Summer gladness

By now, my readers (and those of you who love summer weather) are weary of my whining about why I don’t enjoy this season. So I won’t subject you to another one of my summer time blues rants.

Instead, I’ll take a different road down the heated pavement of summer. What’s to like about this season? Sunshine – that’s for certain, always a big A-plus in my grade book of life.

With the sunshine, I find there’s one more thing to like about summer. Those gorgeous, multi-colored blooms in people’s yards, flower pots, and porch boxes. They do make a person happy just to see them.

Our front porch boxes boast some huge, beautiful red petunias. When I relax on the front porch swing on evenings cool enough to do so, I gaze at bright orange tiger lilies.

The perennial flower garden is full of bright yellow day lilies, purple balloon flowers, bright pinkish purple blooms on the butterfly bush, and clusters of tiny yellow buds on the yarrow plant.

The rose bush and the clematis also graced us with lovely colors and now the gladiolas have opened up as well.

My mom always had those tall spikes called gladiolas in her garden when I was growing up. She would pick a bunch of them, bring them inside and arrange them in a tall vase of water. My mom called them glads.

And you know what? When I see those particular flowers blooming in our garden in summer, I remember my mom and her glads and that makes ME glad. Yes, GLAD, even in summer! Shocking, I know.

When I photographed the gladiolas in our yard just the other day (because you know, in this time of staying close to home, what else is there to photograph??), it made me happy.

Glad. It made me glad! And when the word glad popped into my mind, my thoughts rabbit trailed as they often do. 

A Christian song immediately started playing in my brain and I can’t get it out of my head. That’s what happens when you get an earworm (defined as a “catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person’s mind after it is no longer playing”).

The song, Be Ye Glad, is an old one – I think from the 1980’s – and was performed by an a cappella group also named GLAD. If I remember correctly, the singing group was formed by male students from different universities in my home state Pennsylvania. But what I remember most are the words and the beautiful harmony of the song.

The lyrics, written by Michael Kelly Blanchard in the late 1970’s, are still very fitting in today’s world:

Words and Music by M.K.Blanchard
© Gotz Music/Benson

In these days of confused situations.
In these nights of a restless remorse,
When the heart and the soul of the nation,
lay wounded and cold as a corpse.
From the grave of the innocent Adam,
comes a song bringing joy to the sad.
Oh your cry has been heard and the ransom,
has been paid up in full, Be Ye Glad.
Oh, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad,
Every debt that you ever had
Has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord,
Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad, Be Ye Glad.

From the dungeon a rumor is stirring.
You have heard it again and again.
But this time the cell keys are turning,
and outside there are faces of friends.
And though your body lay weary from wasting,
and your eyes show the sorrow they've had.
Oh the love that your heart is now tasting
has opened the gate, Be Ye Glad.
So be like lights on the rim of the water,
giving hope in a storm sea of night.
Be a refuge amidst the slaughter,
for these fugitives in their flight.
For you are timeless and part of a puzzle.
You are winsome and young as a lad.
And there is no disease or no struggle,
that can pull you from God, Be Ye Glad.

You can listen to the song, its inspiring lyrics, and beautiful harmony as performed by the musical group GLAD here.

Those gladiolas in my garden remind me that even in summer, my least favorite season of all, there’s something to be ye glad about – life and my faith in my Savior Jesus Christ.

“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, to work, to play, and to look up at the stars.” ~ Henry Van Dyke


Glad for the glads but…

blogIMG_5558We are past the dog days of summer.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the dog days of summer refer to the time period of July 3rd through August 11, supposedly the hottest and most oppressive period of the summer season. Once we pass that time period, summer starts to wane supposedly.

But we are still in its throes. Muggy weather and temperatures during the day that make it feel even stickier have been interspersed with some cooler days. Just not enough for me.

I, for one, am ready for summer to move on out, even though this summer hasn’t been as hot and humid as it often is. Summer is just not my favorite season. The heat and humidity we experience here in our neck of the woods is nothing like Southerners endure, but it’s still overwhelming and distressing to someone like me who likes temperate days with the windows of the house wide open.

When it’s sticky, muggy, and everything feels downright damp and the temps soar into the high 80’s and 90’s with humidity percentages in the same range, we must resort to air conditioning. And staying and sleeping inside an air conditioned home just seems so stale to me. I love my fresh air with windows wide open!

So I’m happy to see summer wind down and am hopeful it happens very soon. However, one aspect of the season that I will miss is the plethora of summer plants bearing their blossoming beauties.

We planted gladiolas this year in our perennial flower garden for the first time in the 18 years we’ve lived in this place. I remember with fondness the gorgeous, tall glads that beautified both my mother’s and my grandmother’s gardens, so this past spring when I saw some gladiola bulbs in the garden department of a local store, I convinced Papa to purchase and plant them.

We patiently watched for them to burst through the soil, but it seemed to take quite a while before any buds appeared on the stalks. And then…wow! They burst into radiant color. They and the lavender that we added to our garden have been a lovely aspect of this summer season.

I do so love the scent of lavender, so I pluck a stalk and take a little whiff of that pleasant scent often.  Lavender is known to reduce stress and anxiety and beneficial to promote relaxation and a good night’s sleep.

It’s true. When I take that little whiff of lavender, it makes me go “ahhh.” And anytime I’ve happened to inhale the scent of lavender essential oil, I get sleepy.

Sleepiness and sluggishness seem to go hand in hand for me in the summer season. I get bogged down by the heat and humidity and I just don’t feel like doing anything. Summer doldrums are real for me. I feel extremely lazy and lethargic and I don’t like it.

That’s one reason why I look forward to fall weather so very much. When the temperatures cool down and the humidity moves out, I’m such a happier person.

Fall weather, with its balmy yet sunny days and cool, brisk nights, perks me up, invigorating me to awaken out of my summer slump and get motivated.

Hopefully, it will entice me to write some more meaningful blog posts as well. So I’m ready to say goodbye to summer. I am glad for the glads, but this sweaty Mama is so ready to move on.

“It’s a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do.” ~ Walter Winchell