Friday, June 11, 2010

Like American Honey

Let me just say that I'm having a hard time getting that Chicago summer to-do list going since every time I turn around, I'm pulling out the suitcase and filling up the gas tank. But that part of summer is just as good as any Chicago summer bucket list! Still, last night Neal and I sat out late into the night at the Planetarium lakefront, city view full and clear in the night sky. We won't be accused of missing Chicago summer, no, not us.

So, if not much in Chicago, where have I been, and what of Epstein Barr anyway? (These are the questions I think you might have when I use my imagination. If I'm wrong, and you're really wondering things like what am I making for dinner tonight, or have I unpacked from my trip yet, the answers are I don't know, and no.)

Where I've been is home. Yes, again. Really, if you haven't been there with me, you must. Speaking of bucket lists, put that on yours. And as for Epstein Barr, it's hanging on, but I refuse to let it keep me from drenching myself with summer goodness! Can I get an amen? I'm squeezing all the juice I can out of summer's bright yellow lemon, and then when I'm not so well, I sit back and drink the glass of lemonade. Sometimes it's a little sour, but in that case, I add some sugar. "Sugar" such as holding a baby. Re-charging with my first Tolstoy. Having a banana-chocolate chip muffin because "it's a muffin, not dessert."

On this past trip home, Lady Antebellum's, "Nothing sweeter than summertime...and American honey!" lyrics sang out through my car speakers the whole 3-hour drive there, with fields along the highway blowing in the wind and visions of little nephews and niece and Grams and Granny and Mom and popcorn on the stove. And yes, I had just been there the week before, but that kind of goodness never gets old....especially in the summertime.

As it turns out, summer is not in the business of disappointment. We had Mom's yummy stove-popped corn every night, and I savored wonderful laughter and tear-filled chats with my Grams and Gramps at Gio's pizza, with Granny on the back deck, and with Mom on her bed as night closed in. Tiff and I got time to sit on the couch and talk while Connor slept and Garrett and Lilly transformed the foyer into a playground of imaginative ventures.

In the car back to Chicago with me came garden lettuce, peas, and pink hydrangeas. Score!

By the way, Mom's garden is absolutely teeming with beauty, growth, and blooms. Someday when Neal and I are done romping around Chicago, we'll find a little old house, have Mom over for the weekend, and plant gardens. I can't wait.

Last week when I was home, the "June bloom" hadn't come yet. This week it came in all of its splendor, and I just had to re-take my pictures to capture the colors and the essence of home in its sweetest summer glory.

One more thing before the garden pictures. In the book I last finished, "Cold Tangerines," the author talks about how songs can sometimes so connect with our lives. She writes, "The thing about a truly great song is that it becomes, truly and deeply, about our very own lives, regardless of what it started out as when it was written." I feel that way about the Lady Antebellum song that I listened to all the way home (thanks Ty for sending it to me!)

Here are the lyrics and the blooms at home:

She grew up on the side of the road
Where the church bells ring and strong love grows
She grew up good and she grew up slow
Like American honey
Steady as a preacher
Free as a weed
Couldn't wait to get goin'
But wasn't quite ready to leave
So innocent, pure and sweet
American honey
There's a wild, wild whisper blowing in the wind
Calling out my name like a long lost friend
Oh I miss those days as the years go by
Oh there's nothin' sweeter than summertime
And American honey

Get caught in the race of this crazy life
Tryin' to be everything can make you lose your mind
I just wanna go back in time to American honey

There's a wild, wild whisper blowing in the wind
Calling out my name like a long lost friend

Oh I miss those days as the years go by
Oh there's nothin sweeter than summertime
And American honey

Gone for so long now
I gotta get back to her somehow
To American honey
Oh I miss those days as the years go by
Oh there's nothin' sweeter than summertime
And American honey.


Kirra Sue said...

Soooo can I come with you down there? Because it pretty much looks like a midwest paradise. :) I miss you!

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

oh ash i love your home and your family. :)
see you tomorrow!

shirl said...

Beautiful, Ashley. Visiting your parents' house had a strong impact on me! So full of love, beauty, patience, healing... I've only had limited interaction with your mom, but whenever I'm asked who my role model is or who I want to grow up to be like, I always think "I want to love my family and run my household like Mrs. Thompson, and I want to love and know the Scriptures like Beth Moore!" Your mom is inspiring!

Ashley Anderson said...

Thanks, Shirl! I'll pass that on to her... she'll be so encouraged! Good to hear from ya :) By the way, I want to grow up to be like her too! :)