Fireflies in the Buckthorn

Fireflies in the Buckthorn

Made some lemon dessert Saturday and it was not bad. Especially on a hot day, meal of garlic-rubbed grilled chicken and corn-on-the-cob and roasted new potatoes. I’m not a fan of heating up the house with oven cooking on humid days, especially, and I must say we’ve lit the charcoal grill nearly every evening these past few weeks. Lots of roasted vegetables and grilled salmon and chicken and brats. Today we roasted cauliflower and garlic and parmesan and I think it’s the best thing I have eaten in a long while. Except for the lemon dessert on Saturday. And the fresh pineapple I ate yesterday. Whole thing. Couldn’t help it.

I get summer in my head like a warm mist and it’s in no hurry to leave. Unfortunately, it – and its heat – slows me down. Makes me a bit less productive. Makes me forget appointment times and things I need at the grocery store and where I put my sparkly flip flops. Makes me lazy about fixing my hair, and not much interested in washing floors. I prefer to grab a book and spend the afternoon on the porch swing, or wander down to the lake with a fishing pole and a basket full up with fruit and cucumber sandwiches and molasses cookies. I prefer to lounge a bit in the morning and stay up late watching the fireflies in the buckthorn.

If life were all summertime, well, it would be lovely in ways, but the mosquitoes would make it less so, and we wouldn’t have autumn to look toward, or winter to prepare for. We’d own more swimsuits and coolers and probably wouldn’t need a closet for quilts. We’d eat more ice cream and fly to Canada to go skiing and have more visitors and maybe even palm trees, and fewer arguments about whether macaroni noodles belong in chili. Though I think we’d still have macaroni and cheese. And hot chocolate. And caroling.

What makes summer so lovely is that it ends. The cicadas start to sound and mailings come from the school and the mist begins to dissipate with the occasional cool breeze. The sun is setting a bit earlier now, and there’s a need some evenings for a sweatshirt. Soon it will be time to let go and look toward the turning of the leaves, the harvest of pumpkins and squash, the nights when we might rise in the wee hours and shut all the windows. Time for gathering and canning and apple picking and pie.

So for now, find your dock and sit there awhile. Let the sun find your skin. Dive into the waves. Eat berries for breakfast and take a long walk and build your campfire. Pile on the wood, and pull up a camping stool and stay ‘til the coals are hot red and small sparks find their way into the cool blue night, the same night that comes and goes always, whatever season, whatever life, and dies itself before the same sun rising. Something to count on, at least for now, as the bright daylight of summer gives way to the golden light of fall.

With a few more hot days on the calendar, here’s something light and tangy with which to fill your belly. Serve it with berries, or on its own.

Frozen Lemon Dessert

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
Mix. Set ½ cup aside.
Press remaining crumb mixture into an 8×8 pan.

8 oz Cool Whip, thawed
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 6 oz can frozen lemonade
Combine. Mix well and pour over crust.
Sprinkle with ½ cup crumbs.
Freeze until firm.

Easily doubles using a 9×13 cake pan, and if you are so inclined, try a cup of vanilla yogurt instead of the second can of sweetened condensed milk. Serve on hot summer evenings or after a spicy meal.


  1. gail in northern California
    August 11, 2017

    I live in a heavily-forested area of Northern California so always breathe a sigh of relief with the first rains that lessen the threat of fires. Still, I hate to see summer leave us. I seem to spend months trying to keep warm when winter drags on.
    The first indicator that summer is drawing to a close here — August, the month of the “naked ladies”, pink lily-like blossoms of the plant Amaryllis belladonna. I understand “naked” is reference to no leaves. In Italy they are called Madonna lily, but in Spain (I love this) “Girls going to School.”
    So looking forward to your next post.

    • Mrs. Sundberg
      August 12, 2017

      Bless your heart. I try to keep warm all winter, too! Maybe we both like a good challenge. 🙂

  2. Carrottop
    July 27, 2017

    Love your posts, your imagery is so satisfying, recipes aren’t bad either.

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