It is August and full-on summer in the northern hemisphere. School is still out, people are vacationing, enjoying water activities, camping, playing sports, and, well, you name it!

“Wander a whole summer if you can…time will not be taken from the sum of your life. Instead of shortening, it will definitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal.” ― John Muir

I wasn’t born yet when this song first hit the pop charts in 1958, but believe me, I heard it countless times growing up. It’s a peppy tune with a catchy tagline!

Borrowed my post’s title from the song Summertime, Summertime, by The Jamies

Summer Memories, Long Ago and Far Away

As for me, I never fully appreciated summers until I started high school back in the 1970s. Summer was that break from school, homework, and I daresay drama. Until I started working once I became 18 years old, summers were spent with friends, in swimming pools, at slumber parties, at the beaches, and dabbling in sports. I attended a shortened “post-session summer school class just before my high school freshman year to acclimate myself to the school. The class was four hours of physical education. Teachers would lead us through swimming, track-and-field, trampoline, yoga, tennis, and weights every day for three weeks.

Believe it or not, this class was where I met my future husband Hans, and his twin brother.

I spent the following three summers taking that summer school class which got me ready for the coming school year’s sports and student government. In fact, on August 16, 1977, just three weeks before my senior year began, the news was a-buzz over the death of Elvis Presley. It was an unusually gray, humid morning in San Diego, and once I got home from summer school, I turned on the TV and watched the sad news.

This was also the same week in 1977 that we got our senior pictures taken for the yearbook. Aren’t we young??

Summers at Play…

…growing Sunflowers

Nothing says summer more to me than sunflowers. Enjoy this oldie-but-goodie gallery of sunflowers I’ve grown from seeds in the past.

When we arrived home from our road trip, over two dozen sunflowers had popped up all around our property. I hastily moved some precarious volunteers into some pots so they could get consistent water.

Both images have a bee! In the one surrounded by the sky, you can just make out the irritated bee on the right flying back…yes, I disturbed her lunch.

My neighbor has a huge garden of cone flowers mixed in with random sunflowers!

Sunflower Garden Mix
Neighbor’s Sunflower Garden Mix

I get into my photographic groove by focusing on nature. I love taking interesting angles of flowers, trees, and landscapes.

…on the Rivers

For years, summer also meant spending weekends at the Sacramento River delta enjoying windsurfing and stand-up paddling.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus

We’ve moved on to new rivers and lakes…

…camping in Yosemite

When we were kids, summers seemed incomplete without our annual family camping trip to Yosemite National Park. Pictured are views of the South Fork of the Tuolumne River, Tenaya Lake, and a big drink of Yosemite Falls!

“Rivers are places that renew our spirit, connect us with our past, and link us directly with the flow and rhythm of the natural world.” – Ted Turner

Summers at Work

During my career in parks and recreation, summer was THEE main focus for keeping people busy with leisure activities and hobbies. I spent 32 years, rather, 32+ summers in high-stress mode making sure the public was satisfied with their choices of summer activities.

Sand Volleyball
Sacramento State women’s players at Sports Complex

I also spent 20 stressful years (summers) involved in public aquatics as a lifeguard, and later as director of 15 swimming pools. Public safety was (and is) of the utmost importance. We metaphorically took a deep breath and held it from the end of May through Mid-September while the pools were open. During the Fall and the rest of the year, we “relaxed” and started planning again.

From end-of-summer lifeguard games to lifeguard training, to teaching and organizing swim lessons, our small staff did it all! My daughter was a pool manager and she is the one with the megaphone standing on the diving board.

Life became weird when I retired in 2015 and had every summer off, even when teaching at the university. No classes in summer, not working and subsequently no stress, became my new normal and sought-after lifestyle change. No problem!

Where Bloggers Live

“It’s Summertime and the livin’ is easy…” ~George Gershwin

Now that I am officially retired from work and teaching, I can take summer road trips, which we did of course, and thank you for reading about my recent adventures. While on this road trip, I had the pleasure of meeting up with several bloggers.

Once I learn where bloggers live, I make the attempt to visit if our itinerary will take us near where they are and time allows. I hit the jackpot this trip!

Bloggers meeting for lunch

While staying in San Diego, I had lunch with Janis from Retirementally Challenged. This was our 5th time meeting! It helps that we travel to San Diego at least once a year. We enjoyed our long chats about life and of course, blogging! Janis looks beautiful in this picture, right? I don’t know what happened to me—apparently, I get cross-eyed when taking selfies!

As we planned the Arizona leg of the road trip, I consulted with Marsha of Always Write, with whom we would be staying in Prescott. We planned a blogger meet-up in Scottsdale. We managed to gather five of us together to enjoy a nice lunch. Three bloggers live in the Phoenix area: Donna of Wind Kisses, Janet of This, That and the Other Thing, and Jodie of Jodie’s Touch of Style. Jodie’s husband Rob took the photos, so no one had to look cross-eyed this time! Missing was my blogging pal, Ingrid of Live, Laugh, RV due to her previously scheduled appointment. I had met up with her twice before while we took our winter road trips in 2019 and 2020.

Arizona Blogger Meet-up
Arizona Blogger Meet-up!

In September, Marsha and I are traveling to the Portland, Oregon area. Both Marsha and I have some family members in the area, as well as several bloggers we plan to meet up with. If you live in the Portland area, contact me or Marsha!

If you have never met another blogger IRL (in real life), it is an absolute pleasure to do so. It’s amazing the commonalities you find through blogging and I count many of my fellow bloggers as life-long friends. It’s a real treat to discuss all things blogging and everything else under the sun too! I get a kick out of talking rather than typing…I talk much faster than I type as I’m sure they will tell you!

I’m also pleased to share that Cheryl from Working On Exploring will be headed to the Spokane/Coeur D’Alene area in two weeks. Guess who’s parking their RV in our driveway? — hooray for another blogger meet-up!

And when I travel to Europe one of these days, you can bet there will be some blogger meet-ups there!

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” ~Charles Bowden

happy couple
Summer Memories, NOW!

Our 9th wedding anniversary is August 22. But we’ve literally known each other since 1974, (48 years)!! That’s what summer is all about, Charlie Brown.

Inspiring Photo Challenges

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

This Week’s Featured Bloggers

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are this week’s links from bloggers who shared their summertime photos. I add these all week as new links are posted.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Remember to title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.
  • I also recommend adding your post’s URL to the comments.

Note that on August 14, there will be no Sunday Stills post. I am off the grid from Aug 15-18, camping with our neighbors on a remote lake in Northern Washington. I’m hoping a day trip over the Canadian Border is on the itinerary!

“No phones, no lights, no Motorcars” ~ From 1960s TV Show Gilligan’s Island

This week, share your ideal summertime activities, wishes, projects, or anything that makes summer memorable or special for you.

Sunday Stills will be back on August 21 for the monthly color challenge: mustard! Have a wonderful week.

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134 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Sum, Sum #Summertime

  1. A gorgeous selection of sunflowers, Terri and so nice to combine a road trip with meeting other bloggers. And it wouldn’t be summer without some body of water, would it 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG, I loved those high school photos Terri. And I have to think there is a story there from you two at that age until you got married!!
    That quote by Heraclitus really hit home too. And it’s funny, I never thought of summer swimming at the pools as stressful until hearing your perspective.
    Loved reading this,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There must be hundreds of songs about summer–I tend to remember these oldies a bit more. Thank you, John, glad you liked the sunflowers. I used to plant mine from seeds when I lived in Sacramento, for the joy of their visual, as well as stalking the best photo ops! So happy I can continue with less work, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Summers are the best! Usually. When it’s not too hot and humid. 🙂

    You and Janis both look wonderful in that photo. Janis must have done something with her hair as she looks quite different from our most recent meet-up in early May.

    Mark, Maya, and I spent most of the summer in the Portland area, but we will be gone by September. Have fun on your blogger meet-ups!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s been crazy hot in Portland, unfortunately. When you live in a camper without AC, this is quite brutal. I’m in MA right now, but will be back with Maya and Mark on Tuesday evening, after three weeks apart.

        We are still fixing up our most recent camper and plan to go to the Oregon coast, to crash on another friend’s property for a little while to hopefully complete the work. Then, slowly, to Utah and Colorado. We think….

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post. The idea of meeting up with blogging buddies–I’ve read several people (like Liesbet) doing that. It sounds wonderful! I love the starting quote from John Muir. Twere I different, I would love wandering along the John Muir Trail and so many others.

    You don’t think there are spiders, do you? Because that’s a non-starter…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jacqui! It really is fun to meet in person. I met Liesbet 2-3 times, once in Sacramento then twice in San Diego. There are spots along the John Muir trail that we hiked, but it was near attractions along the way. Are you referring to spiders lurking in the sunflowers? Because, yes they are there. I’m amazed at all the beetles, ladybugs and other bugs I’m not sure of are happily hanging out in the sunflowers.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m bummed I wasn’t able to join the meet-up, but Jodie and I do plan on getting together once the heat lets up. Hopefully, you’ll revisit the valley and I’ll be available for another blogger get together.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the sunflower pics! Thanks for sharing your love for summer. Given the plethora of activities you enjoy, it seems you are a summertime lady. Cheers to you for having the chance to meet a group of Arizona bloggers. I’m sure you had a great time. Heck, you met more on that day than I’ve met in my entire 14-year blogging career, Here’s my beach walk about summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The sun and cone flowers are a lovely mix, Terri. Your working life sounded a bit crazy so it must have been strange adjusting to retirement. Love the photos of your younger selves. Hairstyles are funny to look back on, aren’t they? Enjoy the rest of summer 🤭🏖️💗

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, Terri – I am reading your post on a hot summer day while we are camping. I now have your songs (Sum, Sum, Summertime and It’s Summertime and the Living is Easy) playing through my head. They make the perfect backdrop!


  9. I love, love the top photo of the bee on the sunflower! The photos of young Terri and Hans are so sweet… remember when we thought we were so sophisticated way back then? I’m so happy that we were able to arrange our meet-up… and then remembered to get a photo. You look great – not cross-eyed at all. I’ll be meeting up with another blogger (Kathy) in a couple of weeks. I love how many of the people we’ve met through blogging have become good friends. Enjoy your time off the grid!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve tried to find bloggers here but haven’t had much luck. A couple in Oceanside, who I haven’t met IRL yet (hopefully one of these days). I’d love to find more of similar vintage and interests. Any ideas about how to do this? I look at meet-up now and then but nothing so far.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Love, love, loved your sunflowers Terri – they always remind me that summer is nearly here (as they bloom in May in our part of the world). Also appreciated your nod to our groove this week! I’m going to link to your post this week because several of my images are from our summer as well. And after all, if summer’s light is about as good as it gets!


    1. I thought I would miss growing my own sunflowers (I still have all the seeds), but I haven’t yet figured out the growing season. I suppose I’ve gotten spoiled now with the wild arrowleafs that grow allover in the spring and now the volunteers! I’m glad you are linking to “summer”…perfect!


  11. Oh my Terri, what a great summertime post that truly showed off your photo groove. Thanks for the glimpse into summers past and now. I hope you continue having fun meetup parties and enjoy the rest of summer.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You were blessed with a career that you enjoyed and now have the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, with lots of traveling and photography. I thought that was YOU with the megaphone on the diving board! All your pictures were wonderful Terri, but the sunflowers were my favorite. I liked the two trees photo as well. I am looking forward to retirement. My boss is 75 and I told him I will stay until the end when he retires since it is just him/me, but I kind of thought he’d be thinking of shutting down his law practice by now. At 66 years old, I hope to have a lot of years left to enjoy those golden years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you for those kind words, Linda! Who doesn’t love sunflowers? I was very fortunate to retire at 55 (California’s CAL pers retirement allows this), plus I had 32 years in. I started with the City at age 22. I ended up teaching as a university lecturer in the parks management major, and I really loved it until Covid happened and we moved out of state. If you love your work, then stay as long as you have job satisfaction.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve had a varied career Terri, that’s for sure. I’ve got some sunflower shots to share as well, once I get a block of time to sit down and get them off the camera card, most likely after Labor Day.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Like snowflakes, no two are alike. I went to a huge garden at a local cultural center (Emily Frank Gardens). Truly a gorgeous place and there was a goldfinch playing hide-and-seek in the sunflowers while I was trying to take its picture. I hope I got at least one good shot!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I love these Terri. I can’t wait to meet you all in September!!! No post for me this week as I just couldn’t make it happen and I’m having issues with my computer and photos…I think I messed something up and working on trying to figure it out. Ugghh. See you back in a few weeks!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I think this will be one of my favorites of yours. A great history of your life, through the eyes of summer. I, too, remember Elvis’s death. We were on a beach vaca when I Ed t to our cottage for a snack, it was on TV. I think it was the first time I saw my mom cry.

    Sunflowers? Always makes the day, doesn’t it? And I love your neighbors yard.

    Pretty sure I thought the girl with the megaphone was you. And on another note, I don’t think the average person realizes how difficult lifeguarding jobs are. And how important.

    A great post Terri. I too realize the significance we gain from meeting our fellow bloggers.

    I’m sure, even with the fun you had, you are happy to be home . We leave next week. Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yours and Han’s pictures are so cute. You were quite a beauty. It is fun that you met in a PE class. That’s been a lifelong interest for both of you. Your sunny photos for this post are iconic for summertime. I didn’t recognize the song by the title or the album cover, but once I heard it… Very iconic as well. I was seven when it came out, so not too aware and definitely not buying my own “records.” How things have changed since then – musically. I think for the better. Thanks for all the mentions and the link. I can’t wait until September.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marsha! We were all so athletic in high school and into college. I knew you would eventually recognize that song–lots to choose from for the summer theme! I can’t wait either and have been thinking of a couple of cool places we can visit!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Wonderful photos and summer stories with nostalgic feels. I really like the beautiful (and funny) Yosemite photos. Whenever work gets too stressful for me, I admittedly feel like retiring already, haha. Still have to work, but one day when I can finally retire, I hope I will still have the energy to travel and enjoy my free time like you are!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Lovely post Terri. Isn’t it just amazing looking back at pictures from the 70’s and we were all like YOUNG! Loved the sunflowers and I think it’s awesome that you are having so much fun with retirement. We’re loving it too although on a bit more sedate level these days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, JP! My hubby is a fun-loving, adventurous soul and is like the energizer bunny. Fun can be sedate, especially now that the heat ramped back up this week. I’m hoping the temps are much cooler next week where we plant to camp.


  18. You sure know how to make someone disliking summer like it, Terri. I would enjoy it if it weren’t for the extreme temperatures and humidity. I remember how much I used to enjoy and like the summers of the 1970s when school holidays were six weeks, but the temp never got about the high 70s (apart from the heatwave of 1976). And when it rained, it always rained during the night. Climate change has changed all of that. It’s one of the reasons we live on the coast.

    So glad you got the chance to meet up with so many bloggers, but where are the guys? I hope they’re not shy to meet up with you all.

    Here’s my entry for this week.

    I believe this variety of sunflower is called ‘Teddy Bear.’ We don’t have any this year, but our sunflowers have done very well. And the birds will enjoy all the seeds as the flowers fade.

    Enjoy the rest of the summer.


    1. That is an excellent question about the guys at the blogger meet up. Hans and Vince didn’t come. We need more men bloggers! Oh my, that teddy bear sunflower is spectacular! I grew some a few years ago, but haven’t tried from seeds yet here. When we lived in Oregon (as a kid), it rained 1-2 a week in the summer. I like the idea of rain at night, Hugh, so refreshing!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. What wonderful summer memories and photos, Terri. We take them so much for granted when we’re young, and it’s nice to remember all the free time and fun. Beautiful sunflowers and coneflowers, and fun on the water. You’ve been busy with visits and I can’t wait until our meet-up in Portland with other bloggers. Enjoy your August fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Beautiful photos! You are definitely more of an avid paddle boarder than me, but I’m getting there. Glad to see you got to visit with other bloggers this summer. I enjoyed seeing the photos of everyone, since I follow most of them, too, and I lived in AZ for years. While summer is fun, I am looking forward to it cooling off a bit.
    Here’s mine for this week:

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Great great photos. I want to try paddle-boarding! Love the Jamies, Sum Sum Summertime. Personally,
    “I’m a-gonna raise a fuss
    I’m a-gonna raise a holler” –Summertime Blues, Eddie Cochran

    Liked by 1 person

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