A quote I saw recently read: “Every summer has a story.” I love the summer months and I can look back over my life and remember so many happy summertime memories. I recall running through the sprinkler, playing kick-the-can in the cool of the evening, and walking barefoot in the fresh green grass. At our house the garden came in during the summer, too, with fresh vegetables, corn, okra, beans, strawberries, and grapes. School was out all summer when I was small which meant wonderful play times out of doors, climbing trees, riding bikes, laughing with my friends, reading, or playing board games under an old shade tree on a big quilt—so many rich memories.

Also in the summer of 1970 on August 28th,  J.L. and I got married—another good memory—and this month we will celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary! Where did the time go!! I still remember the day we met about a year and a half before we married at the University of Tennessee library, where we were both students at the time. I think ours is a sweet love story because, although J.L. graduated and went into the reserves and to boot camp that summer after we met, when he returned to Knoxville with a new job he came looking for me. He said I’d stayed in his mind and by contacting some friends he managed to locate me. I was working that year to establish in-state residency to reduce the cost of my schooling for my parents … and we married the next summer before I returned to U.T. to finish my degree.

In 1970, I lived with two girlfriends in an apartment in Sequoyah Hills, and J.L. and I got married in the Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church. With my parents in Arkansas, I planned my own wedding. It was a small one, attended by members of our family and friends who lived in the area. Catering to a summertime theme, I wore a sweet white dress and my maid of honor and two bridesmaids wore dresses of red dotted Swiss our mothers sewed. J.L.’s best friend since childhood was his best man, his brother and another friend his groomsmen. My old piano teacher played the piano, Rev Julian Spitzer of the Sequoyah Hills church preformed the service, and we held a reception after in the church’s fellowship hall. Most weddings in our day weren’t lavish affairs.

To celebrate our 50th anniversary this month, J.L. and I are traveling to Edisto Beach for two weeks at the end of August. It’s our usual time to vacation anyway … and we’re staying in a cute gray beach house on a shady lane. We’ll enjoy all our usual pleasures… relaxing on the beach, riding bikes, cooking seafood, and exploring new places around the area. If all goes well … I’ll have a book signing at the Edisto Bookstore on Saturday August 23rd, from about 2-5 pm, for my latest Edisto book RETURN TO EDISTO and my last year’s title CLAIRE AT EDISTO. Last summer we traveled to Barnes & Noble in Charleston and other bookstores around the area to sign, too … but most major bookstores are still not hosting events right now with covid going on. However, if you live near Edisto, plan to come see us and wish us a Happy Anniversary!

Enjoy the last of your summer and the wonderful month of August.

See you again next month!! … Lin