The Elusive Summer


Cornelius on lookout for summer.


notions of summer

hang on a kernel of truth

and hopes are raised up


sounds corny, I know

but, aw shucks, the jig is up-

summer hopes are popped


Another non-summer here in Ireland.  Autumn is at the door…  And at the window, and in the garden.


I do love this time of year though and am enjoying harvesting, fermenting, freezing, and already planning for the next growing season.

The summer has flown by…it’s taken me until past midway through the season to cut my work hours at the hotel by half although I felt it was necessary since the end of last year.  It’s been lovely to get back to work outside the home after a decade of not, but it’s only now that I realize how far off track we’ve gone from our plans of self-sufficiency.  Well, more like spinning our wheels than off the track.  No regrets, for myself and family have benefited from my working away from the home.  And what would be the sense of regrets anyway?  No doubt about it, all is as it’s meant to be.

Johnny and I both want to make a living from and raise our family off our land.  We were both so busy working away from the home this summer that we had to say no too many times to requests for lettuce and veg from local restaurants.  That and other happenings made us realize it’s counterproductive to spend time working away from the homefarm and away from our family.  I feel a burst of energy when I think about how we’ll prepare over the winter to meet next year’s demands but also know that I must plow through the rest of this work season.

On a positive note, sewing summer camp was a great success.  It was loads of hard work, but left all in the family feeling greatly rewarded for it (I’ll share more about it soon). That’s what got Johnny and I sitting down and discussing all that holds promise to support us and all we had lost sight of while being caught up travailing regardless of our plans.  Again, no regrets.

I’m thinking I ought to review my 16 for 2016 list I made at the beginning of this year.  How much of it I’ve actually done will be quite unimpressive.  But, haha, maybe it will be motivating too?!

The haiku and photo are part of a weekly challenge (of which I participate in only sporadically these days).  Ron at Ronovan Writes’ two words for this week’s haiku are ‘up & hope’ and the Four Fab Photo Friends photo word of the week is ‘summer’.

Thanks for taking time from you own busyness to visit me today!  Cheers, Melissa Xx


    • Thank you, and good description of work. Sometimes we have to go away to realize what we have. If we can work this hard away from home, we’re imagining great possibilities with the same efforts towards our home work and goals of self-sufficiency.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I hope I don’t sound too disappointed by the lack of a summer of my memories. We actually had a fabulous three weeks in May. It’s just that I see things in the garden beginning to fade, feel the autumn crisp air, and the days getting noticeably shorter–all tell tale signs of seasonal change. It could have been far worse; we didn’t get too much rain this year and the family, garden and farm are all doing really well. And autumn is my favourite season! Hope you are enjoying a beautiful summer Colleen!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no, you didn’t sound disappointed, just pointing it out. Our summer is “beautiful”. Nothing but sun sun sun. HOT. HOT. HOT. No rain. The green is burning to brown. Skies are an amazing blue. But it’s too hot. I look forward to fall even more this year!


    • It hasn’t been all as gloom and doom as I have portrayed, but definitely disappointing to not get more sunshiny days. Don’t need a heatwave, just less grey, as you say! I think that is my longing…to see a definite change in season rather than a mere change in length of daylight. Each day is precious, rain or shine– and light or dark, there are still twenty four wonderful hours to live and breath–now there’s something to celebrate!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • What we’ve concluded is our work is at home. The challenge is to remain resolute and disciplined with ourselves being our own bosses as we’ve been doing for others over the last year. You are so right, it isn’t easy and neither is punching a time card, but being independent and self sustaining is our dream so the direction is clear.

      Would love some of that heat, as much as you’d probably like to send it my way!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie Graves says:

        Oh, I wish we could send some of this your way. It is oppressively hot in central Maine. I fear our climate is changing to be what southern New England’s once was. Again, good luck with your path.


  1. Sarah says:

    It has been a dismal summer hasn’t it? I’ve got into the habit of recommending to people that they visit Ireland in May or September if they want to see a bit of sunshine. Still, it’s good not to have to worry too much about watering the garden. 🙂
    I’m glad to hear that you’re going to be able to spend more time on your small-holding. You have a great set-up there. I would love to see it thrive.
    I know this is probably not the right place to ask but it is at the forefront of my mind. Do you happen to know anyone who knits traditional Aran ganseys?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I only just now commented to a friend blogger back in Maine that I think lack of water (which they are experiencing) is worse than too much…it really does lighten the garden load quite a bit!

      The only woman I knew who knitted them for a business died a few years back. Sure there are knitters here, and they do traditional sweaters as I’ve seen on their family members, but not selling at the shops.

      Aran Sweater Market might have a connection or two. Most of theirs are machine made but they do have a selection of hand knit also. Cheers!!


  2. Hello Melissa, it’s always lovely visiting your blog. I love the picture of Cornelius. Ha, ha! I also enjoyed both your haiku. The 2nd one tickled me. Our plans don’t always work out exactly how we meant them to but sometimes it’s for the best. I love your positive attitude and the way you motivate yourself and your family. No regrets––good for you! Why should there be regrets? You’re still working toward your goal and your family is healthy and happy. All the best, my friend! ❤ xx


    • Thank you Denis. I worked for a man who grew using hydroponics. It is reliant on electricity and problematic when the pumps give out (as they often did). Probably with a decent investment, high quality equipment, it could work better, but I also really missed the dirt!! 😀


  3. Pingback: Photo Challenge round-up: SUMMER | Wild Daffodil


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