by Jennifer on April 16, 2008

With all the looking back I have been doing lately, I now find myself almost desperate to grab hold of a few things I can look forward to. One big decision is still up in the air (a final decision about where we should live) and I’ve been restless and stressed. Which has made it harder to pin down those hopeful things. They seem to be “slippery little suckers” (in the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman).

We know that, at the very least, we’re spending the summer at our house on Lake Wawasee in Indiana. It’s in a lovely spot, and has a great view. It sits right next to a playground and just across the street from the channel where Boy likes to fish. Mr. H’s family has spent time at that lake for many decades (and in the cottages that used to stand where ours does now, until they burned down over 30 years ago). For Mr. H, there are a lot of memories in that place, and it’s time to add to them.

The house, however, is still unfinished on the inside. We have walls and windows and stairs (and 1 1/2 working bathrooms), but we still need flooring, appliances, a few bathroom sinks, some tile. Bedroom doors.

I’d give anything for one of the crews from an HGTV show to come in and finish it up for us. Start to finish in 60 minutes of air time. Before and after pictures. That Carter guy. He seems capable, doesn’t he?

But odds are, he and the crew won’t be showing up, and the H crew will be doing some of the work ourselves. Painting and staining, for sure. Mr. H thinks we’ll be doing a whole bunch of other stuff, too, jobs that are far and wide outside my skill set (and probably his, too, but don’t tell him. He does have a stubborn streak going for him. And so do I, except my stubborn streak says things like, “We should really hire someone.” and β€œDo you actually know what you’re doing?”). Why is it that men always want to do things themselves? Good thing there are a few extra rooms in this house, so that we can go to our separate corners when necessary. Not that we’ll need to, of course. Yeah.

Still, the summer will be nice. The kids will swim and fish and make themselves dizzy on the merry-go-round. All of us will look at the stars from the balcony, and lie around in the hammock two at a time, taking turns. Girl wants to have a lemonade stand, and if we move there, she has big plans for a hot chocolate stand in the winter months. (I’m putting Girl in charge of my savings plan. She’s pretty darn good at this stuff.)

The kids will spent time with their Grandma H, whom they have not seen in a couple of years. And they will hang out with Aunt Ducky, too, and Uncle Ducky, and their cousins M and L. I imagine we’ll make some homemade ice cream a time or two, and some s’mores. That is, assuming we have free time in between tiling the bathrooms and sanding the hardwood floors.

When we designed the house, I claimed a room on the third floor (climbing two sets of stairs should be good for my backside), with a view of the lake through one of the dormer windows, for my office. Or writing room, which sounds more romantic and purposeful. Again, there’s nothing up there right now but high speed internet boxes and electrical outlets, and plywood for the floor. And potential. I like to think there’s a lot of potential in that room. And maybe in me.

From time to time, Mr. H threatens (jokingly) to take it over, my room, but my promises of dire consequences have kept him in check, so far.

There’s something that I’ve missed since we moved here to Arizona. Fireflies. I don’t know if Boy and Girl remember seeing them, though they might. It’s been a few years. But I know they will love the sight of those lights darting and hovering over an open field of soybeans, or threaded among rows of corn like strings of little white Christmas lights. I hope they will chase them, as I did, and collect them in a jar to watch for a while before letting them go.

Magic. And we could all use some of that.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn @ Juggling Life April 16, 2008 at 8:32 am

You make me want to visit Indiana; that’s not something this California girl ever thought she’d say!


Lisa Milton April 16, 2008 at 8:49 am

I remember the first summer I went to South Dakota and saw fireflies – really amazing.

(Hope some magic comes your way. I hear ya.)


Melissa April 16, 2008 at 9:53 am

that sounds like the perfect summer plan. I love fireflies and we’re blessed with countless numbers by our house on the prairie. They are magic, aren’t they?


Melissa April 16, 2008 at 9:54 am

that sounds like the perfect summer plan. I love fireflies and we’re blessed with countless numbers by our house on the prairie. They are magic, aren’t they? They prove that God has lovely humor and creativtiy.


Milena April 16, 2008 at 10:25 am

I feel terribly jealous of your summer house. I feel mostly jealous of the slowdown you enjoy while fireflies dance in shimmery spotlights. You know, if you could use a hand, I hire out as a window cleaner on occasion and I’m also a fantastic cook. πŸ˜‰


ByJane April 16, 2008 at 10:33 am

Fireflies…they are magical still. And your description of your summer sounds so all-American-happy-family, even with the physical labor.


Daryl E April 16, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Oh a summer house near water … sigh … I am envious. Tho to be perfectly honest I dont like the country in summer … bugs. I. detest. bugs.


Kellan April 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm

I miss the fireflies too – not many to be seen here in TX either. It sounds like a glorious summer you have planned for your family – glorious and fun!!

Hope you are having a good week, Jennifer – see you later – Kellan


Brenda April 16, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Sometimes I WISH Mr. C would be stubborn and insist on doing some home improvement work himself. But probably I’m being delusional. (Delusional that I with that would happen, not that it ever COULD happen.)

And Carter? mmmmmm, MMMMMMMMMMM!

The lake will be a haven. There is nothing better than being near water. And from my perspective, the only way to survive summer in the midwest is to be on or near the water most of the time–except maybe in the evening, on the porch (probably screened in due to the wonderful mosquitos), watching the fireflies.

We’re travelling back midwest after school this year instead of the spring, so I’m HOPING my children get to see fireflies. The last time they saw them, A was a baby and S was 2-1/2. Neither remembers. (And I’m hoping I survive the humidity. And hoping my children don’t despise the place due to the mosquitos to which we are quite unaccustomed.)


suburbancorrespondent April 16, 2008 at 3:26 pm

I’m coming to visit – get that guest room ready!

And a room of one’s own…sigh…


McSwain April 16, 2008 at 5:13 pm

“Capable” isn’t quite the word I’d use to describe Carter. πŸ™‚

I’ve never seen a firefly. I think I need to put that on my “to do” list.


cce April 16, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Fireflies, writing rooms, a lake view and s’mores? When do I move in? You’ve conveyed the beauty of this place you’re family will make it’s own. It sounds like there will be work but I’d say it sounds well worth it.


Mrs. G. April 16, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Lightening bugs are what I miss most about the south. We used to squish them and make glow-in-the-dark nail polish. Gross, I know.


Nicole P April 16, 2008 at 6:51 pm

We have fireflies here in WV. I didn’t realize that you would not have them in Arizona. I can see how you would miss them.


Crazycath April 16, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Oooh I wish you all the magic in the world! I have never seen fireflies – only pictures on a blog. They look magical creatures.

As for men and stubborn streaks – huh! Don’t get me started!

It’ll be good for you to relax a bit and do some building.


Suzanne April 16, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Jen, are you thinking of moving to Indiana year round? Or somewhere else? Why would you want to leave Arizona?

As someone who loves to move and also yearns for ‘home’ I love to hear how others decide or think about where they live or where they want to live.



HRH April 17, 2008 at 5:29 am

That all sounds magical. Cozy. Wonderful.

I am laughing at the home improvement wars that will ensue this summer. Maybe GIRL can make enough money off the lemonade that you can finance some help. Too cute.

I miss the fireflies too. I remember catching oodles of them for use as a nightlight….


Autumn April 17, 2008 at 5:37 am

That sounds wonderful! Even with all the work to be done, it sounds like a perfect summer get away!
My monsters love the fireflies too. I would miss them a lot if we didn’t have them. One of those things you take for granted I guess..


Lisa April 17, 2008 at 8:11 am

I miss fireflies too-I grew up in Ohio; i remember putting them in glass jars with slits on the lid so i could stare at their magic πŸ˜‰ And I even enjoyed opening the lid and watching them all flurry out.
I like home improvement work–when I’m done πŸ™‚


Tootsie Farklepants April 17, 2008 at 8:41 am

Growing up in Los Angeles, I didn’t witness real fireflies up until a few summers ago in VA. Before that the only ones I ever saw were on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland.


Kelly Ann April 17, 2008 at 9:35 am

Fireflies are the best, I too do not see them anymore. But was blessed to see them in Mexico last summer. It is magical…….. it sparks all kinds of creative thought in a child.


we_be_toys April 17, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Summer in Indiana sounds a heck of a lot better than summer in Arizona (pardon me, Arizona-ites – i just hate anywhere thats hot, including my state)

Definitely need to figure out how to convince “the man” that a crew doing the job would be faster, more efficient, and would leave more time for him to sit and fish and reminisce…I’ll get back to you (ah Man! Such a vulnerable ego encased in a large be-haired body. I have one of these too – OY!)


Just Jamie April 17, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Oooh, you’ve used such pretty words here, like *potential*, and *hammock*, and *magic*, and Carter!

(Having trouble getting to your server…hit or miss!?)


AMomTwoBoys April 17, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Oh, fireflies. How it saddens me that my children will have NO IDEA what they are. Sigh.

As for Carter? I’d use a different word to describe him…but capable works

And I want a house on Lake Walsaoiudlfkjaweoithkfnfg! Sounds amazing! Even if it isn’t finished!


DP April 17, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Jennifer –

I felt peaceful just reading this post! I hope you have a wonderful time there this summer.

We used to go to my grandparents’ house on the family farm in Georgia every summer. I will never forget the lingering scent of the earth as the evening wore on. And the fireflies…

Peace – D


Hatchet April 17, 2008 at 5:37 pm

I miss fireflies.


JCK April 17, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Oh…a room of one’s own…to DIE for! And fireflies as well. I do miss them. We don’t have them here in S. California, either. They are lovely, mysterious, magical creatures. Hold on to thoughts of your writing room. Calm amidst the storm.


Milena April 25, 2008 at 5:09 pm

So I’m back here again. That means I’ve caught up. Couldn’t believe how many of your posts I’d missed. Well, I’ll just take this opportunity then to tell you how much I love the new blog look but I feel a little nostalgic about the avenue with the trees. Always loved seeing that first thing when I came into your blog.


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