Tag #92: Spring Cleaning Book Tag

Image Credit: Fiction No Chaser

Thanks, Jenna, for tagging me! I haven’t done a tag in forever.

Here’s Jenna’s post, where I was originally tagged: Spring Cleaning Book Tag


The Creator & the Rules

The creators of this tag is Amanda @ Between the Shelves! The rules are …

↠ Link back to the original post.
↠ Tag as many friends as you want.
↠ Have fun!


One. Getting started: A book series you’ve been wanting to read

The Alpha Drive trilogy, Kristen Martin. I adore Kristen! I started listening to her podcast, That Smart Hustle, a couple years ago. I’ve listened to almost every episode. I read the first three chapters of Alpha Drive on Wattpad recently, and I’m hooked.


Two. Cleaning/organizing the closet: The best way to organize books

If I have multiple books by the same author, I organize it chronologically by release date. Otherwise, I categorize them by size.


Three. Getting rid of unnecessary things: Book/series you no longer need

I just donated about 5-6 books in my last thrift store drop-off. Most of them were one-time-read books that I don’t want to read again or were taking up space.


Four. Get some air: Your favorite light-hearted read

If I need a pick-me-up, I reach for something from American Girl. The entire top shelf of my bookcase is dedicated to these books!


Five. Clean out the kitchen cupboards: Favorite food-themed read

Because I feel like being literal, the first book that came to mind was The Hunger Games.


Six. Dust the shelves: What’s the fifth book on your bookshelf?

I have five shelves on my bookcase.

Shelf 1: Secrets on 26th Street (American Girl History Mysteries)

Shelf 2: All The Missing Girls, Megan Miranda

Shelf 3: The Journal of Jesse Smoke: A Cherokee Boy (My Name is America)

Shelf 4: Finale, Thomas Mallon

Shelf 5: Where The Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein


Seven. Wishing for the end: A 2020 release you’re really excited about

The Best Laid Plans looks adorable!


Eight. Long but satisfying: The longest book series you’ve read

Like Jenna, it’s Harry Potter. I’m currently re-reading the series, the first time I’ve done so since I finished The Deathly Hallows in 2007.


Tag! You’re It! (No obligation to participate)


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #244: Fall Fridays, Number 5

Image Credit: Unsplash

As the wonderful season of autumn / fall has started, I wanted to create an original writing prompt series to celebrate!

I invite everyone who sees this to participate, if you choose.

The idea is to look at the prompt, take at least five minutes on the Fridays during October 2019, and come up with a story/poem/scene, or whatever strikes your fancy with those words.

This has been extended from September! You can use the image at the top of this post – Just please make sure to credit it.

Ready?

Here we go!


  • October 4th: Corn Maze
  • October 11th: Hay Ride
  • October 18th: Football
  • October 25th: Halloween

As a child, Scotty always looked forward to the annual trip to the farm in the fall. Among the pumpkins, petting zoo, and scarecrows, his favorite thing was the hay ride.

He wasn’t alone. The hay ride was fun for many. The farmer climbed on his lumbering tractor. Scotty loved the sounds it made. The hay was itchy, but everyone had fun. They were supposed to sit on the bales and stay still while the tractor was moving. But, inevitably, a hay fight would break out. The boys loved stuffing the loose hay down each other’s shirts, and it would tangle in all the girls’ hair. The teachers were always annoyed, but the farmer always chuckled. He loved kids.

And Scotty loved someone. Kelly was a girl in the other kindergarten class, but their classes usually ended up on the same field trips.

In kindergarten, Scotty was brave enough to walk over to Kelly, sit next to her, and compliment her overalls.

In first grade, Kelly threw hay right in Scotty’s face. But then she giggled, apologized, and kissed him on the cheek.

In second grade, Scotty held her hand during the “haunted” section when she got scared.

In third grade, Scotty was hurt. Kelly ignored him the whole time.

In fourth grade, Kelly apologized, and they shared their first kiss. Everyone was agog.

As fifth grade started, Scotty was sad. Kelly had told him over the summer that she was moving away. Her dad, who was in the Coast Guard, was getting stationed across the country. She left the week before school started. Scotty kissed her cheek, and she held his hand before she climbed in the giant moving van.

The week the field trip happened, Scotty was really down. Going to the farm just wasn’t the same anymore. 

The day before the trip, Scotty’s eyes brightened when he got home from school. Another letter had arrived from Kelly. She talked about how beautiful it was in Washington state, but she missed school, her friends, Scotty, and the farm.

Scotty felt tears in his eyes as photos fell out of the envelope. Someone had taken photos at the farm every year, and there was a photo of them, together, during every hay ride.

He smiled, and asked his mom to frame them. She smiled, nodded, and Scotty had them in his room for years.

He never forgot about Kelly.

Those photos faded a bit over the years. But, they were still framed as they headed toward Scotty’s rehearsal dinner. Everyone oohed and aahed over childhood photos of the bride and groom.

Scotty smiled at his bride-to-be, looking gorgeous. He couldn’t wait to soak up every minute with her tonight, and then party the night away tomorrow.

There were hay bales everywhere. His bride smiled, and playfully threw a handful of loose hay in his face after the rehearsal dinner.

“I love you, Scotty.”

He dipped his head and kissed her. There was hay tangled in her hair. She was thrilled – She could hardly believe it. She still wore overalls, and was more in love with Scotty than ever.

“I love you, too, Kelly. Let’s get married!”


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #243: Fall Fridays, Number 4

Autumn Images

Image Credit: Unsplash

As the wonderful season of autumn / fall has started, I wanted to create an original writing prompt series to celebrate!

I invite everyone who sees this to participate, if you choose.

The idea is to look at the prompt, take at least five minutes on the Fridays during October 2019, and come up with a story/poem/scene, or whatever strikes your fancy with those words.

This has been extended from September! You can use the image at the top of this post – Just please make sure to credit it.

Ready?

Here we go!


  • October 4th: Corn Maze
  • October 11th: Hay Ride
  • October 18th: Football
  • October 25th: Halloween

Elisa felt so lost. There were signs everywhere, and she couldn’t tell which ones were real.

Jonathan was going in a different direction.

“Elisa! Over here!”

“Where are you? I can’t see you!”

She felt the panic rising.

The sun was setting. The farm was closing in 20 minutes.

“Elisa?”

“Jonathan!”

Even Jonathan was getting worried. This was a good corn maze – Tough to navigate, but still entertaining.

However, hearing his fiancee panic was not fun.

A low growl made the hairs stand up on the back of his neck.

“ELISA!! RUN!!”

“What?”

“Run, Elisa. Now!”

“Why?”

“JUST DO IT!”

Her Nikes flew.

The fastest she ran, the darkness caught up with her.

“Jonathan!”

“Elisa!”

“HELP!”

The darkness overtook her. The last thing Jonathan heard were her screams.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #241: Fall Fridays, Number 3

Autumn Images

Image Credit: Unsplash

As the wonderful season of autumn / fall approaches us, I wanted to create an original writing prompt series to celebrate!

I invite everyone who sees this to participate, if you choose.

The idea is to look at the prompt, take at least five minutes on three Fridays in September 2019, and come up with a story/poem/scene, or whatever strikes your fancy with those words.

I may extend this further than the end of September, but we shall see. Until then, have fun! You can use the image at the top of this post – Just please make sure to credit it.

Ready?

Here we go!


  • September 13th: Apple Picking
  • September 20th: Fall Leaves
  • September 27th: Pumpkin Patch

The kids squealed as the bus kicked up dust. They were finally here.

“Field trip!”

Samantha turned toward the window, pressing her forehead to the cool glass. As a first- year teacher, she’d been all gung-ho when school started in early September. She’d had so many fun ideas for her second-grade class.

Now, on a hot bus with three second-grade classes, she was regretting so many things. Not becoming a teacher. Not that. She’d wanted to do that since she’d been in first grade. That was a dream come true.

But, if she’d thought a field trip with 47 kids to the local pumpkin patch on a Friday was a a good idea, she was quickly being proven wrong.

The bus had to be changed at the last minute. She’d experienced the wonderful laws of Murphy at least once every day this week.

She wanted the screaming to stop.

“Mrs. Davis! When can we get off the bus?”

Samantha smiled. The small, sweet voices of her kids were always welcome. It helped quiet the other screaming.

“Just a few more minutes, Ashlyn, okay? I need to do a head count and make sure everyone has their buddy. How does that sound?”

Eight-year-old Ashlyn smiled up at the raven-haired teacher. She’d wanted Mrs. Davis as her teacher this year, prayed for it, but had been assigned Mr. Frost instead.

“Could you go back to your seat, please?”

Ashlyn grinned. “Sure, Mrs. Davis. I’ve been looking forward to this field trip for days!”

Samantha smiled, and hoped Ashlyn hadn’t noticed the pained look in the 24-year-old’s eyes. Kids noticed everything. She knew it was a migraine. And the screaming was still there. Sometimes, she felt like a child, wanting to put her hands over her ears and squeezing her eyes shut, to block it all out.

She breathed deeply, three full times like her therapist had been teaching her. A welcome hush fell over the bus. As she stood next to the driver with the clipboard, all eyes focused on her.

“Okay, Treetop Elementary second-graders! Who’s ready to get this field trip started?”

The bus erupted. The kids’ yells and screams drowned out the others. Samantha smiled, grateful for the momentary distraction.

As Samantha ran through the rules, head count, buddies, and questions, she started to relax. Field trips were a lot of work. Almost too much. But, seeing the kids’ excitement bubbling over like a cauldron was completely worth it.

Mr. Frost looked at Samantha, giving her an encouraging nod. She appreciated the handful of colleagues that had already taken her under their wing. She was glad Mr. Frost and Ms. Gaddis were part of the second-grade team.

“Okay, Treetop second-graders! Let’s get off this bus and take over the pumpkin patch!”

As Samantha stepped aside, she was proud of the kids. They were respectful, and were following instructions and directions really well. Mr. Frost and Ms. Gaddis took over. Samantha stayed behind until the last kid was off the bus, checking for any stragglers or issues. Vomit was not fun, but important to look for.

Finding nothing amiss, Samantha let out another breath. Mr. Frost turned and gave her a thumbs-up.

She climbed off the bus, thanking the driver, smiling as the kids were ready to disappear into the sea of orange pumpkins and the rest of the fall colors.

The screaming was still there. But it wasn’t coming from the kids.

She steadied herself, focusing on a place to sit down. As she found a hay bale, the voices inside her head were telling her horrible things. Frightening things.

She looked up, trying desperately to focus on something else. Anything else. She smiled again as she watched the kids enjoy everything the pumpkin patch had to offer. And they’d only been there for five minutes.

She knew she couldn’t sit on the hay bale forever. At that moment, seven-year-old Fred came into Samantha’s view.

“Come on, Mrs. Davis! I picked out a pumpkin already!”

Samantha smiled. Fred took her hand, and pulled her toward his prize pumpkin, chattering about carving it, toasted pumpkin seeds, and picking out his Halloween costume.

She kept glancing at Fred. He was a godsend. All the kids were.

Fred’s small, excited voice drowned out the others. But, Samantha knew, with dread, the others, the scary ones, would return.


This concludes the September writing prompts!

I have decided to continue this series into October! Come back next Friday for another prompt post!

If you do decide to participate, please link back to this post. Thanks!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #240: Fall Fridays, Number 2

Autumn Images

Image Credit: Unsplash

As the wonderful season of autumn / fall approaches us, I wanted to create an original writing prompt series to celebrate!

I invite everyone who sees this to participate, if you choose.

The idea is to look at the prompt, take at least five minutes on three Fridays in September 2019, and come up with a story/poem/scene, or whatever strikes your fancy with those words.

I may extend this further than the end of September, but we shall see. Until then, have fun! You can use the image at the top of this post – Just please make sure to credit it.

Ready?

Here we go!


  • September 13th: Apple Picking
  • September 20th: Fall Leaves
  • September 27th: Pumpkin Patch

CW: This is a fictional story, but it does contain violence, guns, and characters who are minors.


The remaining fall leaves on the front lawn were scattered by shotgun blasts.

Adam’s eyes went wide as his wife expertly used the 20-gauge. He had reluctantly agreed to buy it as the leaves had started to turn, strictly as a home defense method after they’d moved into their new house over the summer.

He hadn’t seen Catherine so passionate in months, but he knew she was acting mainly in fear. She took all the safety classes, even joined three Facebook groups for shotgun owners and home defense.

He opened his mouth to say something, but Catherine’s eyes met his. His mouth closed as he reached for the baseball bat under the stairs. Catherine was in war mode.

The storm door, now peppered with pellet holes, made Adam wince, but knew Catherine was only using it because the threat was now real. This “gang” had been tormenting them for months, and Catherine finally had had enough on that cold day in late November.

“Get off my property! NOW!”

The gang, originally ready for what had looked like an easy break-in on the day after Thanksgiving, slowly realized the shotgun was aimed at them.

“Guys, we should go.”

“Yeah, yeah, that’s probably a good idea.”

“We picked the wrong house.”

“RUN!”

The gang backed up, almost in unison, and crunched the red and orange maple leaves as their sneakers picked up speed.

The five gang members narrowly escaped another round of pellets as they hit the sidewalk. Aside from the deafening blasts, sirens were coming closer.

As they ran down the block, someone’s shoelace loosened enough, and they tripped.

The first police cars pulled up before the gang could disappear around the next corner.

“Ouch! My arm!”

Officer Jones saw the gang member on the ground, clutching his elbow.

“Are you okay, son?”

“I … think so. Ouch, damn it. My arm – I think it’s broken.”

Officer Jones assessed him quickly, waving over another officer.

“Watch your language, okay, son?”

“He’s not shot, thank goodness. But he does have a broken arm or elbow. Call it in. We need to get the others.”

Officers Graham and Rodriguez hustled down the street. Others joined them via calls on the radio.

About five minutes later, two out of the three were struggling against the officers. The fourth, the self-proclaimed “runner,” had gotten away. Two other officers were headed to find him.

The mix of fall leaves blew against the officers and suspects. None of the suspects had been shot, amazingly, and the deafening blast sounds had ceased.

“Let’s see some ID, please.”

“Back pants pocket, in my wallet, Officer.”

“Here we go. Oh, my God …”

“What is it, Jones?”

“It’s an ID from Heritage Heights. Middle School.”

Two other Heritage Heights Middle School IDs were discovered. The gang members hung their heads, wise to not utter a word. Their faces were ashen as the officers led them back to Adam and Catherine’s house.

Catherine peacefully surrendered the 20-gauge through the intact back screen porch. The entire neighborhood knew the front of the house, the lawn, the sidewalk were all part of the crime scene.

She turned to Adam, and cried into his sweater.

“It’s okay, baby. You stood your ground. It’s all going to be okay.”

The fall leaves were finally still as the chaos of November 26th ended, and the investigation began.


Come back next Friday for another prompt post!

If you do decide to participate, please link back to this post. Thanks!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #239: Fall Fridays, Number 1

Autumn Images

Image Credit: Unsplash

As the wonderful season of autumn / fall approaches us, I wanted to create an original writing prompt series to celebrate!

I invite everyone who sees this to participate, if you choose.

The idea is to look at the prompt, take at least five minutes on three Fridays in September 2019, and come up with a story/poem/scene, or whatever strikes your fancy with those words.

I may extend this further than the end of September, but we shall see. Until then, have fun! You can use the image at the top of this post – Just please make sure to credit it.

Ready?

Here we go!


  • September 13th: Apple Picking
  • September 20th: Fall Leaves
  • September 27th: Pumpkin Patch

“What makes you think that going apple picking was a good idea?!”

Cheryl winced at Sam’s words. She tried to listen to him, while holding back hot tears.

“I thought this was going to be a weekend away, Cheryl – A weekend just for us. But, having the kids come along with us? That’s not a weekend away in my book!”

Two-year-old Abby stopped examining her apple, and looked up at her mom. Her face said it all.

Cheryl swayed back and forth, trying to see if baby Ezra was still asleep in the carrier on her chest. At ten pounds, her shoulders ached. He was a beautiful baby, her answer to prayer for a boy, but heavy.

Sam continued. “I can’t believe we drove all this way for this. I would rather be anywhere else than here.”

Cheryl sighed. She loved Sam, but he lost his filter when he got frustrated. This, this was borderline anger though. And it wasn’t the first time.

Abby had moved on to another apple, but didn’t speak. Or dance. Or sing. Cheryl let one tear slip, hoping it didn’t smear the makeup she’d worked so hard to apply that morning.

As Sam started to berate her, growing louder among the beautiful apple orchard, Cheryl adjusted Ezra’s weight. He sighed slightly, and Cheryl knew he wanted to nurse.

“Cheryl? Are you listening to me?”

As she got Ezra settled, she looked at her husband. She nodded, and turned her attention back to Ezra.

“There’s a good boy, my sweet boy.”

“You’re not paying attention to a word I’m saying. Fine. I won’t say anything at all.”

Sam crossed his arms. Cheryl patted Ezra’s back, and kept an eye on Abby. She hated the silent treatment. But only a few words came out of her mouth, with the perfect red lipstick.

“I’m sorry, Sam. I’m sorry. I ruined this. All of this.”

Abby finally spoke up, with her sweet voice breaking the painful silence.

“Mommy, can we pick more apples?”

Cheryl felt another tear escape, but smiled at her firstborn.

“Of course, sweetheart. Let’s go this way.”

Abby smiled, and started singing to herself as Cheryl took her sticky hand. Ezra finished nursing, and burped. Cheryl smiled a little as she walked away from Sam, leaving his plaid shirt and quilted vest behind. She wasn’t sure what was in store after this, but she didn’t care one bit. Her children, sweet and innocent, gave her courage.


Come back next Friday for another prompt post!

If you do decide to participate, please link back to this post. Thanks!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #161: “Way in the lake, Lipnik Park in Ruse, Bulgaria” (Reblogged)

I feel at peace when I’m surrounded by nature, especially water, trees, or both.

This photo also symbolizes a path. A path, a journey to the other side.

We are all on our own journeys. The good thing? We can choose our paths. We have that choice. No one can take that away from us.

I’m constantly inspired by nature and landscapes. This particular photo looks like it was taken in autumn, when the leaves are changing colors and the trees are changing seasons. Here in Virginia, we don’t always experience four seasons. But, the trees do. I like to think so, anyway.


What’s your favorite season?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

Way in the lake, Lipnik Park in Ruse, Bulgaria

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Tag #32: Fall Activities Book Tag

Fabulous-Autumn-Quotes

Image Credit: Parryz.com

The lovely ladies at Thrice Read did this awesome seasonal book tag! It doesn’t quite feel like fall right now here in Virginia, but the leaves are starting to change, we’re decorating for Halloween, and planning for so many amazing things!

Here’s the link to the original post:


Apple Picking:
A book on your TBR that looks so great you can’t wait to get into it.

The Hate U Give

Image Credit: Amazon

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas.

I can’t tell you how many people have recommended this book, in blogs, in book reviews, and a few personal recommendations, too. This is the next one I’m getting from the library!

Corn Maze:
A book to get lost in.

The Last Song

The Last Song, Nicholas Sparks.

I love most of Nicholas Sparks’s books. I remember eagerly awaiting for this book to be available from the library. I got it just in time to take it on a long trip to Florida, and the hours flew by in the car with this book. The movie actually wasn’t so bad, either.

Haunted Houses:
A book that scared you.

Catalyst

Image Credit:

Catalyst, Laurie Halse Anderson.

I remember being shaken when I finished one. Anderson is an immensely talented writer, and I’ve read all of her books. It wasn’t a horror novel by any means, but it scared me in a real-life kind of way. I identified with the main character, Kate, in several ways, and I felt myself changing several things in my own life after reading this.

Pumpkin Patch:
The latest book you picked up / purchased.

Camino Island

Image Credit: Amazon

Camino Island, John Grisham.

John Grisham is one of just a few select authors where I strive to own every book that he will ever publish!

 

Scenic Drives:
A book that is lyrically beautiful.

Tuck Everlasting

Image Credit: Goodreads

Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt.

I was assigned to read this book in middle school, and we later saw the movie in theaters. I haven’t read it in years, bur I remember the impression it made on me.

Pumpkin Carving:
A book you didn’t like and wouldn’t mind cutting up.

allegiant_novel_cover

Allegiant, Veronica Roth.

I don’t think I need to elaborate my disgust for this book!

Drinking Apple Cider:
A sweet book to curl up with.

The Vacationers

 

The Vacationers, Emma Straub.

Although it took me a good long while to finish it, I ended up loving this book, and Straub’s writing style. I can’t wait to read more from her.

Jumping in a Leaf Pile:
A book that reminds you of your childhood.

images (2)

Image Credit: Pinterest

The Baby-Sitters Little Sister series, Ann M. Martin.

I loved checking these out from the library, and I owned quite a few of them. I think I eventually read all of them!

Scary Movie Night:
Your favorite spooky read.

The Lovely Bones

Image Credit: Goodreads

The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold.

Just thinking of this book gives me goosebumps.

Costume Party:
A book with an eclectic cast of characters.

The Help

Image Credit: Goodreads

The Help, Kathryn Stockett.

If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. I wanted to read it as soon as it was announced. I laughed so hard while reading it – It’s so funny, during a tough time in the American South. There are several generations represented, and the whole cast of characters makes for a great read. The movie was excellent, too.


I loved this tag!

What’s your favorite fall activity?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #76: “Sunset Dock, Pelican Lake, Wisconsin” (Reblogged)

As the incessant heat wave breaks a little bit this week, I feel like this photo is foreshadowing what fall could be like. This girl is beyond ready!

I look at this photo and I think about several great things happening in September and October – Savy’s epic bachelorette weekend in the mountains, and then Nick and Savy’s wedding at the Vardaro farm!

Also, knowing this photo was taken in Wisconsin makes me think of my beloved Green Bay Packers and football!

As much as I like summer, it’s just too hot and humid! I love the cooler air and the changing leaves much more.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

Haley Woods
Sunset Dock, Pelican Lake, Wisconsin

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Hello, Spring!

Spring officially arrived on March 20th … but here in southeastern Virginia and many other parts of the U.S.A., it certainly hasn’t felt like it!


I don’t really have a favorite season. I like all four, for different reasons:

Winter

winter-landscape-tofuhaus-com-791851

The picture above says it all. I love snow and the way it touches the landscape. I love the cold breeze and when I can see my breath. I like being bundled up in warm fleece and scarves … when the calendar says it’s supposed to be winter, anyway. See below.

However, this winter has been a major exception. I don’t like all the wishy-washy, Mother Nature can’t make up her freaking mind, mood swinging changes in temperatures. Some people (like my mom) say that they love living here in SE VA because we get all four seasons. Yeah, right. We get a few minutes of spring and fall every year (maybe), then the rest of the year is all summer and winter.

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” ~Robert Frost


Spring

river of flowers

If I had to pick a favorite season, I’d choose spring. I love seeing the new life sprouting from the ground and the trees. One of the best things about living in SE VA is that there are so many trees and parks and places with nature. I love that I can hear birds singing almost every morning.

Don’t believe me? Check out the links below (but I highly recommend visiting in person!)

Norfolk Botanical Garden – Norfolk

Portsmouth City Park – Portsmouth

Oak Grove Lake Park – Chesapeake

Sandy Bottom Nature Park – Hampton

Noland Trail and Mariners’ Museum Park – Newport News

False Cape State Park – Virginia Beach

First Landing State Park – Virginia Beach

Chippokes Plantation State Park – Surry

And there’s beaches and rivers, too.

Also, this spring I signed up with the Hidenwood Presbyterian Church co-ed softball team. I’m so excited to get started – We’ve been practicing for a week already, and our first game is a week away from today. Play ball!

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'” ~Robin Williams


Summer

summer

Summer is a love-hate season for me. Summer to me means freedom – Freedom from school, freedom to travel, freedom from clothing (to an extent). However, in SE VA, it just gets terribly hot and humid. And quickly. And for a long time. It depends on the year, but usually it starts to get hot and miserable sometime in May and lasts clear to the end of September. Blech!

However, with summer comes some of my best memories. My birthday is in the beginning of August.

The annual church mission trip to North Carolina happens every July – I started going in high school and this summer will be my eighth trip. Carolina Cross Connection is a great group!

Several years ago, my friend Liz’s parents bought a beach house in Corolla. Until then, I had never traveled to the OBX, outside of trips to Kitty Hawk and a family friend’s beach house in Southern Shores. The Easterbrooks’ sunny yellow house holds amazing memories for me. Talk about freedom!

Even better, summer was the season that Al and I met. We watched “Inglorious Bastards” with his brother Nick the night before I left Chesapeake for my senior year at Longwood, and I knew that night that I wanted both of them to be in my life somehow until the end. The first two weeks of school were filled with texts, Facebook, and Skype. I brought Nick’s girlfriend at the time (a new Longwood freshman) home for Labor Day weekend, and Al and I decided that we’d go out to dinner at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront on September 4th … Well, the rest is history.

“Tears of joy are like the summer rain drops pierced by sunbeams.” ~Hosea Ballou


Fall

fall leaves

Like winter, the picture above says it all. The fall represents gorgeous colors as the trees prepare for winter. I have fond memories of helping rake the leaves in my parents’ backyard and then jumping in them for hours with the neighborhood kids. My dad and Mr. Porter from across the street usually put a big blue tarp down before we started, and then they’d drag us around the yard with the leaves. So much fun.

One of my fondest memories of fall was a youth group camping trip to Sherando Lake when I was a sophomore in high school. It was stunning scenery, much like the picture above. I experienced my first canoe flip in the lake (not the best moment; the senior boys flipped us! Jerks!) That was also the trip when I discovered my first high-school crush … Sigh.

Fall also means apples and bonfires. I have never gone apple-picking, but that’s on my to-do list. Plus, I want to make an apple pie from scratch one day!

“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.”  ~Helen Hunt Jackson


So, there you go. My thoughts on the four seasons.

Needless to say, after the long, miserable winter I’ve experienced for the last several months, I’m stoked for days of sunshine and those days that I can put my windows down and feel the breeze when I drive. Bring it on!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂