summer timeWow! Is it hot or what!!

The extra-warm winter and spring, and the few good rains that came in spring made everything just jump out of the ground – hay, lawn grass, flowers, and now the garden vegetables, not to mention the weeds! They all seem to be about a month earlier than usual. Makes me wonder when fall and winter will hit……….but then, winter came quite early last year. Time will tell.

Otherwise, things are moving right along here at Long Hollow. The lawns and gardens are requiring extra water during the unusually hot weather. Fortunately for us there is a good supply of domestic water since we are fed by a huge underground aquifer. It just keeps us hopping to be sure all the areas are receiving enough moisture. But all of this has not slowed down the flow of guests; they are still arriving from points around the globe. This week we had a lady from Malaysia, and a few weeks ago, two others from Thailand! Add to that a number of return guests, and some of them from overseas as well, and we are kept entertained by very interesting and loyal friends. Our thanks go out to all those people.

Something is new at the ranch house this summer. Concerned about having enough room to serve our increased numbers of guests at mealtimes, and aided and abetted by the warm weather, we have enhanced our outdoor dining area. The existing porch just off the dining room had been furnished with a couple of heavy wooden picnic tables which seated 18 to 20 people, although not very comfortably. People had to climb into the bench area, and of course there were no backs to the benches. We moved the picnic tables to different areas around the yard and placed two dining tables and a group of chairs in their place. We added two large fans to help keep the area a little cooler. This week a group from church came for lunch, and seemed quite comfortable with the new arrangement…..and they enjoyed the food, too.

Pat also supplied us with some very attractive decorations to use on the porch and added a couple of hummingbird feeders which are visited regularly by at least six very territorial and entertaining “hummies”. We all enjoy just sitting and watching those beautiful tiny creatures zoom around us, or just hover in mid-air as they survey their territory. We also added some potted flowers and greenery to the scene. When the weather does cool down, as I’m sure it will eventually, the porch can be warmed by electric heaters stationed along the wall at the ready.

Coming up on Saturday is the Fourth of July picnic, attended by neighbors and friends every year. Since hot temperatures are expected again that day, our new arrangement will get a good try-out. We expect to have an enjoyable time as always in spite of the heat.

So we wish everyone a great holiday this weekend. Drive safely, stay as cool as possible, and enjoy the freedoms handed down to you by so many who have gone before. God save America!