summer bummin'.

Last night I went to bed feeling all bluesy around the edges. I almost always find my new routine just in time to disrupt it again. I don't like changes. I want things to stay the way they are. on a good day. Also, I wanted to stay in bed 'til 6 am today.

That's just how I am sometimes. Wishing for the thing that isn't happening? (I know, really.)

It has me thinking about how infatuated I really am with predictability. I've been pondering the rhythms of my days and the way they treasure-map the path to my sanity. How I sackcloth-and-ashes grieve  about missing out by living near the ocean.

So this was my consolation prize last May, five days at the beach. with my peeps!

and once a week we get together here. we blow dry our hair and make it look nice. Pull on sun dresses and strappy sandals. put on make-up. and dangley earrings. paint our toenails. Classic summer bummin' around material.

And with that, we are off.

It's always amazing!!!

I think you see my point here, but I'll continue on anyway, because, as you know, I'm prosey to begin with. Send me off to the beach for a week, or let me spend an entire day with my peeps and you can imagine what it does to me.

And if you're wondering what sorts of things happen on these bummin' days, it's this ~ there are long drives with all eyeshadow-blue skies (the junior high school kind) and tiny flowers along the highway that glow like butterscotch candies in a sun that lazes down around the horizon. It's gorgeous and bright and serene, miles upon miles of lovely scenery. we drive along and take it all in. go wherever the moment takes us.  sometimes we have a picnic lunch. or stop at a roadside farm stand. we talk and giggle, a lot. sometimes we shop. It is always a good time, ya'lls. And I say "ya'lls" with extra authority, because we were recently in the Souf, baby. I mean, ya'lls.

It's always fun to do something a little wild with someone whose heart carries around many of the same things that mine does.

I feel like I could just stop right there and it would be enough.

Of all my favorite things I do, this one is right up there. It is brilliant in every way. And for the entire day, I am fancy-free to my core. I don't worry about water heaters or doctor's visits. I am inspired and reminded of some of the things I'm most thankful for.

I'm happy to report that all of our bummin' days are lovely. Better than we could ever hope for. The big bonus, we still have all of August ahead of us, because summer bummin' is the best! It's funny how just a few miles can carry me away and fling me so far from the lick-down bill envelopes and grocery lists of regular life that I almost forget their very existence.

So, here's to our days together! {clink, clink, clink!} I like you, summer bummin' days.

Even so, when the garage door lifts and the clutter and grit stands piled up around me, I am happy to see that it's still there, because it means I am home. On most days my thoughts still carry a twang, there are groceries in the fridge and clean laundry in the dryer. I bust out the famous garlicky hot pepper shrimp with chipotle mayonnaise and herb tossed corn for supper and it slaps me on the back like the old friend that it is. So maybe I don't have to choose between vacation happy and real life happy. Maybe they were besties all along.

Ask me again tomorrow when the temperature soars into the nineties with no ocean in sight. still, for today, home is kinda dreamy.


 Garlicky Hot Pepper Shrimp with Chipotle Mayonnaise and Herb-Tossed Corn
serves 6

For the chipotle mayonnaise:
1/2 cup sour cream (I used low-fat)
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons chopped chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, including sauce
1 ½ teaspoons fresh lime juice

For the grilled shrimp
2 lbs peeled and deveined large raw shrimp, preferably wild caught
4 large cloves of garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Ten 12” wooden skewers, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes

Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal, or use a gas grill or a stove-top grill as I did.

Whisk mayonnaise, chilies, and lemon juice together in a small bowl and chill, covered, until ready to serve. May be made several hours in advance.

Pat shrimp dry, then thread (through top to tail, leaving shrimp curled) onto each skewer, leaving no space between shrimp. Arrange skewers on a large baking sheet. Puree garlic with red pepper flakes, salt and oil in a blender. Transfer to a small bowl and brush shrimp on both sides with the spicy garlic oil. Lightly oil grill rack. Grill shrimp, covered only if using gas grill, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 3 – 4 minutes total. Serve warm or at room temperature with chipotle mayonnaise, herb-tossed corn and if desired, sliced tomatoes.

Herb-Tossed Corn

Stir together 3 tablespoons melted butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of cayenne, and 3 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs, such as thyme leaves, basil and snipped chives. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently with corn cut from 6 cooked ears.


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