date nights with this husband of mine, get said husband to finally cook one of his famous low country boils, went to a family reunion on Tybee island GA with my husband’s awesome big extended family (he’s one of six), check, check, check and check. To me, even though school has already started, Summer's not over until the first day of September. August 31, Stella and I went out to eat at Red Elephant. I agreed to give her one and only one dollar for the game room, which she used to immediately procure a stuffed penguin from the claw machine, true story, with pictures to prove it!  Win a toy from the claw machine, CHECK! Checking items off the Summer Fun list helps me transition into much longer studio hours as the fourth quarter is notoriously the most productive and prolific of the year. Now it is time to welcome September though it is bitter sweet. Goodbye, Summer '22, Hello long, creative, productive studio hours. Of course I'll have new art to show for it in time for Holiday shopping. 

September's Baccalaureate by EMILY DICKiNSON

A combination
is
Of Crickets _
Crows - and
Retrospects
And a dissembling
Breeze

That hints
Without assuming -
An Innuendo
Sear
That makes the
Heart put up its'
Fun -
And turn
Philosopher.

Kick-off to Summer '22, celebrating our UF grad
Celebrating end of 1st grade at Paint-a-Pot
Cousins at Wakulla Springs
 
Sisters at the pet store
Cousins at the Lake
Foraged Chanterelle Mushrooms
Headed to the lake with Stella and cousin Bella
Beach, Boogie Boarding & Ice Cream
couple at beach house wearing sunglasses
Family Reunion at Tybee Island
The final Cuke from our Studio Summer Garden
Studio exterior, now PINK!
Spoils from first try on the claw machine!

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