summer time


We usually have a short spring, and then a fairly long summer. And summer is my favorite time of year. Doesn’t matter, a heat wave or two. I can sit them out, inside. It’s rare that Jerusalem gets uncomfortably hot, because we’re on a mountain. And even when it does, since almost all the houses are made of stone, it stays quite cool inside… even when it’s terribly hot outside. And nowadays, just about everyone has air conditioning… so that makes it still easier. In the past, I didn’t care much for air conditioning. But I’ve been convinced.

summer food

For me, an important part of summer is getting out early to take my morning walk… while it’s still relatively cool. Then I get a day’s work done, and still have time left to sit out on the balcony, where it’s always quite comfortable… or enjoy the light of day even in my salon till after eight at night. I have to admit, when people were still arguing here, about whether to have daylight savings time, I was against it.

clothes hanging out to dry in the warm sun

For one thing, it’s nice for people who get up late in the day. But for people like me, it means getting up in the dark at the beginning and the end of the season, and there’s something discouraging about that. All the same, it’s very pleasant to sit with friends at the end of the day and enjoy the colors of the setting sun in late evening. And aside from the colors, which are at their best during this season, I also enjoy the fruits of the season; wave after wave of wonderful and tasty fruits.

Nechama listening to a conversation between friends

I start out my day with a couple glasses of cucumber juice, which has proven to be a very healthy ingredient in my life. This was Chana’s idea, and it has proven better than any pill or medicine. I know a lot of you like to start the day with a glass of beer or coffee. But for me, drinking that cucumber juice feels as natural as a cat stretching himself, when waking up from sleep.


And speaking of cats… you can see that all the animals in the neighborhood are affected and inspired by the coming of summer. Nachshon here, above, is playing panther, as he walks between the neighboring houses. As much as I care for him though, I’m hoping he doesn’t catch any of the local birds. But if he does, it’s all part of nature, and we have to accept that cats have their own way of looking at the world. We’re not going to convince them to be vegetarians. Why, even Nechama likes to have a light repast of herring in the afternoon.

Noga feeding Nechama a herring

The children come by from time to time, each one with stories of the real world. The world that is constantly changing and challenging. They too have their ups and downs, and I take great pleasure in watching how well they deal with it all. I often have the feeling that they’re handling life’s challenges better than I did, and have reached a style of existence that I could only dream of at their age. Which is an exquisite feeling. It seems to me that since the computer became part of everyone’s life, I’ve been living in the ‘future’. But now, with waze, that feeling has been intensified.

my son, Jonah

When Jonah was here this week, he spoke of the probability that cars would drive themselves within his lifetime. And that the person who would otherwise be driving the car could be enjoying a cup of coffee, and still working while on his way from one point to another. I thought of how much I used to enjoy driving when I was a young man. But that changed long ago. I think it was when they forced us to wear seat belts. And now with all the traffic jams, it’s become something of a pain. Not to speak of the difficulties of parking in the big city. Yes, having a car drive itself would definitely be an improvement. Less people killed and maimed on the highways too.

cottage cheese is a popular summer food

So let me wish you all (at least those who live in the northern hemisphere), a joyful summer, with easy going long days; good reading and studies, and the pleasure of successful work. May you enjoy pleasant communication with human and animal neighbors. Listen to good music. See beautiful sights,

the park behind my home


63 responses to “summer time

  1. Thank you so much dear Shimon, wonderful writing and photographs, I wish you have a nice weekend. Kisses for your lovely cat, 🙂 Love, nia

    • Thank you so much for your smile, my dear Nia, and for the kisses to Nechama. It always cheers me up to see you. Your graciousness and love is such an inspiration for me.

  2. Good morning dear Shimon….well you knew I would love this post featuring the most beautiful Nechama….and how intelligent she is. I love this cat…and will make a watercolour for you one day.
    Oh yes, The Lazy, Hazy days of Summer. – even I who find high heat difficult, am loving them more and more…and yes, the fruits of summer are exquisite.
    Tell Chana that I am going to try the cucumber juice…please ask her how she makes it….just blending cucumbers? I begin my day with two cups of coffee (and that’s it for the day) two large glasses of water and a tablespoon of honey, but I like the sound of this cucumber drink.
    Meanwhile my dear friend, enjoy long walks alone, with humans and of course with cats.
    By the way Jonah looks just like you…
    Janet. xxx

    • So happy you enjoyed the post, my dear Janet. And I do look forward to a watercolor of Nechama… though you’ll have to include a glimpse of her nails too. You know, when she is sitting on my knee, she likes to insert those nails… just so I’ll know how close to me she feels. and to remind me that love always includes a bit of pain too.

      As for the cucumbers, I actually bought a juicer, which is a great little machine. I started out with celery in the winter. And in the summer I drink cucumbers and kohlrabi, as well as other leaves and vegetables. I have found it a very helpful addition to my life… though I never ever used to think of diets.

      Thank you for seeing the similarity between Jonah and myself.. I consider that a great compliment.

  3. Boker tov Shimon Nice summer writings. todah rabah

    • Shavuah tov, v’brachah chama lecha, chaveri. Good to hear from you, Yvan. Always so good to see that wonderful smile on your icon. Best wishes.

  4. I love summer too- the warmth, the late sunsets. I love the photo of that bird- so beautiful! Shabbat Shalom!

  5. Sounds like the good life, Shimon. Enjoy it! By the way, who squeezes the cucumber juice?

    • It is a good life, most of the time, Nina. As for the squeezing, sometimes I do get a little help from my friends. But I’m a very independent fellow. And especially in the morning, I like taking care of my own needs. By the way, preparing the juice is quite a bit of fun. It’s cleaning up after that’s a bit of a chore. But I do that too. Thanks for the question.

  6. …another delightful post and sharing with us–your blogging family–the exploits of your feline family, and joys of your children while celebrating a rare, beautiful and full Summer Season. ! קיץ מבורך

    • So glad you join me in my celebration of life, Lance, and offer your blessing. I know that you too look for the beauty and the wonder in life.
      יהי רצון שנזכה לבשורות טובות וימים ארוכים

  7. Such wise advice to nourish ourselves and enjoy the summer days. Cucumber juice sounds very revitalising too – lots of nice vitamins and minerals. I’m hoping to grow some in my polytunnel. At the moment I have one barely a centimetre long. But if I end up with a glut, now I know what to do with them. Thank you all round, Shimon.

    • Yes, it’s amazing how much we learn as soon as we take a new path, Tish. Since Chana first inspired me to drink vegetable juices, I have learned to be sensitive of the affects of the different vegetables on my body. I also noticed just how much of the vegetable is juice. In some cases the juice brings the essence, but leaves a lot of fiber behind. But in the case of watermelon for instance, there is hardly any of the fruit left behind. I keep learning.

  8. Beautiful post. Here in the UK the summer can be a bit hit and miss but it’s a lovely time of the year and easier. 🙂

    • Glad to hear it’s easier, Olga. Having visited England a few times, I know that rain or clouds can always be in waiting. But it seems to me that every face has its own personality… and there’s always something to love.

  9. Thank you for introducing me to Waze. I’d never heard of it. Have to give it a try. Love the photos. For you, what constitues a day of work that you mention? We’ve had rain every day for the past 3 weeks, I’m still waiting for summer to get into my pond. Nice to meet Jonah. What does he do?
    Be well.

    • I think the secret of my happy life, Bob, was that I always loved my work. In the past a great deal of it was photography, reading and writing, design, studying and teaching… Unfortunately, at this stage, a part of it is catching up with accounts and paper work. I have less enthusiasm for that, but I have the hope it’s temporary. Jonah is a builder. He is directing a project right now in which they are building many condominiums as housing. Thanks for your blessing. My best wishes to you too.

  10. Dear Shimon,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your family, little bits of your life with us. I enjoy these posts most of all! Wishing you a comfortable summer, with friends, family, beautiful sunsets, and all the cucumber juice you can drink.

    • Thanks so much, Naomi. I don’t limit myself to cucumbers. Lately, I’ve learned to enjoy juices. And since I’m used to eating very modestly in recent years, these juices have added something vital to my life. It’s very good to share a bit of my life with my friends. Glad you liked the post.

  11. Nechama and other cats… will rejoice themselves at the warm weather, while they will spend the “Soleone” hours in the shade of a tree. Even here the summer has come, after a brief spring, now with nights of “heatwave” of up to 30°
    Tomorrow with my husband we will leave for Ukraine, I will have time to devote myself to my favorite pastime: write and look for traces of the past!
    A hug 🙂 claudine

    • Yes, 30º at night does sound like a heat wave. It’s very rare here. Wishing you a cool, and very pleasant summer, Claudine, with lots of reading and writing, and wonderful music. I have never been in the Ukraine. But I know they have a fascinating history there. Best wishes to both you and your husband.

  12. I always enjoyed summer, too. It always seems more carefree than the other seasons; less stress. I like having it light outside until very late. Here it is still light enough for my grandsons to play outside until almost 10 at night. Last week, when we went to see fireworks, it was not dark enough for them to begin until about 5 minutes after 10 at night. I like having the extra hours of light. And summer food! Watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, apricots, berries! A great time for ice cream, too!

    Thank you for sharing your summer days.

    • I read about your little visit to see the fireworks, and it sounded like a very pleasant outing. I can also remember being in the states once, long ago, when it was your independence day. And I was invited to a celebration in a big park, and there was a lot of food, beer, and songs… and then we all sat in the grass and watched the fire works overhead. It was very beautiful. And yes, the summer food is wonderful, Corina. And we have that here too.

  13. I don’t think I could EVER relax in a self driving car, I would be afraid of some malfunction or other, but if I had grown up with them I don’t suppose I would bat an eyelid, I have seen a demonstration of one on TV, the reporter sitting in the car looked like he was having kittens!
    Crows, how I love them. I rescued one recently and it’s still in the rescue as it is stubbornly refusing to fly, even though we all know it’s perfectly capable….anyway, it still remembers me and caws loudly and flaps it’s wings when I go by, and gives me the cocked-head-one-eyed-stare….such intelligent and wily birds! I love how they defend their own!
    Your cucumber drink does sound very healthy, for some reason I really don’t like them…..and yet I love to grow them and give them away, shame you don’t live next door….
    Nachshon is a beauty, how lithe and supple he looks, a miniature panther for sure!
    Loved seeing Nechama, especially being treated as she deserves being the Queen of cats that she is….was she hand fed? I’m sure she expects it….lol….no cat will ever be a veggie….hell will freeze over first! Wonderful pics, I enjoyed them all….here’s to more wonderful warm sunsets with friends!xxx

    • It’s very strange what we can get used to, Dina. And even more so, what happens after we get used to some great change. I can understand what you say about cars, because I used to feel the same way. But there have been so many changes in my lifetime. I remember when the ball point pen became popular, and resisting them… continuing with fountain pen and ink. But once I got used to the computer, I could never go back again. Now I see everyone using waze, and it is so much more efficient. It has completely changed transportation here in Israel.
      And as for your comment, it would be wonderful to live next door… and for more reasons than cucumbers. But there’s no arguing taste. Stick to the things you enjoy! Yes, Nechama does get hand fed a lot, and enjoys it. She really doesn’t like eating alone. And even when she eats cat food from her bowl, she often drags me over to sit next to her while she’s eating. She’s a very spoiled cat, but I love her. xxx

  14. Nechama’s intense concentration on the herring is amusing. Thank you for the lovely wish. I enjoyed your photo journey, today.

  15. Summer is a beautiful time of the year and I enjoy it most for not having to bundle up in a coat every time I head outside. I do enjoy the fresh air and sunshine all year long while I still get a thrill out of driving. Please don’t give me a car that drives itself.

    • I used to feel just as you do, Bev. But I’ve gotten old, and the highways have gotten crowded. Can’t say I enjoy it that much anymore. But I wish you many pleasant adventures behind the wheel. And I know I enjoy following your discoveries, and learning from your explorations. Thanks for the comment.

  16. Aha, Nechama, so interesting, has pride of place. :).

    While I looked at my Livingston Daisies in my garden this morning, which were partially open, it started to rain. They closed up. Summer here at home is weird this year, not at all seasonal. I intend to travel south next month in the hope of finding some regular warmth while I occupy my time a bit differently.

    I go for warm water for the first drink of my day, perhaps coffee later. If I am thirsty, warm/hot water is my first choice when I am at home. In winter I enjoy ginger and lemon tisane.

    There’s been technical discussions for sometime about driverless cars. I saw them on a feature on a T V technical programme. There are prototypes being trialled. A utopian ideal of no bumps and accidents is nice but, as yet there is no security of that. Now, Waze, I did download it; I have decided to stay with my satnav and when on foot in an unfamiliar place, my smartphone access to similar facilities and street maps.

    The manner in which you handle your summer days and evenings is very pleasant to hear about.

    • I know there are quite a few places in Europe where rain is a part of summer weather. I usually drink tea in winter, and soda water with lemon juice in summer. I used to love coffee and drink it a lot while I was working. But in recent years, I drink much less of it. Wishing you a very pleasant summer, menhir. I know you got a lot of seeds recently, and I’m hoping you will soon be surrounded by beautiful flowers.

  17. It is always so uplifting to visit with you, Shimon. Have a wonderful summer.

    • I am an optimist by nature. Of course, when I’m tired or sick, the optimism get’s weaker. When I get into really bad shape, I start thinking I’ve become a pessimist, like my father was. Right now, it looks like it’s going to be a glorious summer. Thanks very much, Loisa

  18. A lovely post with gorgeous photos, Shimon. May peace, and joy, and wonderful conversations bless your summer.

  19. I especially like the photo of your son Jonah. There is a huge amount of love and respect in it.

    • I appreciate that you are able to see such things in a photo. But I know from my own experience that there is so much that one can see in such a way. Though for some reason, when I look at the photo of someone so close to me, I notice other things. I suppose that is what is called point of view. Thank you very much, Gill.

  20. Wonderful thoughts on summer; it does seem like a more relaxed time of year. Nechama looks splendid, her fur is such a beautiful color…and herring from a fork? Oh, my. Enjoy your summer days, Shimon.

    • I often wonder, Angeline, if Nechama isn’t the most pampered cat in all of Jerusalem. But I know that our relations with our pets, much as our relations with friends and family, have to be seen in their proper context to fully understand. But she does have it good. Thanks for the comment.

  21. A wonderfully evocative post Shimon. Your images are superb!

  22. Enjoy your good weather because it has been freezing in NZ from south to north and back again. Some say it has been one of the coldest winters in years. Only a few weeks ago it seems they were getting worried about the drought.

    • Yes, I hear there are many places in the world where people are worried about drought. Fortunately, in our country there has been some very surprising advances in attaining water scientifically. Sorry to hear about the freezing weather, Peter. But know that spring is just around the corner, and soon you’ll have the summer to warm you up. Thanks for the good wishes.

  23. It’s wonderful to read of you — and so many others — enjoying the summer months. I’m of a divided mind about summer, myself. I enjoy the long days, but I live in the heart of what we call 90/90 country: 90F (33C) temperature and 90% humidity is standard. Because I work outdoors, the heat is a struggle, and it requires some creative coping. Believe me, I know where every shadowy spot is on every boat I tend. The trick, of course, is working early and late. I’m lucky that I’m my own boss, and can divide my day up as I please.

    On the other hand, I join you in celebrating the colors and tastes of the season. We had peaches, blackberries and figs galore this year, and I spent many happy hours harvesting them at farms that allowed picking.
    And there’s nothing like that end-of-day easing into night, when the day birds give up their chores and the night bird cries begin.

    In a sense, that’s what we watch on a larger scale, as one generation’s day ends, and the next one’s begins. It’s the cycle of life, and it’s a joy to see.

    Of course, new days bring other changes. For me, one pleasure I hope I never have to relinquish is driving my own car. I truly love it, but that’s partly a function of my place in the world, where I can find open horizon, long, straight roads, and little traffic.

    • Yes, you’re very lucky that you are your own boss. I’ve had it both ways in my life, and being one’s own boss is even better than having a wonderful job. I don’t have much experience with the combination of high temperatures and high humidity, but what little I’ve had was very uncomfortable. So I can understand a certain reservation about summer in those conditions. I love blackberries, but they are somewhat rare around here, for some reason, but we do have a lot of raspberries and strawberries, and peaches and nectarines as well as apricots, and a whole lot more that I don’t know by their English names. I’m happy for you, Linda, that you still enjoy driving. I remember the pleasures, but haven’t really enjoyed that for a long time now. Thanks so much for your comment.

  24. I agree with you about the early and ending parts of the day – I’ll miss that evening light during winter, even though our winters are warm. Relaxing ramble, this post.

    • Yes, the beauty of the late evening is quite a pleasure, Birder. And just lately it’s warmed up a little at night. We’re on a mountain so that the nights are usually quite cold. But yesterday, I was out on the balcony till late at night, and that too was a very enjoyable sort of summer pleasure. Thanks for the comment.

  25. I’m not sure I could get used to cucumber juice but of late, I’ve been trying to vary the coffee and sandwich which has been my usual breakfast till now. In fact, I like to give myself what I call an “Israeli hotel breakfast”, with orange juice and muesli and salad and yoghurt and tuna and cottage cheese and maybe a lightly boiled egg and toast.
    Not all at once, of course 😉

    • It sound like you’re enjoying the ‘good life’, Shimona, and I’m happy for you. Amd I know exactly what you mean, when you say “Israeli hotel breakfast”. I’ve had better breakfasts in hotels here, than I’ve ever had at home. Though for most of my life, I didn’t eat any breakfast at all. Just a cup of coffee before work. Now I’m loosening up a little. Thanks for the comment.

  26. Your words and photos are an ode to the beauty of summer. Our summers could never be termed pleasant, but the pleasure of gorging on fresh sweet mangoes and watching a myriad feathered friends do the same on my mango tree is well worth the discomfort. Having an air conditioned car that could navigate the chaos that is our roads by itself would be added bonus 🙂 Thank you for your good wishes Shimon. I wish you the same.

    • How wonderful that you have your own mango tree, Madhu, and I’m sure it is a great pleasure seeing the birds in your garden. We’re just getting the first mangoes of the season right now, and they’re still not as sweet as they’ll get later on. But there is plenty of fruit, and they’re very tasty. As for cars, I have a feeling that things are going to get much better in the near future. Thank you very much for your comment.

  27. Thank you for your wishes! I look forward to the summer returning here. I guess it is only fair that we have the winter for a while…

    • Yess, we all get winter and we all get summer, though at different times and with different intensity depending on the geography. Hope the winter isn’t too cold in your part of the world, and hope there’s some consolation in knowing spring is just around the corner. Best wishes to you, Jess. It’s good to see you.

      • Thank you! Winter isn’t too bad here; there have been some “polar blasts” as the weather people like to call it, but I really think the worst is over. The days are already getting longer again.

  28. Summer greetings to you Shimon from a very warm NYC and thank you so much for joy of cool thoughts and blessings in the heat. So much to be said for slowing down and taking it easy.

    • I just hope it isn’t too hot for you in NYC. And that if it is, you have an air conditioner to make living conditions a bit easier. I suppose that every season. like life itself has it’s good points and the bad as well. And what we have to do is enjoy the good, and overcome the difficult. Thanks for your good wishes, Patti. And my best to you too.

  29. It has been very trying here… hot I fainted.
    BCUK is closing down soon…..if you want your images or posts you can get pdf files now.

    • Sorry to hear the weather is so trying, Kathryn. We have it easier because almost everyone has air conditioning here. The worst is always when the weather is unusual or unexpected. Thanks very much for the alert regarding BCUK. It was expected. I suppose they weren’t able to withstand the competition.

  30. Summer here in Wisconsin is like a bit of paradise. And we are situated so that we can see such gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Many days begin and end in pink.

    I enjoyed hearing about your summer days and agree with you about daylight savings because I am an early bird.

    • So glad to hear that you enjoy the sunrises and sunsets, yearstricken. And very good to hear from you. I always miss you when you don’t post a new blog for a while… and it does seem that you’ve been busy with other things lately. But living life is important too, and we can’t sacrifice too much time with amusing our friends. Wishing you a very rich summer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s