Feeling the intense heat of a summer day and seeing a large hollyhock bush yesterday brought a wonderful memory to my mind. My sister Rachel was about 4 years old and I was six. Our summer ritual included a quiet time when we did not have to sleep, but we could read or play quietly in our room.
My sister and I were bored with reading the same books so our entrepreneurial spirits clicked in. We decided to make hollyhock and clothespin dolls to sell so we could buy new books. We worked diligently and then, much to our mother’s chagrin when she learned about our adventure, we went door to door around the block selling our wares. (We weren’t allowed to cross the busy street.) We collected quite a sum, enough to buy several books. (I’m laughing as I write.) Then a neighbor told Mom what we were doing. She didn’t become angry and we weren’t punished, but I remember her total embarrassment as she returned the money to the neighbors.
During these summer days, you may be thinking about the wonderful excursions you shared with your husband. One of my husband’s and my treats on a summer’s day off was to take the 15-cent ferry from Pt. Judith, RI, to Newport, RI. We walked the streets and seawall, looking at the beautiful mansions and well-groomed yards. Of course, the ocean breeze was refreshing.
As a widow, you may find it difficult to share a few hours of relaxation without your spouse, so at times you simply stay at home. If you are a mother with children still at home, plan an outing with a picnic lunch, walk through a park, or go to a ballgame. Even plan something with a mother who is single through divorce. This could be an encouragement to both families. Simply build new memories with the kids.
If you are alone and your children are scattered across the United States, be an instigator. Organize a trip to a museum with a few widows or go to a new restaurant or teahouse. Plan a shopping trip to an outlet mall or simply have a few widows to your home for lunch. Summer days are full of opportunities to share with others.
Solomon said, “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). We may not be able to experience the same wonderful vacations or times of refreshing that we once enjoyed, but we can discover new things–even simple things–that bring joy. Then we can bring pleasure to others through sharing.