Thursday, August 8, 2019

Passing of Summer

Last Monday, after almost eight weeks of summer break, I went back to work. In all honesty I was not looking forward to it. The summer had been just too beautiful to say goodbye to these almost carefree weeks easily. But the new school year starts next Wednesday and there is a ton to do in the library before that.

At the beginning of the summer break I had made a list of things I would like to do during those weeks. I was afraid that I would just waste my time and by the end of the break would look back on missed opportunities with a lot of regret.

Instead, I look back on eight delightful and fulfilling weeks - without having touched each and every item on my list.

Hardly a week into my break the Geek and I went to San Jose to meet with Kaefer who was about to buy her very first car, a used VW Golf with a manual transmission. She is so happy about it since it gives her a bit more independence even though she is still riding her bike most of the time.

After this first week of mainly doing nothing I started to "work" on my list. I spent a day in Sonoma where I visited the mission and the old barracks;

I spent a morning in the beautiful lavender gardens of a winery:

Many mornings I took long walks around my beloved lake;

I re-discovered the laguna with its interesting plants, crooked trees and beautiful birds (can you see the California Quail?);

And I walked along the beach, something I do way too seldom even though the ocean always calms me and gives me inner peace.

Kaefer came home for the Fourth of July week since this was the only week she didn't have to work (she had started her summer job right after finals in June). We didn't do much - once we went champagne tasting (she turned 21 in April), but apart from that we just hang out, watching British mystery shows, playing games and drinking traditional German Erdbeerbowle.

I spent a lot of time reading and knitting (this is the start of a little dress for our newest family member in Turkey) and I even painted a bit!

Before the summer I got back into the habit of journaling. I had lost my ability to write my journal after the fires and I couldn't find a way back to it. It seemed like something was completely blocked in me. I hated it. Over winter break I had taken a free writing class which was like a little teaser; it motivated me to take a more in-depth writing class in the spring and it eventually helped me to get back into writing my journal. This is one of the things that makes me unbelievably happy.

I said one of the things... the other is photography. Somehow - even though I was still photographing a lot - I had lost my "flow" with photography. Sure, I still took a lot of pictures, mainly with my phone (I got a new phone this year with an excellent camera which is wonderful but also involves the risk of becoming lazy), but it wasn't the same passion. However, I have experienced these "waves" more than once during the more than four decades of photographing, so I wasn't too worried; but I did want to find my old passion again.

And I did. Since I spent so much time on my own this summer I could right dive back into my photography and I enjoyed it so much. I tried different takes of the same motif and it felt so darn good. I don't know WHY photography makes me so incredibly happy, I only know that it DOES.

The last weekend in July the Geek and I spent in Gualala, just two hours up north from where we live, at the coast. I had rented a cabin that was in the redwoods, but right across the water - we could hear the ocean on our little deck. We enjoyed sunsets over the ocean, walked on the cliffs, ate (too much) peanut butter cheesecake and just delighted in the beautiful scenery.

During my last week of break I wanted to have one more day at the ocean and went down to the Point Reyes National Seashore where I walked out on the spit and back along Limantour Beach. It was one of those typical Northern California summer days - sunny and warm, even hot, but the moment you come to the beach fog envelopes you and the temperature drops by 20 degrees. Ah, Northern California, how much I love it!

And then break was almost over - one last Sunday spent in San Francisco with our favorite girl. We spent several hours in the Exploratorium (I hadn't been there since they had moved to Pier 15 from their old location at the Palace of Arts), rode the historical streetcar of the F Line, ate fish and chips near Fisherman's Wharf and walked along Crissy Field Beach.

It was a beautiful summer.


Miss Val's Creations said...

This looks and sounds like a perfect summer. Your photography leave me in awe. So beautiful!

Elephant's Child said...

A beautiful, productive WONDERFUL summer.
And I am so very glad that you have your journalling and photography mojo back.
Long may they live in your head and your heart.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

You obviously had a fine summer, Carola, and your advance planning paid off handsomely. Your daughter is to be commended on her choice of car. i drive a VW Golf station wagon myself! This is my third consecutive Volkswagen and since I keep my cars until they get beyond repair almost, that is almost twenty years (my current vehicle is just five months old). I have never kept a journal; my wife used to, but hasn't done so for years. Enjoy being back in the library and help the kids to love books!

My name is Erika. said...

Looks like it was a fabulous summer. I have under 2 weeks left until I got back too, and I know what you feel about wrapping it up. Gorgeous photos today! hugs-Erika

Karen Lakis said...

It looks like you had a truly wonderful summer! I am not sure what all was on your list, but you did a lot - and visited some different places. It's awesome that you have found your way back to journaling - I finds the practice so helpful - kind of therapeutic - although I don't do it every day. Photography - yes! and you took some beautiful photos!

windrock studio said...

totally delightful! thanks for sharing so much beauty and interesting places.

Mae Travels said...

Northern California is one of my favorites, where I don't get to spend much time -- I think your photos capture the beauty and elegance of this area just wonderfully.

best... mae at

Lowcarb team member said...

I'm so pleased you had a wonderful summer.
Here in the UK we have about two more weeks before the grandchildren return to school, and fortunately we've been able to spend wonderful time with them.
A lovely summer for all.

Here's to a great Autumn :)

All the best Jan

Jeanie said...

I love how you rediscovered your journaling and photography again. I know the journal is private but the photos you have shared on this post (and others) are exquisite. That opening photo of the pink lily pad is to die for. And it looks like you did much, if not all, of your list. And shared some wonderful road trips. Of course, time with your girl has to be the best.

Well, soon work but I hope the memories of this beautiful summer will sustain you on more trying days!

Sue (this n that) said...

You certainly had a splendid Summer Carola and it shows in all those gorgeous photos.
I'm really glad you feel you can go back to writing in your journal now too.

Red Rose Alley said...

Carola, I feel for ya having to go back to work. The girls had to go back to work as well, and Nel was just telling me that the Summer went way too fast. By the looks of your beautiful pictures, you had a wonderful Summer. The lake photo is exceptional, and it must have been very peaceful taking long walks along it. That champagne drink sure looks good. I had a glass of champagne this weekend at a wedding, and it's been far too long. It's nice that you're knitting again. What a talent this is. The sunset is beautiful, and the peanut butter cheesecake looks amazing. I wish I had a slice to go with my coffee this morning. : )

I hope you have a good school year, Carola.