The Simple Life: Summer

“It FINALLY feels like summer.” Tony sucks at the straw of his shake.

I know what he means. We don’t go out very often anymore. It’s not because we don’t want to have a romantic evening together, but we can’t afford much nowadays. Our “fun” is severely restricted to coffee houses and free events. Summer in our town means nightly entertainment at the courthouse plaza, picnics, and ice cream.

Perhaps that’s why God allows these hard times. It brings us back to Him, to evenings that don’t require much money, to watching our budget, to finding ways to get close to God and to each other and to family. To embrace a simple life and appreciate the things we missed while we became preoccupied with keeping up with everyone else.

I suck on the straw, having splurged on a strawberry malt from my favorite ice cream shop in town, Kendall’s. “Look there’s ___! Hey, ____ !”

“Don’t yell.” Tony shakes his head. “Oh, there’s my boss.”

It’s moments like these, saying hello to people we know, neighbors, and friends that really make this area still so small in spite of its lightening growth these last several years. The whole town comes together during the summer on the lawn for old fashioned entertainment and outdoor craft fairs. While some store fronts are empty now having had a few businesses come and go the town still holds magic for me. It’s still a place I call home in spite of the emotional turmoil the past four years had brought and the rough memories that linger in the shadows. Its home. It’s where I belong and where I see me living in the years to come.

Describe what you and yours do for free in this hard economy. How has God shown you how to live better?

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6 thoughts on “The Simple Life: Summer”

  1. Great message Nikole. We try to instill good stewardship with our little gang, and try to lead by example. We spend more time at our many area parks, hiking trails, rivers/creeks, and free museums than any other place–and likely have as much fun there as an amusment park that costs $30 per person.

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  2. I go fishing with my husband. He fishes while I read, sometimes I take my journal and write, but read most of the time. We go to the local state park and hike the trails (but not in our 90 plus degree weather and humdity). We go driving and looking for wildlife deer mostly.

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    1. That’s a lovely way to spend time together. Tony and I find a wonderful intimacy in sharing God’s creation in hunting, hiking, or fishing. You’d love it here. On any given day you can see antelope in the open prairies.

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  3. Like you, we tend to go to community events that are free for entertainment or rent DVD’s for a buck at Red Box for an evening at home. But I find we enjoy the impromptu gatherings we’ve encountered at Wal-Mart! We live in a rural area and every time we go to Wal-Mart (not my favorite place by the way), we run into people we know and end up spending way more time there than we ever imagined. One day, we saw five different sets of people we knew, including my college roommate and her daughter, and after chatting for quite awhile in the aisles, I realized we had been in Wal-Mart for over 2 hours! And we had just come to purchase a couple necessities. Today, it happened again at a local fast food place where we grabbed a quick and cheap lunch. Again, we saw acquaintances we haven’t seen for awhile and spent some time having a nice conversation.

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