Summer Dawdlings

© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved.

“Summertime…and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.”

I’ve always liked that song, mainly for taking me back to memorable  summer vacations spent at my grandparent’s home in Massachusetts. Those lazy, hazy days of summer were the happiest times of my childhood.

Small town life in the mid-1940s was kid safe; one could play outside unsupervised from sunup to sundown with no problems. We’d stuff a peanut butter sandwich in our pocket after breakfast, and off we’d scamper on our all-day carefree adventures.

Our youthful bantam legs struggled as they carried us up that steep knoll to the top of Walnut Hill, then braked as down, down, down we coasted to the placid waters of Lake Mattawa.

Dawdling around the lake edges for a while, we’d skim stones across the water, search for baby fish, and wade into the warm clear waters to extract pretty rocks or other treasures not too far out into the lake.

After resting from our arduous one mile trek, we’d wander through the adjacent pine trees and head for Uncle Brad’s house. to play with our cousins.  We had an unwritten privilege of fishing rights to his pond, and after we had dug up worms and crawlers, we’d grab some of his many fishing poles and scamper down to the stagnant, bubble-gurgling pond. We were delighted to snaggle luminous bluegills and sunfish, and catfish and brilliant yellow pike were always in bountiful supply.

Tiring from catching such “huge” fish, we’d retreat to Aunt Winnie’s back porch and eat our sandwiches and partake of her home-made lemonade especially set out for our disposal.

It was our habit to linger a while after our repast and visit the hen houses, barnyard and outbuildings of their chicken farm. What merriment was had while playing in the granary, jumping on top of the loose corn and smelling the aromas of earth’s harvest offerings!

Next we’d ramble on south a couple of miles towards Aunt Judy’s house and spend the rest of the day interacting with her eleven kids. We’d play hide-and-seek, cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, and with adult supervision, we could play croquet. We had no store-bought toys; we merely used our imaginations, which in all reality, was pure delight… pretty much.

Once one of my cousins dared me to pick some poison ivy and rub it on my arms and legs. So I double-dared him to do it too. Well…the next day he had poison ivy all over his body, and I had nary a blister. To this day I’m not allergic to the ivy!

Aunt Judy filled our tummies with her family’s supper fixings before we headed back to Gramp and Gram’s home. If the sun was still halfway up the western sky, we’d stop off at the churchyard and wander out back to the cemetery to pick the delicious wild strawberries there. They were so tiny but, oh, so succulent!

Summertime…heaven-sent days for earth-bound children, quickly spent and forever gone. Oh, to be a kid again!?

The Seasons and I

© Jeanne E Webster All rights reserved


Gentle rains sprinkled their drops
Upon your seeds of infancy;
You burst forth in innocent rapture
Richly adorned with velvet greens.

Warm rays of sunshine soothed your bosom;
You sparkled with bright colorful displays.
Mature and strong were your gestures,
Fulfilling your designated plan.

Rustling in with cool, dry breezes
Autumn interrupted your attempt at glory,
Fading away your majestic beauty,
Leaving you stooped, wrinkled and grey.

Abruptly entered cold, harsh winter,
Drawing to a close the role you played,
Blanketing you in pure, white finery

Such are the seasons and I.

Spruce Up Those Shiners


How long has it been since you talked with the Lord

And told him your heart’s hidden secrets?

How long since you prayed, how long since you stayed

On your knees till the light shone through?

How long has it been since your mind felt at ease?

How long since your heart knew no burden?

 Can you call him your friend

. . . how long has it been

since you knew that he cared for you?

~by Jim Reeves

 Sunlight Shining Through Forest

© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved and observed

Summertime.. . . time to spruce up the yard, trim the hedges, mow the grass, tidy up the rose bushes, remove the deadwood from the trees, etc.  My husband and I were busy last week doing all of the above. The weather was perfect– cool breeze, moderate temperature, partly sunny sky.  Yes, it was indeed time to resurrect the homestead.

Way out back, adjoining our neighboring farmer’s field, stood a disheveled old black pine tree badly in need of repair.  Somehow or another it had a lot of dead branches in it, and we don’t know if it merely got old and diseased, was picked on by hungry deer or Farmer Brown sprayed too much pesticide or herbicide on it or what not.  It plainly “didn’t look’a so good.”

We trimmed it out, towed away three carts of dead and dried up leavings and gave it a whole new demeanor.  It looks so much better now.  Yes, it lost ground on one side more than the other, but from a distance it doesn’t look so bad.

You know, our lives are sort of like that tree.  Through the years we sort of lose ground and plainly “didn’t look’a so good.”  Parts of our inner self die off and turn brown, a branch or two takes it on the chin too often and falls prey to neglect or self-punishment or the world has feasted on it way too often.   Others may think we look hopeless, about done in, “kick ‘em to the curb” again, a useless ugly thing.

Jesus is there to heal your wounded heart.  He’s there to spruce up the shiners.  He’s there to throw out the deadwood and fill your heart with peace and joy for the entire world to see.  He’ll make you brand-new and cleanse your soul; restore the music of life that God so solemnly placed in your spirit when you were freshly made.

Do you know Jesus?  He knows you.  If you don’t know him, look him up some day.  He’ll be waiting.

I look out the kitchen window and peer at that old black pine tree, and you know, it’s hard to remember that it once looked so scraggly.  It doesn’t look so weathered, so ready for the wood pile.  If fact, it has taken on a new perspective.  It wants to live, for today and for all the days ahead.  Life is worth the living.  As God has planned, so be it.

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”



©  Jeanne E. Webster



Gentle rains sprinkled their drops

Upon your seeds of infancy.

You burst forth in perfect rapture

Richly garnished with velvet greens.


Rays of sun soothed your bosom;

You glistened with vibrant displays.

Mature and strong were your gestures,

Justifying your chosen plan.


Rustling in with cool dry breezes

Autumn disturbed your finest glory,

Fading away your majestic beauty,

Leaving you aged, crinkly and grey.


Abruptly entered cold harsh winter

Embellishing the role you played.

Swathing you in pure white finery

For services rendered…


Such are the seasons and I.