Dancing Amid the Stars

Before I write about a wonderful night I never wish to forget, I apologize for not blogging here. Quora, Medium and my book edit have kept me busy, along with other irons in the fire. I promise to post here twice a month going forward. Ready?

I had the perfect July 4th (a day early, but who’s keeping track?) evening with the person I love more than any other I’ve ever met. We perched on the chairs overlooking the creek that is a small trickle, devoured brats (think large hot dogs) and sipped minty mojitos from icy glasses. We laughed about life, watched as the sun swung herself over the edge of the trees and noticed hundreds of lightning bugs playing in the darkened woods.

We had a second round of my new favorite drink, and I idly watched as the thumbnail crescent moon made her own early descent. My husband had brought out a speaker, and as we listened to Ohioans enjoying the new law opening up the use of fireworks, we took turns choosing songs. We started singing through Ed Sheeran and Chris Stapleton, made our way to some duets, and then we had ourselves a dance party.

The sweltering heat dissipated as the coolness from the woods surrounding our home crept up the hill and found its way into our laps, so the night begged for dancing. As we tried to dance the way we did in the 80s, we laughed, showed off to no one other than some scared deer at most, and we acted like college kids at a bar.

Since we first met, officially, at a dance bar in college, our lives have included dancing at various points. We took ballroom, and we only remember the waltz now; we cranked Nirvana and jumped around the living room with our small daughters. James Taylor entered our world as our son was born, so he would swing to Sweet Baby James. The Foo Fighters, Eagles, and even EDM have compelled us to dance.

I think tonight will be tucked away carefully in my mind. The stars gleamed above and while at times so many different people were enjoying their fireworks, we laughed about it sounding like a night of shooting. It felt like the old Wild West or a Western film. The night full of booms and the skittering bangs of multiple small firecrackers set the stage for us to abandon our normally quiet selves and enjoy one another amid music.

Sipping the cooling mint and rum for a quick moment between singing and dancing took me back to when I first met this man. He’s remarkably lithe and nimble for a guy who lifts weights regularly and is 6′ 2″. I imagine I look like I’ve been struck over the head a few too many times as I jump, twirl, swing my arms wildly, and even use some tai chi movements to add to the laughter. Suffice to say we would never do this in public, but we don’t care overmuch what the raccoons, deer, foxes, turtles, owls and bullfrogs think about our sweet moves.

As the tree cuddled the slip of a moon and sent it to sleep, we would sit and sing to the night, hoping our neighbors didn’t mind. I did sing in another life, and at one time I almost left high school to head to NYC and try my luck in theater. Thankfully I made the decision to let my friend head there alone, or I wouldn’t have met my soul mate. The man who has my back and more. The only person on the planet who has seen me as I am at all times. Weird, funny, loving music, missing playing (tune that piano is perpetually on my to-do list) and dancing with a man who freaky dances when needed.

My mind flew out to the time when our whole family sat on the back porch drinking whiskey and singing to Foreigner. I had no idea my kids liked that music, but they adore the 80s and wish they had lived through it. Concerts were cheap, and all I had to do was skip physics class to leave with my friends and buy tickets to Genesis, Devo, the Cars, or Elvis (Costello).

Or the time in the car when my husband and I had just belted out, Hello, by Adele, only to have my son follow that by singing in a perfect falsetto, some song I never knew, but it was fast with words spilling out of his mouth at a rapid rate. His sisters, judging by their laughter, had no idea little brother could sing. Or at least cover a song by a woman that was so sky-high.

But tonight was for me and my guy, and we needed this. The sound of continual shootings (fireworks courtesy of teens everywhere), starlight, mojitos, and music. And laughter.

I hope you find yourself on a July evening full of fireflies, moonlight, and music someday with a person you love more than life. And that you dance.

I’m wishing you all the happiness your heart can hold…
– Deanna Eppers

Summer breeze blue…

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Summer conjures up spellbinding clouds wafting on a summer breeze, and I stop to wonder, wishing I could find a patch of grass to lie down in, bringing along time to watch those cumulus clouds piling high in the western sky. No worries about dinner, ironing, or cleaning the bathroom. Okay, so dinner is something to contemplate, but some nights I have popcorn and peanuts for dinner and call it a night.

 

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Summer breezes bring the sound of lawn mowers, and the smell of the grass, freshly shorn, and I remember all the years of childhood, where the perfect dummer day was to open all three bedroom windows, lie on my bed and read and read. The breeze filled my room with the smell of the new mown grass, and my mom would ask me to shut the windows because the air conditioning was running. I still need open windows, summer, fall, early winter. It makes me quite happy!

This week was to be our week in an oceanfront house on Folly Beach, but we decided to put it off until next year, so I’m enjoying this week in a different way. By having some family over yesterday, and plans to go out to dinner on a beautiful patio enjoying one of the best wine selections around, and going on an antique hunt. I know I’m going to sit on the shaded porch in a minute and read until evening. Bliss.

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Believe it or not, but when we moved into this house last year, I felt the summer blues descending, and it’s because we are so far off the road, that I felt out of touch and disjointed. After nineteen years of being squashed between a neighbor having a pool party all summer long, and a lovely British couple who took tea in their garden, I suddenly didn’t have anyone around. Turns out right past the acre of trees behind me, I have new neighbors, and even if I never venture down the ravine and up their hill to visit, just knowing they are around makes me happier. Snug, cozy and happy.

 

 

 

 

 

See where I sit when we’re down on the farm? I bring out coffee, because I’ll take my Starbucks anyway I can get it, which reminds me to head over and grab a tea (sweet and yes, I feel guilty about that) before I begin my week of reading. What brings you delight in these days where night descends so late, and being outdoors is a delight?

What are you doing this summer to bring you happiness? Visiting family after not seeing them for a while? Drinking a margarita on the rocks while listening to music? What about heading out for long walk when it’s still cool outside, before everyone joins in? I’m still sleeping that early, but years ago, when my only option was to run at 6:00 a.m., I would head out and run these hills, and much later in the day I couldn’t remember if I had taken a run. Basically, I was running in my sleep; that’s how out of it I was. So evening or night walks are a pleasure to me.

 

 

I like how the candle matches the hue of the walls in our living room. Just had to mention certain colors make me happy, and so I’m sharing them here…blues, green and this muddy yellow or whatever the name was on the paint can. I love it!

 

 

 

 

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I still have so much to do here at home too, and when the sun is too high or too hot for me, I’m reminded to head back indoors and iron the linen, and put up the family photos in the little hallway upstairs. Every year I say I’m going to pick strawberries and turn them into jam, but when you can’t go out in the sun like me (damn lupus), it’s kind of difficult to do. Thank goodness I didn’t have this issue until my kids grew up, because my summer days focused on taking them to the neighborhood pool for long afternoons and even some evenings to keep them active and happy. Happiness comes so easily in the summer, if we look for it.

 

 

 

 

Take a swim, ride your bike, read long into the afternoon, but if you’re me that means reading until well past midnight, send a friend a beautiful card, buy a meal for someone, tip well, drink lemonade that’s ice cold and have ice cream from a mom & pop store, watch a film at the drive-in. ¬†And when life gets to be too much or full of sadness, look up. I look at the trees, full green and owning their beauty, finding that first star at night but wondering if it’s Venus or a star and does it matter if I accidentally wish on a planet, or the clouds at sunset, the fading rays still touching the tops, and making them beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

Wander into beauty, and happiness will find her way to you. Another perfect scotch, neat? I’m proud of myself because I’m learning to like scotch. There’s no way I’ll ever get gin out of my system, because I learned ages ago, one good martini lasts far longer than a gin and tonic. That’s how I spent so little in the bars when I was in college in Wisconsin, where I swear drinking is a matter of personal pride there. I played darts, danced in the courtyard and carried my one martini around. Basically, I could not afford more than $10 out on a Friday, and some nights I had $5 to my name. But dancing never cost anything, and I still like waltzing in the kitchen with my husband, when we’re laughing and singing along. Summer laughter is easy to find.

 

 

 

 

Summer wanders in one day and decides to stay. Aren’t we blessed to be anointed with deep blues skies, balmy breezes, summer bracelets jangling on your wrist, wearing tee shirts every day, all day long, and coming home to find more flowers decided it was about time to show their beauty? We are so lucky.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer breezes in and blows another season into our hands. The days are long and the years so short. Grab it. Happiness is here, all around, and all we need is to recognize her when she’s near. Look up and wish on a planet, listen to the thunder, watch the rain fall. Have wine at noon, and espresso after dinner. I’ll have to write again some time and tell of how I had French espressos for a week in Paris, and I could still fall asleep. Another memory for another time. Enjoy those soft summer winds, and grab some happiness for yourself. I really do need to get a Starbucks….. (instant happiness in a cup!)

I’m wishing you all the happiness your heart can hold.

Until next time…

Deanna