July is Family Reunion month, but we don’t have to wait for a special occasion to celebrate those cherished memories. Family photos are everywhere in my house. Boxes of prints and hundreds of slides reside in my drawers and closets. Now that I’ve graduated to digital, computer files populate my hard drive. Polished and posed for special events – graduations, weddings, and baptisms family and friends return my gaze in my personal gallery along with lop sided grins and bunny ears at family gatherings. Candid moments and orchestrated tableaus tell the stories of my life. How wonderful to be able to revisit what was then with the perspective of who we are now. Happy travels…
Do you know that Gershwin tune from Porgy and Bess? It makes me want to grab a fishing pole and run barefoot down to the river abandoning all the e-mails demanding answers and the the next chapter in need of editing on my book. Yes, the day-to-day office routine continues while the rest of the world seems to be able to retreat from it all. Here’s a small mid-summer suggestion to help you achieve your own easy living…Take a Break! Don’t let the summer pass you by without indulging in at least an ice cream treat, a walk around the block, or even getting your feet wet in the ocean. Your stress level will go down and your productivity will go up after you give yourself permission to enjoy a mini summer vacation. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
I like to buy postcards when I travel, whether it’s other parts of the world, or just a mile away from my house! I choose postcards because of the photography (which I could never capture myself) and the emotion the postcard evokes in me. And don’t discount the fact that postcards have a very small writing area. This is a good thing for people who say they never know what to write. Just the fact that you take the time to write a couple of lines about the weather and the fun time you are having means a great deal to your recipient. If you are having a “staycation” close to home, a postcard is a very personal way to connect with family and friends. Go ahead; send a postcard showing off beautiful downtown Main Street USA. Let’s keep in touch…
Let Freedom Ring
July is all about freedom. From the obvious celebrating our country’s independence with 4th of July festivities to the obscure Social Wellness observance and including the borderline ridiculous National Drive-Thru Day. It’s all about recognizing the beauty of our glorious options and opportunities to change. The freedom to stop and stick our toes in a stream, river, ocean, or under a sprinkler attached to the garden hose. The freedom to smile at our reflection in the mirror (which is all about Social Wellness) and to know we have the gumption to follow our dreams. The freedom to choose our Authentic Selves.
July comes smack dab in the middle of everything. The middle of the year and the middle of the summer. We’re at a tipping point for all sorts of options. Is it time to re-evaluate or goals? On the other hand, is it time to celebrate being alive and seize the opportunity to play when it presents itself.
When the calendar page turns to July for children, if they bother to notice the calendar at all, it may mean summer camp, trips to the beach/lake/mountains, or days filled with sweet unstructured hours. As adults, July may mean mid-year reviews/quarterly reports to be completed before a long anticipated family vacation. The freedom to be a family united in their quest to navigate a new hiking trail and tell the best ghost story around the campfire.
Our family vacations were more like Sunday afternoon outings because farmers with animals always have morning and evening chores. We were fortunate enough to have a boat and live in the Midwest where there is lots of water for the boat. My childhood summer memories are full of fried chicken picnics, feeling the mud squishing between my toes, splashing in the shallow water, fighting with my brothers about whose turn it was with the inner tube, feeling the wind in my hair when Daddy “opened her up” and drove the boat fast when we went around the lake. I also remember the smell of Noxzema and suffering with red arms, backs, and legs after many of those outings.
If your July plans keep you close to home, there’s still plenty of creative ways you can claim the freedom to choose to be your Authentic Self. Take a tall glass of your favorite ice-cold summer drink and a blanket out to the back yard. Lie down and do some serious cloud watching. Your whole body is allowed the freedom to down shift and relax as you observe the white wisps consolidate into dogs, bunnies, flowers, faces, even dinosaurs. Now that you’re in the back yard, are you thinking about the garden you meant to plant? You can still go to the garden center and pick up all the elements necessary to plant a beautiful flowerpot in no time at all! Want to get away from it all for an afternoon? Escape into a movie with lavish landscapes and gorgeous costumes, or visit an exotic art exhibit. Try your hand at pottery painting at a do-it-yourself pottery shop. Discover the soaring experience of flying with an introductory flying lesson. Take a bike ride and feel like you are 10 years old again. Watch the sun go down and wait for the fireflies to come out. Pick up a brand new notebook, some magic markers, or colored pencils, find a shady spot and write about your favorite summer vacation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a vacation you’ve already experienced, or one you plan to someday. Write about it right now. Relive the experience, or anticipate the adventure. Let freedom ring…
Maidu Library & Maidu Community Center, 1530 Maidu Drive, Roseville, CA 95661
Healthy Living Panel
Noon – 1 p.m. (Meeting Room 1)
Mary will be moderator on the “Healthy Living” panel. with guests B. Lynn Goodwin (author of “You Want Me To Do What?” journaling for caregivers), Davis Liu, M.D. (author of “Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely: Making Intelligent Choices in America’s Healthcare System”), Jennifer Martin (author of “Blue Fingers, Brass Knuckles), Joanne Neft (author of “Placer County Real Food from Farmers Markets: Recipes & Menus for Every Week of the Year”) and Richard Simmons (author of “The Long Hard Ride” and “Collateral Damage: The Other Victims”).
Also, Look for Mary at Teresa LeYung Ryan’s (author of “Love Made of Heart” and creator of Build Your Name, Beat the Game: Be Happily Published (the 22 minutes for 22 days workbook) booth and we can discuss how creativity can help you in your quest for “Healthy Living.”
My special thanks go to Jamie Finley, Dena Grover, City of Roseville Library, Margie Yee Webb and California Writers Club.
Enjoy author panels, writing workshops, how to get published information, children’s entertainment and arts & crafts. Books & food available for purchase. Visit the festival website for a complete list of authors and the event schedule. http://www.roseville.ca.us/library/programs_n_events/lit_fest.asp This project is supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.