Monday, July 23, 2007

Bed in Summer

~Bed in Summer~

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

-by Robert Louis Stevenson

Pictures from

The part of the evening when the sun is just beginning to set is my favorite time of day...twilight...dusk...gloaming...owl-light (I love this phrase!).

Inside, dinner is over and the dishes have been washed and put away. Outside, a cool breeze has arrived, the Mourning Doves have stopped by for a quick birdseed snack, and in just a few minutes Mr. Toad will poke his head out from under the ivy and go for his evening walk.

It seems that bedtime is getting later and later around here. Of course, everyone is on their best behavior because they are sure I'm going to announce "time for bed!" any minute. :0)
I can hear them now..."it's still light more chapter, please!"

I am reminded of a fun summer evening back when I was around 8 or 9 years old. My friend that lived near us was over and we were playing the game Trouble (with the pop-up dice roller). The darker it got, the closer we moved to the back porch light. I remember being surprised that I hadn't been called in for bed yet. We soon grew tired of the game, but we kept on playing, even braving the mosquitoes for the rare late bedtime!

What is your favorite way to spend a summer evening? Do you have a special memory to share?


Disney for Boys said...

I love late summer evenings too, love the sound of the crickets outside, the smell of summer evenings, we especially love summer for our "Very Special" late evening trips to the snow ball stand near our home just after dinner. We love this snow ball stand, its the best!!!

Lori said...

Things we like to do summer evenings:
- just sit outside and enjoy the weather.
-go swimming
-watch Derek's baseball games
- spend time playing outdoors with the kids.
-go for walks

Paula said...

I enjoy the summer evenings, too, but I think I like the sunrise even better. The baby birds are twittering for Mama to bring them food, and the sunlight streams through the trees.

I remember evenings spent as a child out by our lake. Lots of toads croaking and fish jumping. Thanks for helping me remember. ;)

Stephanie D said...

I remember playing Swinging Statue and Red Light and Mother, May I in my mother's best friend's yard until it got too dark to see. Then we'd catch lightning bugs or sit on the porch and listen to the grown-ups talk. We'd be very unobtrustive, but finally someone's mom would exclaim about the time and we'd all be herded to our respective homes.

These days, I love to listen to the cicadas in the trees getting louder and louder, and walk the dog through the neighborhood. Sometimes front doors are open, or windows, and I catch a glimpse of someone else's life. Other times I see the blue flickering of the TV screen through curtains or hear the murmur of voices that means someone's enjoying the evening on their deck or porch.

I hadn't thought of that poem in years. Thanks, Kelli.

Myrna said...

The memory that your post called up for me is one of my mother sharing that poem with my sister and me when we were very young. I remember a book of poetry that she read to us. There were several Robert Louis Stevenson poems included in it. This was a favorite Sweet, sweet times. Thank you for this post.

Anonymous said...

That poem always makes me smile. The second graders at the school I used to teach at learn it and memorize it the first week of school every year. I love it so much! I will never hear that poem without thinking of my dear teacher friend reciting it to her class. Nor will I ever think of this time of year without thinking of that poem.

Some of my favorite summer evening memories - catching fireflies in glass jars with holes poked in the top for air; running barefoot in the damp grass; eating popsicles in the lawn chairs; dreading the street lights going on because that was my clue it was time to go home.

Thanks, Kelli. That was a fun visit.

Kelly @ Growing.Learning.Playing. said...

Oh, I love your description of summer and the memories. I love summer as well (though my favorite season is spring), and I remember how as a child I would play outside till way past my normal bedtime.

Gena said...

I love the poem you shared. All of my children have had a hard time going to bed when it is still "daytime".

I loved catching lightning bugs when I was little, playing hide and seek in the dark and just enjoying the relative coolness when the sun went down. We would stay outside until Mama called us in. I grew up in Atlanta, with no air conditioning, so summer nights were about the only time it was comfortable to be outside. I still love to sit out on my deck or front steps, take walks through the neighborhood or just talk to friends outside. One of the joys of summer is that you feel you have so much more time.

Lila Rostenberg said...

You are right about the magic of summer evenings! Watching the fireflies come out was fascinating when I was 7! We had moved from western Oklahoma (no fireflies, but wonderful open skies filled with stars!) and they were such a delight to discover!

Jenn4Him said...

My favorite way to spend a summer evening is outside sitting under the trees, watching the kids jump on the trampoline, talking to my husband, not in a big hurry to get baths for the kids. The poem by Stevenson is so very relevant to this day and age. My kids have a hard time going to bed in daylight.

Rebecca said...

I have noticed a shift in bedtimes also...just last night I was commenting on it!

I would love it most of all, if I could see a sunset every now and again. We have always lived in spots where the sun would set right into our windows. Not here. :-(

Thank you for all the recipes you posted sure were BUSY this past weekend! :-)

LBP said...

Summer evenings are the best. WhenI was little we would play a game called "Ghost in the Graveyard" Kind of a combination of tag and hide and seek. We would also play "Barbies" on the porch until we could no longer see.

Now I love to walk through my gardens in the evenings, walk down to the lake and watch the sunset and just sit on the porch and read.

Pen of Jen said...

Your post takes me back to childhood too.

It seems like it is so much cooler at night that I allow the youngest to stay up to enjoy the reprieve!

Neat flow to your writing, I love visiting!

Anonymous said...

Putting together a private little tea party on my front porch... Making mud soup... Yum!
Running through the sprinkler... Cold!
Playing with my hobby horse.
The community pool!
The lake!
Going for walks with my dad!
Playing baseball with my dad in the front yard of my grandmother's house.
Many, many memories. Thanks for sparking a few!
In Him,
P.S. I had Trouble, too!!! Do you remember the puzzle (I can not remember what it was called): It was red with a timer. The pieces were yellow. The object was to fit all the pieces in the right spot before the timer was finished! I loved it!!!

Karen said...

Oh those are some of my fondest memories. Alaina is very good at pushing the bedtime, too! LOL! We used to run around in the back yard catching fireflys in canning jars. That and eating orange Kool-Aid popsicles are some of my fondest memories.
Thank you for your sweet comments on our anniversary! We enjoyed a lovely trip away for a couple of days.

Marci said...

I love being way out here in the country. You can go out at night and there are so many stars (there are no lights around us) and you hear crickets and frogs and an occasional animal make a noise.

Lena said...

Kelli, this post is lovely, and really captures that childhood feeling of summer vacation for me. The thing I liked best in summer as a child, was more time to read in bed at night.
I've always loved starry nights, and campfires. One of my favorite things to do in the summer, is drive up into the mountains and watch meteor showers. They usually happen in August, and are amazingly beautiful.

smilnsigh said...

I love that poem!!! And the one of his, which has 'counterpane' in it. What a lovely way to refer to bedding. :-)

Yes, I too love that time, between day and night. Love it. And love the light then. It's different somehow. And I've seen it called 'Painter's Light.' So I'm not the only one who see the light of that time, to be different.

How about listening to ghost stories, after dark, in front of the house across the street. And having to run *all the way home,* in the dark. Eeek! *All the way* being simply across the little street of course. -giggles-


Sue Seibert said...

My granny had a helper named Dorothy Stone who was about 10 years older than I. She would sometimes sit outside with me and my friend, Helen, on a pallet in the back yard and tell ghost stories. I also remember catching lightening bugs...don't see them much today. I remember walking, in the dark, home from Helen's house...there was one house between our houses. The house in the middle had tall oak trees, and Helen and I both decided there were robbers or pirates (in Central Texas) hiding in those trees ready to jump down on us. One summer, too, Helen and I played Monopoly until we vowed we would NEVER play it again.

BTW...that poem is one of my favorites. Love Stevenson!

Lynne said...

Kelli, some of my favorite summer memories are when my sister and I would camp out in our backyard. We would make tents by throwing our bed sheets over the clothesline (my mom sure loved that) and spend the night outdoors equipped with our flashlights, radio, and of course some snacks.
Now I like to spend the summer evenings on my porch or sometimes in the backyard, just enjoying the warm evenings and the sounds of summer.

Susan P. said...

R.L. Stevenson is one of my very favorite poets ~ I loved that poem, thanks so much for sharing it. I love sitting alongside my sweetie on our back porch in our rocking chairs, watching the sunset. There is no place on earth I would rather be, it brings me such great joy!

Front Porch Society said...

My favorite way to spend a perfect summer evening is to be laying across the back of my horse looking up at the stars and just listening to the sounds of the night. Either that or being wrapped up in a blanket sipping a cup of coffee on the ocean beach listening to the waves lap up on the shore.
Found your site via Sheri's website. Hope you don't mine my stopping by!

Anonymous said...

It was Perfection!!! THank you soooooo much!
I just might have to put it on my Christmas list...
In Him,

... said...

i absolutely love twilight. and it's best i the summer. i try to spend that time of day outside. it's peaceful. it's relaxing. it's a wonderful time to reflect on the day. i never want it to end... but it does... until the next day :)

Open Roads Mama said...

When I think of summer evenings, I think of M and being close to him - at this time there is no work, no responsibilities to take care of, there may be food, but it's normally time to relax and finish the day in an easy way. :-)

Unknown said...

I LOVED the poem!

Thanks for sharing your summer evening with us in such a poetic manner!

As a girl of 9 or 10, friends and I would run around the neighborhood park catching fireflies and pinching off their lighted parts, stick them around our wrists or neck to look like bracelets or necklaces! Cruel I know, but it was fun! I can remember running around without a trouble in the world!

Julieann said...

I so enjoyed reading your memory!!

I remember Lightening bugs---we don't have them here in California--but my kids were able to see/catch them last year while we were in Georgia.


Kim said...

I remember finding that poem in a book when I was a little girl and loving it. Thanks for sharing it today. Bedtime around here is getting later and later also, although it already getting dark here at 9:30 or so! I love early evening as the day cools down, a little breeze blows and we all begin to settle in for the night.

I have given you an award over on my site---come see! I always enjoy visiting *you* and your blog embodies the spirit of these two awards.

Kim said...

My favorite summer evening memory is of catching fireflies in my grandparents yard.

Sharon said...

Please stop by, as I have something for you.

Vita said...

Favorite summer evening activity is an outdoor concert. I remember going to them in Ashland's Lithia Park with my grandmother. Now I play in them, or attend them. I plan to go to the farmer's market to buy basil to make your pesto. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

What a great poem-and so true. When we were growing up, bedtime was 7pm, and we all hated it, so even though we were in bed, we'd lay there and read stacks of library books until it got too dark to see the pages.

My favorite summer evening activity now is sitting out on the deck with Mr. B, glasses of ice water or iced tea at hand, reading books, watching the gorgeous sunsets, basking in the cooler night air.

Autumn said...

I love that poem. I remeber reading it in the 3rd grade, and thinking how true it was. Mom always had us in bed at 7:00 EVERY night. Man, it was horrible! We had to do this until we were about 10. I would be laying in bed, it would still be bright outside, and i could hear all of the other kids in the neighborhood still playing outside. Actually, I used to watch them when I was supposed to be sleeping! =)
My favorite way to spend summer nights is playing games with my family. We especially like Scrabble, Clue, and Apples to Apples. We also like all sorts of card games.
Playing basketball with Dad is always great too though!

Mockingbird Hill said...

Two summer memories are equally special. Traveling to visit my Aunt & family in Virginia and catching fireflies...we never saw those if South FL. And a trip to Michigan where there was a wild bluberry patch next to my Grandmother's house...and we could stay outside and play until "twilight"!

Sarah said...

What a beautiful blog you have! So peaceful! My mom (Kim at mom musings) recommended I come visit and I'm glad she did.

One of my favorite childhood memories was going with my family and a few other families (so there were lots of kids) to the nearby beaches of Lake Washington and for the afternoon, and then having an evening picnic when the dads got off work and joined us. We played in the water and in the sand, making elaborate sand structures and fortresses that, of course, never held against the beating of the waves. We often stayed until dusk, and the beach slowly became more and more deserted as families trickled home. I treasure the memories of those beach excursions that our parents probably enjoyed just as much as we did.

Carole Burant said...

Just last night I was sitting on my patio swing watching the sun start to go you, I just love that time of day. I just feel so at peace at that time. I had to smile at your poem because I actually remember crying when mom would put me to bed when it was still daylight out...I told her it wasn't fair to be in bed when the sun was still there! lol xox

Mary L. Briggs said...

My favorite late summer evening activity is porch sitting. When I grew up, that's what we always did as soon as the supper dishes were finished. It's a little hard to do right now, since I don't have a porch. . .yet. We will soon, I hope! Nothing like sitting on the porch swing and watching the fireflies!

Morgan said...

HI Kelli! I love to go to the beach later in the day when there is less crowds. Living near the coast I know where to go to avoid traffic. We also enjoy fireworks once a week, again we go to a little known spot and enjoy them pretty much by ourselves. Most of all I enjoy slipping into the pool after all my kids are done for the day;)