June 19, 2006

the smells of summer

Traditionally speaking (in my own personal opinion of course) I smell summer when I get a whiff of freshly cut grass. Today I'd like to induct a few more favorite smells that for me will always = summer.
1. Honeysuckle. One thing many people probably do not know about me (because I do not tell many people) is that as a child I had a habit of eating flowers. I cannot explain why I did this, only that I remember seeing a beautiful and rather large white flower growing in our backyard in Texas, and I got hungry. I plucked a petal off, put it in my mouth, and chewed. It was good. And then I ate the rest of it. Afterwards, I remember feeling distinctly immoral about the whole affair, and decided I should not do it again. But do it again I did. My best friend lived about 4 houses down from me and I would often walk down there in the summer time and we would play in the ally or in one of our backyards, or one of our rooms. On one particular day I remember being at her house and knowing that my mother did not know I was there. This was highly unusual because I was an exceptionally well-trained child. :-) Anyways, I must have caught a rare wind of rebellion and I found myself in my best friend's backyard, both of us sampling the wild honeysuckles growing in her backyard. Now, Bath & Body Works makes Honeysuckle body splash & lotion. It is one of my favorite scents from their store. It should be noted that I am a recovered flower-eater, and no flowers have been harmed by mastication since the honeysuckle incident.
2. Coconut Lime Verbena. Another new favorite from Bath & Body Works. I am wearing it right now and everytime I get a whiff of myself, I feel like I should be lounging by the pool sipping a strawberry limeade from a hollow coconut.
3. Barbecue. My all-time favorite food. My favorite thing about summer are the cook-outs, and the barbecue that is consumed there at. Enough said.

June 17, 2006

for the love of the blog

My sister started blogging a little more than a year ago. I started reading it about 4 or 5 months after she started. I didn't even know what a blog was, let alone that she could write html. That was just one of the first things that her blog taught me about her. Over time I began to read her updates daily, and I looked forward to the stories she would tell and the pictures she would post about her kids - my niece and nephew. I also learned many other things about her that I just never knew or considered about my big sister of 28 years. Like her views on politics, Christianity, the growth of her faith, her favorite things, things she hates, and so on and so forth. For me, her blog has been a portal into her life that I had never entered before. Maybe I should say here that she only lives one mile away from me. And I see her and the kids almost every other day. And yet that speaks to the breakdown in communication that I either never knew existed, or I had just become comfortable with. I don't know which; probably both.

Then I started to branch out and read blogs that she reads. And together we found long lost friends in other states and countries. And again their blogs are portals into their worlds that, because of distance, we never would have had access to otherwise. I read almost every week about my cousin Ellyn and her family - their vacations, their hobbies, their struggles. I read about my other cousins and their kids (some of whom I've not met yet) through the blog of my cousin's wife Tanya - all the hilarious and cute moments that their children present them with become moments that I am also blessed with. I read about Camp-friend-Beth's new life on the foriegn mission field in Uganda, and her leap of faith inspires me with each story she posts. I read another blog by another camp friend - Julie Danley. Her posts on her personal walk with God challange me to expand my faith in areas I never considered, and frankly, scare me sometimes. But I am thankful that she is brave enough to say things that are "unconventional" or maybe even "taboo". I read other blogs by Camp-Friend-Grant, who is more political than I am personally comfortable with, but he reminds me that I am glad there are politically-minded people out there, simply because I am not. He is a visionary, and he is therefore many times misunderstood. "Funny" is an understatement. His humor is genius. And because of his passion for idealism, I admire him. I read a local sports blog of Camp-Friend Jeremy. Jeremy encourages me because he is making his dream career come true. And even though he may not realize that he's making it happen, I know that he is. And I know that one day I will see his by-line in Sports Illustrated, and anywhere else his drive has led him to. I read so many other blogs, I guess too many to mention. These people tells stories about their lives and their views, and it opens up avenues for prayer, and allows people to be apart of their lives that otherwise simply would not be due to time and distance. There is a community here - even a family. And it should be obvious at this point that I have been inspired by all of these people. So thank you blogger.com for facilitating, and thank you Bloggers for sharing your lives with me and the world. I have been blessed by your words.