Low-key Summer Ahead

“It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … It’s summertime!”

Kenny Chesney

Every year we load our summers with dinner parties, family gatherings, day trips, vacations, festivals, reunions and so much more. I take pride in being the self-proclaimed Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) officer of the household!

But here in the northern hemisphere as we herald in the first few days of summer, the thought of treating every day as if it were a holiday has left me feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. If you feel the same, this summer might be a good time to lay low and spend more time in quiet reflection. This is part of my strategy to simplify our lifestyle a bit. I call it living small, and it’s my personal protest against overconsumption and opulence.

My goal is to forgo much of the hoopla that goes with our normal summers and make it stress free. Here are a few ideas on how to enjoy a quiet and pleasurable, summer.

Rise and Shine

Presently, I have the luxury of being retired with lots of spare time. I realize this is not the case for everyone. But as much as you can, try to enjoy some peace and quiet, whenever the opportunity arises.

Start the day with a good morning stretch and if you can, take that first cup of coffee or tea outside in the fresh air.

Water the flowers or garden, watch the baby robins fledge. Take in as much nature as your surroundings and time will allow.

After spending decades in the rat race, I am finally in a place of appreciating the joy of meditation and mindfulness.

Mid Day

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”

Sam Keen

Nothing says summer like a vase of fresh picked daisies, or the sweetness of wild strawberries.

Go outdoors! I will never be that person who goes on a 30-mile bike ride, but I try to go for a daily walk on one of our local walking trails.

A little daily housework goes a long way. Just do the basics…fix the bed, wash the dishes, do a little laundry and dusting. There’s no need to get crazy! Save the heavy work for the weekends.

Downsize elaborate dinner parties and have a casual luncheon every now and then.


Watch the sunset. Ok, here it is ok to have that sip of wine and rejoice for you have made it through another day. Make sure you are outdoors and barefoot. The robins are singing their evening symphony. The northern loons are lending somber tones to the fading sunlight. Take it all in.

Salad dinners are a must! They are easy to prepare and healthy. Also, they won’t heat up the house.

Lightening bugs or fireflies? Whatever you call them, they still fascinate me as much as they did in my childhood. Of course I am beyond collecting them in a glass jar, but I still marvel at them when I spot them in the trees and hedges.

Summer has just begun, and already there are tons of social media vacation posts. I am enjoying the photos of beaches, cruises, concerts and travels of my family and friends…all from my peaceful place on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Loki, being low-key

I wish you a joyful summer ahead. Thank you for reading! – Barb, the River Blogger (Btrb)

Feel free to reblog or share anything I post. I welcome all comments and discussion.

Docks to the left of me


  1. Hi Barb, thanks for following Picture Retirement. This post perfectly describes our retirement lifestyle and instantly adds you to my BFF list forever! Looks like you have it all figured out. I’ve added you to my blog roll and look forward to reading more of your posts.

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