Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Measure of Summer (This Is the Giveaway)

A maple tree sown in plastic cup in late Spring. The measure of Summer.

Here we are, at Summer's end.

You thought that was a month ago, right?

I was confused myself, a time or two.

But in true fashion, I'll white-knuckle this thing until there's nothing left to hold on to.

I'm sitting in my hotel room, in between sessions. The drive down yesterday was all eyeshadow-blue skies and tiny flowers that glowed like butterscotch candies in a sun that lazed down around the horizon. It was gorgeous and bright and serene, miles upon miles of flat earth, and I sat back and took it all in. Summer's end.

Seven hours is plenty of time for some honest contemplation and I was in need of a little sort-through time.

What I found was a little clarity and even more hope than I already held. I found hundreds of miles of small gratitudes that stacked up to one very big truth: This is the end of a season, the beginning of another.

Because my love for you is somewhere near the top of that stack, I want to send one of you a present; some of my favorite Summer things, boxed up and shipped.

It's all random, but I hope by now that you know to expect nothing less.

One of my favorite Summer things is my family.

Specifically, my sister, Keisha.
(My mom would probably like me to point out that those are not my bra straps showing under my brown shirt. All day long she fretted that people thought my unmentionables were on display. Alas, a tank top.)

Keisha does missions work in Zambia, Africa. She's in the States right now. And no, I'm not going to box her up and send her to your door, although you'd thank me if I did because she'd probably clean your tub and spin your kiddos until they're falling-over dizzy in a heap of giggles.

When she came back from Zambia this last time, she brought a bunch of African bags, made by Zambian widows using traditional African fabric. I sorted through the stack for about 75 minutes straight until I found my favorite.

This is it. And even though I love it and kind of want to keep it for myself, and even though it matches my shirt, I'm giving it away. It will totally bring out the blue of your eyes. Or the gold of your highlights. Or the brown of your skin. Or something. The point is, it was meant for you.

(There are just a few more left for purchase here.)

I also loved-loved-loved my Summer days at my mom and dad's house, in good ol' Pleasant Hill, Ohio. This grain sack is for you. It's not a fabric-y one that you can make into a pillow. It's more of the nylon variety. But you can totally frame it or something.

This is mine and Siley's favorite Summer cd. I bought one for you. Think of us when you're singing along at the top of your lungs. (I promise, you will.)

And these? Well, they are roasted and salted green peas. Calvin loves them and I do, too. We discovered them this Summer at a favorite local haunt, Grandma's Pantry. They're nutty and crunchy and revolutionary.

I'm also tossing in some of my pink columbine seeds. I have no idea how receptive they are to being grown from seed, so let us know when you find out. It's a small piece of our farm, and I'd love to know that it lived on. But no pressure.

To enter, leave a comment telling me one of your favorite things about Summer.

I'll announce the lucky winner sometime on the flip-side of this trip.