Enjoying Every Moment of Summer

Enjoying Every Moment of Summer

eJust breathe, passionate help for the PF journey

With summer in full swing, I’ve decided to enjoy the special things about the season. I’m trying to be intentional about relishing the good things, instead of going into automatic mode — just surviving every day.

Summer food

Boysenberry Cobbler (Photo by Kim Fredrickson)

My boysenberries ripened. It was a joy to pick them and eat them — alone on ice cream or in a cobbler. The arrival of my boysenberries alerted me to enjoy every moment of summer.

My husband and I are enjoying all the wonderful foods of summer, especially nectarines, corn on the cob, and anything on the barbecue. I can’t be outside when he’s cooking, but I can enjoy the result.

Spending time outside

We have a nice backyard, and I’ve been intentional about sitting outside when it is still cool. I live in Northern California, where temperatures are starting to get in the 100s, so I sit outside first thing in the morning.

Taking short trips

Kim and Dave with the 2018 Swedish Queen. (Photo by Kim Fredrickson)

Traveling anywhere is taxing for me. My instinct is just to stay inside. I use 8 liters per minute (lpm) of oxygen when sitting and 10 lpm when walking, and I get worn out easily. Part of my path of being intentional is to take short trips with my husband. I mean going somewhere 30 to 45 minutes away to have lunch at a cute spot we don’t normally go to. We had fun last week eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant about 30 minutes away in the foothills that head up to Lake Tahoe.

We went to a Swedish Festival, three hours away, last month. I’ll be honest, that was a stretch for me. We spent the night there, which helped. My husband is half Swedish, and these traditions are part of his family. I decided to go as a gift to my husband for all he does for me. It was fun. We enjoyed a great smorgasbord, Swedish pancakes, a parade, and lots of Swedish activities. As we drove home from the event, my husband thanked me and said, “It sure was nice to take a non-medical trip.” Whew, it hit me how often our travels revolve around going to a PF specialist 100 miles away. It took me a week to recover from the festival, but it was worth it.

Music

I really like music, but for whatever reason, I don’t think to put it on. I’ve just recently begun using an app called iHeartRadio to enjoy playlists of fun summer-themed songs.

Light gardening

Yummy cucumber. (Photo by Kim Fredrickson)

By light, I mean light. I had a friend plant tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, and peppers — I pick whatever’s ripe. Check out this cucumber. The zucchini and tomatoes are almost ready, but the peppers aren’t doing so great. It is amazing how much joy it brings me to pick one of these vegetables and enjoy it with our dinner. I’m grateful to God for making it so easy to plant seeds that turn into healthy food.

It’s a challenge

I know what a challenge it is to be intentional to embrace the blessings of summer while battling such a difficult disease. The hardships, losses, and grief of this disease are ever present. At the same time, it helps me to embrace the good things that are here for me to enjoy now.

I’d love to hear from you

What summer joys are you enjoying? Do you have to be intentional to avoid falling into a rut of “just surviving”? What helps you focus on the good that’s here for us to enjoy?

Please leave a comment below.

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Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.

10 comments

  1. Robert says:

    I have an 1890’s house on three acres. I used to be busy all the time and now I enjoy rocking on the porch sometimes alone and sometimes with my wife. I have a pet pig, goat and miniature horse. They make a big difference every day.

  2. Diane Terlier says:

    I love reading these posts
    It uplifting to me

    I am a little in a Roth right now ( not going to lie) but it comes and go
    Officially moving to the country on July 1 and looking forward to it

    Yes it will be lovely

  3. Audrey Hall says:

    Summer was a fun time for me. My husband and I worked 50 years each to buy a 1920’s cottage in Carmel Ca. The city there has now instituted Wood burning beach fires for ambience 7days a week, 6hours a day for 6months of the year. I am unable to visit Carmel now because of this policy and IPF. Please urge all to promote clean air for all!!

    • Oh Audrey, I’m so very sorry about the horrible ordinance they passed. That is so awful. It is such a beautiful area. I’m so sad for you. And yes, lets promote clean air for all!

  4. E. hays says:

    To Kim and my fellow IPFers —

    The joys of summer often happen unexpectedly.. Last week our daughter, son-in-aw and grandson were visiting from Colorado. It was a comparatively cool evening with a slight breeze. A perfect evening in northern Louisiana and the electricity went off due to home building in the neighborhood. We pulled chairs off the patio into the grass, gathered up our drinks, and my portable oxygen, and began reminiscing about the days growing up in the Midwest with no air conditioning. Our great neighbors wandered over, grabbed a chair and a drink and began sharing their past with us. Never once thought of my struggles with IPF. Nothing like friends and family. May you all be as lucky as me.

  5. Dianne French says:

    Kim, I read your column for the first time this morning. It was inspiring to me and I wanted to tell you so. I too, am trying to make the little things, lasting memories. I live in Oregon and rivers and lakes abound. This summer, I have planned several trips to a nearby lake with my husband, daughter and son in law. The serenity and peacefulness is amazing for my spirit and I keep longing to return to the exact spot, on the lake over and over. If nothing else, this disease brings home the importance of living in the moment. A sunset, fresh vegetables, watching my chickens playing and foraging for bugs, music, my flower garden and oh, so much more. Thank you for reaching out and sharing your journey.
    Sincerely, Dianne

    • Thanks so much Dianne! I’m so glad you found me and that my column was inspiring to you. I love the things you are doing to enjoy time with your family in beauty! You are so right that this disease can help us savor, appreciate and enjoy the blessings right in front of us. Many blessings,
      Kim

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