Ode To Summer

May and June are exemplary months in Chicago with longer days, comfortable temperatures, and low humidity. That is why I have enjoyed casting off the pressure to complete my “to do” list most days, and am indulging in biking, kayaking, taking long walks, and getting serious about building strength and muscle through using weights at the gym.

With the kids out of school now, new emphasis has been placed on being available to share activities and time with each of them. And, as always, time is spent with Riad each day when we encourage each other to work out, work on home improvement projects, and dream about moving to California.

At this point, our kitchen has demonstrated the most improvement with new countertops, range/oven, and range hood.  My kitchen now features peach walls with an accent wall of milk chocolate brown, maple wainscoting, golden oak cabinets, mahogany dyed bamboo window shade, and appliances are black and stainless. Small appliances are mostly stainless finished Cuisinart. The new countertop blends all together in perfectly professional decorator quality. Pity that I fully expect, should we be able to sell this home, that the next dwelling will probably be a bland, eggshell, sterile, neutral apartment. With two kids committed to college in this locale for a couple more years, we may have to pay for two living spaces of some diminished status. However, the call for a better climate and hopefully more business prospects have us convinced that we really want to venture out toward the Pacific. We will see….

Each day begins with an hour to an hour and a half walk listening to the beautiful Qur’an, or an equally long bike ride. I feel that the rhythm of it is therapeutic and calming. If all things in the universe could be reduced to frequencies, I think the Qur’an has the dominant, guiding frequencies that promote health, and my preferred recitation is from Ghamadi. When I return home, breakfast is made for anyone still home.

Lately, my two youngest sons, one a high school senior and the other a freshman, have tennis scheduled from 9-11 a.m. So as soon as I finish breakfast, and clean the kitchen, it is time to fetch food for them. I am considering that they should just refer to me as “the Cook” because I am spending so much time in the kitchen and do not rate to claim the status of a chef. Although I have four hungry males to feed each day, I do not really feel my time is spent productively in cooking all day. Yet, I acknowledge their current need to be well fed, and I somehow picked the short straw and have become expected, perhaps from my own upbringing and norm expectations, that I am the one cooking. In a few hours, after visiting my doctor for a checkup, shopping for groceries, and checking my email, I will begin the dinner cooking project. Then it will be time to work out with Riad (we may bike or go to the golf range), eat my cuisine, and once again lament that I did not get the chance to steam the wallpaper from my bedroom walls in the slow process of fixing the house for eventual sale. That is okay though, because Riad is still earning the money to pay for a new roof, so I have some time to work on the interior. If lucky, I will get the chance to organize receipts and clutter from our export business, and sort through papers from other projects recently completed… just in time for summer.

Don’t lose the chance. Each day counts so much in these preciously beautiful days. Take time to enjoy!

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