Saturday, July 12, 2014

Gray afternoons















These cloudy afternoons feel like a gift. It doesn't always rain when the clouds roll in. But the darkness, the break from the blazing sun which happens most afternoons during the monsoon season, is most welcome. Everything looks different when it's cloudy and gray. I enjoy photographing life around the house on these gray afternoons. It's easier. I don't need to constantly adjust the settings on my camera to account for the light blasting through windows and skylights. I know I sound ungrateful. I appreciate the sunshine we get here and I know it's dark all the time in some places. But that doesn't diminish my appreciation for the break from it all. My entire mood changes when I can stay inside, with no excuses to get out and "enjoy" the sun. I light candles and sometimes I cook more complicated meals. I crochet and read. I help my children build blanket tents. I help them glue things together. I try to help them get along, now that they're in close quarters. They could stay outdoors but they like to be inside on cloudy days too. Sometimes I just stand near the windows to watch the clouds gather and darken. I wait for the first fat raindrops to splash against the windows at the back side of the house. Stormy weather agrees with me. Pluviophile for life!

Thank you for all the kind comments lately. I'm glad you enjoyed my smoothie pop recipe, especially if you tried making them. They are delicious. Thank you too for praising my plum-apple jam! I am really proud of it. Gosh, it felt so good to get it right. I appreciate your support about my current mood of blah. I'm really okay, but sometimes you just get that vulnerable feeling. Summer vacation is long here and the days are mostly pretty good, especially now that the cloudy afternoons are here. But twelve weeks is a whole lot of time off and I think we're all feeling the strain at this point. It's hard to fill the time. I'm off my craftiness too; it has been months since I sat at the sewing machine and I miss it. And I'm virtually never alone. Soon, I keep telling myself. Soon. I will appreciate my time alone, and my time immersed in creative pursuits, even more when it finally comes around. These are days to remember and enjoy, even when they aren't the very best days, because my children will remember them too.

49 comments:

  1. 12 weeks is certainly a long time and its OK to feel a little overwhelmed with it. You say you are missing crafting, is there some crafting activities that you perhaps could do together? Hope you feel a little brighter soon...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Goodness 12 weeks is a very long time to have off, it is between 6-7 weeks here. The clouds do change your mood don't they! Very cloudy & overcast here this afternoon after a sunny start to the day, I made a spiced chicken & broad bean pilaf which was a change to the lighter foods of summer, I hope you will able to find a little crafty time for yourself soon. I hope your mo-jo will return to full strength then.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Really lovely images Jennifer, grey skies do intensify colour. If you like rain you would love it here! :( I have to be honest I'm not a big fan myself!
    V x

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love a summer storm particularly the smell of the rain as it hits the ground (petrichor is the term I believe). Rain is so welcome after a hot day. Lovely pictures thank you

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gray skies are good for taking pictures. It's cloudy here today too - actually raining right now.
    Enjoy your weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Today's been a day when I appreciated grey skies too - partly as I was working at an outdoor event, and partly because my plants were getting thirsty. Glad you managed to share some wonderful moments with your little ones, and I hope you have time for your beloved hobbies very soon.
    H xxx

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would happily give you more grey in exchange for your blue, but quite understand it's possible to have too much of a good thing, 12 week holidays included.
    The view from the bottom of your garden is just wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I long for a spot of rain it's been so hot and uncomfortable. We are having really warm weather here in England at the moment. I hope you get through the 12 weeks ok x

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful pictures Jennifer! Hugs :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love your pictures :) I reaaaaaally want to see more of that little shelf above you cooker (stove ?) :) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lovely post and lovely images - thank you for popping over and your kind words. I have really enjoyed catching up with your blog I especially loved your around the world blog post xxx

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can totally understand how you would love a cloudy day when you have an abundance of sunny ones. I have a friend who is a locally esteemed photographer, and he always told me that it's way better to take photos on cloudy days than sunny ones. So, you are doing good taking photos during your cloudy days! Enjoy... ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes, I feel the same way. When it's cloudy all day I get that feeling of "unapologetic cocooning" and I love it. Your photos are beautiful. I'm really glad I found your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love your photos and all the pops of colour you have in your house. I love colour and it is particularly cheering when one is in the depths of winter (down in Melbourne here) and it's constantly grey, cloudy and wet. I do understand though that endless days of hot weather and bright sunshine can be equally wearing on the soul and a change is such a relief. Enjoy!
    Anne xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. I also enjoy cloudy days, especially in the summer. They just feel cozy to me, and they make me want to cook more and drink more hot tea. I think I could easily live in England or the PNW. You really appreciate the sunny days when they come around, though. I love the photo of your kitchen... it's lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We're having a stretch of cloudless hot days right now. The cloudlessness is normal for this time of year but 100? Not so much. We usually peak in the upper 80's to low 90's. The swim time is nice though. I don't know much about photography, but I do know your photos are always very nice. :-). Enjoy your kids. The time flies quickly and you'll be wishing these days back.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, Jennifer, twelve weeks is amazingly long (we get six here). Why are the holidays so long - is it to do with the climate?
    I completely understand your being tired (literally) of the heat and I'm glad this grayness is giving you a break. It's so nice to light candles, cook elaborately and enjoy the interior of your house. Your children look lovely - they give off the same 'vibe' (for lack of a better word on a Sunday morning) as my children do. Love your photos and the view of the mountains from your window - Holland is as flat as a pancake, (I enjoyed mountain views growing up in New Zealand).
    Wishing you more calm gray indoor days to come xxx

    ReplyDelete
  18. I can remember when my kids were school aged by the end of the summer I was tired of hot days and it was time they went back to school. They were getting bored and anxious to see all their friends again. I love cool stormy days especially in the summer, feels like you can catch your breath. It can be quite refreshing to feel cool again! Lovely photos on your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I didn't know there was anywhere that children got 12 weeks holiday! We used to get 9 weeks here in Northern Ireland but it has changed gradually and this year it is much shorter - between 6 and 7 weeks. Though that is unusually for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 12 weeks is such a long break, you'll get there, maybe start planning so things you want to make. We have simular storm clouds here for the last few days, I love the cloudiness as being allergic to the sunlight I can go outside.
    Clare x

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lots of really nice atmospheric pictures, Jennifer. I think my daughter is also feeling the pressure of the summer hols, with the two little boys home every day! It is a long time to fill in, but I know your children do lots of wonderful creative activities. Love that ruby glass vase in the first pic!

    ReplyDelete
  22. We seem to be in a very similar place Jennifer! I need to treasure these days too as best I can and quietly look forward to embracing creative pursuits when time allows! Bee xx

    ReplyDelete
  23. A beautiful post and pictures Jennifer. Our grandchildren build 'curtain tents' when they are here. They stay in there for ages and even have snacks brought in. Childrens imaginations are wonderful x

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wonderful post! It's been raining here quite a bit lately. I think it's nice to get that break from the blazing sun, as the sky fills with gray clouds. I'm sure your children are enjoying their time playing indoors, building blanket tents.-That's one of our favorite activities to do.

    ReplyDelete
  25. It can be hard sometimes to photograph things in the very bright light can't it, and then in the winter it is all that we are wishing for!! Last week when I was photographing in the garden all the colours were washed out and so pale so I know what you mean! xx

    ReplyDelete
  26. Your children are going to have such wonderful memories of their childhoods, Jennifer. I know summer can seem a bit long to a mom who is trying to keep young children entertained and happy, but to a child I think it is a magical time. Some of my most cherished memories from my childhood are the lazy days of summer when it was too hot to do anything but lie on my bed and read another Nancy Drew or Trixie Beldon book. That has stuck with me over the years way more than the family vacations we took or other exciting things we did.

    ReplyDelete
  27. These are lovely days and your pictures are great! I love your description of the rain drops on the windows.. I even went for a walk in a rain storm this morning

    ReplyDelete
  28. I do love a rainy, grey day. I feel like its autumn again (my favourite season) and we all sit down inside the house and rest. Today it was a films and Pringles day, meaning just hanker down with lots of treats and catch up on films. It's lovely to take photos of the everyday inside the house instead of the blinding light from outside. Have a wonderful week x

    ReplyDelete
  29. My golly yes 12 weeks certainly is more than long and I am complaining about 6. You have just put it all into perspective for me thank you! You must be yearning for some me time and just being able to do what you want to do without the constant demands, I know I am definitely going to feel it in a weeks time. Beautiful photos and I hope that your days are filled with some happy moments! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  30. Jennifer... I have missed catching up with your blog. It's been so busy here with William on a visit. But, your photos are as lovely as ever . Thank you so much for sharing them

    ReplyDelete
  31. As other UK readers have said, our schools only get half as long a holiday as you do and that can seem long enough when the weather's bad and the children get bored. I understand completely why you love grey afternoons so much, but over here we've had so much grey this year that we'd all love weeks of sunshine. We're never satisfied, are we?

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love dark skies and thundery rain as well, those first heavy drops are magical. Not much rain at all here lately, I'm having to water the garden a bit. Twelve weeks is a really long holiday isn't it. I daren't tell my boys that it's so long in America! We'll be grateful for our six weeks, although twelve would be really wonderful. I hope you have a good week this week. Soon, soon you'll have some time for sewing I'm sure. In the mean time just be kind to yourself and take it easy when you can. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  33. I can remember the long 12 week Summer break my kids had in Syria too Jennifer it was a long time to keep them entertained, but you are doing a great job. I can also understand your love of grey afternoons after all the relentless sunshine. Your photo's are lovely as always. :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  34. What a beautiful post. I can totally understand your need for cloudy days, a break from the hot sunny days. I used to love the big, blustery thunderstorms that we got during summer in South Africa, it makes for a very welcome change from the relentless heat.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Lovely photos and gorgeous little posy at the end. 12 weeks is a long time but it sounds like you are all doing great.
    Marianne x

    ReplyDelete
  36. I loved looking at all your photos, Jennifer. We've had a lot of sunny weather here recently. Mind you, we've also had rainy days which makes for a pleasant change. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  37. yesterday we had more sun than we are ever used to, and this morning as the rain was pounding down I was eternally grateful to have a lazy morning, and lie and listen to the rain.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Gorgeous photos Jennifer. We've had sun and showers today but our weather in uk is more inclined to be grey than anything else. I dont mind but it does make me appreciate the sun when it shines

    ReplyDelete
  39. I LOVE gray days! Love them!!! xoxo Jen Gorgeous pics!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I've been off my sewing as well and I miss it terribly... Need to dust the machine off again, it always makes me happier when I do :) I do love all the colour in your world, even on a gray day. Stay well x

    ReplyDelete
  41. So very true friend! And I so get treasuring these gray days....it makes all the bits of color just pop in such a vibrant way in your photos! I do appreciate the seasons and the change of weather as I would get tired of the same thing over and over again. And as for the summer break and creating I get that too. In the fall I will be loaded again..watching my brothers kids and my own leaves me virtually no time alone to create which I know will change in several years when everyone is in school...the rhythm of life is never completely easy and smooth but once you recognize that, like you have, it makes the moments much more sweeter. You are a great mom! Wishing you a lovely week ahead friend! Nicole xo

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Jen, We are enjoying sunny days here because they are few and far between for us but I am in love with grey generally at the moment in my sewing, knitting and wardrobe choices - stocking up for winter because I have a new job which requires smart clothes YIKES! I made jam too last week with blackcurrants, harvesting and making food is one of my favourite things to do with the children your jam looks FAB. Love to you Jo x

    ReplyDelete
  43. Gorgeous colourful photos Jennifer - I love the pretty posy and the basket of wools! I'm not feeling very creative at the moment either, though my boy starts school in September so I'm sure I will find some Inspiration then. I'm looking forward to spending time with them this Summer first though and doing some crafting together! 12 weeks is such a long time but it sounds like your doing great job. Hope you have a good week. xx

    ReplyDelete
  44. My time gets pretty scheduled during the summer too and crafting time is scarce, but such is the rhythm of life. You will certainly enjoy it more when you are able to get back to it for the time away. Loving the atmospheric photos, all those shadows and pops of colour. x

    ReplyDelete
  45. Your photos have a real sense of atmosphere - particularly those of empty rooms. They almost tell a story. I also love how it's grey without but so colourful within.
    I sympathise with you wanting to be creative but not finding the time. It's not something you can switch on and off, or do knowing that you have time constraints. My free time is when Joe naps in the afternoons and that could allow me at worst half an hour, at best a couple of hours. But creativity doesn't flow when you're clock-watching.
    Good luck getting through the summer break and yes, I hope you enjoy the time with your children.
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  46. It's interesting that you've photographed lots of spaces with evidence of activity, but not many people. I get a sense of restless pottering reading this post, like you're trying to enjoy it but finding it hard. Hang in there, not long now. I always feel most creative when I have no time to do anything, always very frustrating! xx

    ReplyDelete
  47. Sometimes the grey afternoons are the very best ...
    I can relate to the math going on in the photo! I am finishing up my College Algebra class... ugh!!!!
    I hope your week has started off awesome!
    Much love,
    Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  48. Well, your grey day certainly looks full of colour to me! :) Your photos are amazing, Jennifer. I completely know what you mean about how photos are easier to take when it is cloudy, I feel the same. We have a lot of dark days here and I just give up taking photos in the house on these days! I can never get the settings right and I hate using my flash. 12 weeks is a long time Jennifer, I am not surprised that you have hit a bit of a 'brick wall.' We get 5 weeks off which is probably just enough, but they are wanting to make them shorter! I would hate that, but at the same time, it might be easier having more breaks across the year. I don't know. I think you do a wonderful job of keeping the little bears happy and occupied. :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. We're having our mini-heatwave here (summer over in 2 days I expect)...but I am looking forward to the clouds developing and the smell of the rain as it refreshes the garden (due Saturday).

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...