Summer At Home

What does summer mean to you?

For me, it means being outside a lot (in spite of the heat), beautiful summer flowers, going to the beach, cooking on the grill, eating watermelon and ice cream, and enjoying time by the pool with family and friends.  Summer is all of those things and is one of my favorite times of the year.  I do have to admit that the heat really gets me now, but there’s nothing like summertime in the South!

Summer at Home tour_large

Today, I’m joining  11 other fabulous bloggers this week and sharing what summer means to me at home.   This is the last day and it wraps up a fun few days, so I hope you’ll go back and read all the other posts, all about celebrating summer at home.

house in nc

For many years, summer for my family has meant spending a few days at my parents house in the mountains.  This is one of their favorite spots to be and they’ve had this house for at least 30 years.  They still spend a lot of time at this NC house even now.  You can imagine the family memories that this house holds for all of us.  I know the day is coming when my parents will sell the house and that will be a sad day.  My dad plants a big garden up here and has spent the last 30 years harvesting his garden here in NC  (2 hours north of their house in GA).

This house is filled with fond memories for all of us, but I know things will change eventually.  My dad is already talking about giving it up, because at their age it’s just getting too hard to take care of two homes and we girls can’t take care of it either.

bridge in mountains

Summer in the mountains means walking down the bridge over the trickling stream in the front yard.  My niece, Lauren, played in this stream growing up, so I know she has fond memories.

tomatoes on vine

Watching the tomatoes turn a vivid red, ready to be picked.

ripe tomato
Summer means that first red, ripe, juicy tomato that we can’t wait to slice and eat.  The first tomato sandwich of the year is always a highlight for Southerners!

canned tomatoes

Mom’s canned tomatoes are always part of summer too.  The crop is bountiful and plentiful and when it all comes in at one time, it’s time to can.

ripe blueberries

Blueberry bushes are planted in the mountains too and are big mature trees now, laden with beautiful fruit.  We all pick and eat and that’s a summer ritual for us.

blueberry pie

Mom makes blueberry pies and it’s always a happy occasion.

shucking corn

Dad loves his garden and shucking corn is a part of the summer season too.  It’s a big deal when the corn comes in!

fresh corn

We can’t wait to sink our teeth into that sweet juicy corn on the cob.  So delicious and nothing like fresh from the garden.

plate of food

Our plates are laden with bounty from the garden and we are thankful once again for summer and the beautiful produce this time of year brings to the table.  Mom cooks it all up just right, Southern style.  And we eat and enjoy it all once again.  I hate to think that these will just be memories some day, but that day is approaching fast.   Things change and this will be yet another change coming before too many more years.


I’m so thankful for the memories spent in this house over the years, filled with many relatives and friends.  We have spent hours on that porch, watching the hummingbirds and eating so much we could pop.

Summer is a special time and we have treasured it over the years.

Making homemade ice cream and sitting outside to eat it.

All of this and more, that’s what summer is to me!

What does summer mean to you?  Leave me a comment and chime in, I’d love to hear!


Here is our line up, so be sure and check them all out!

Wednesday,  June 18th

 On Sutton Place

Stone Gable

My Soulful Home

Thursday,  June 19th

 Country Design Style

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Lilacs & Longhorns


Friday,  June 20th

 Thistlewood Farms

At The Picket Fence

Jennifer Rizzo 

Saturday,  June 21st

Our Southern Home

Southern Hospitality

Debbie Doos

Veronica Roth

Finding Home

- Rhoda


  1. Love a garden in the summer! I have fond memories of snapping green beans to can with my mom and my dad picking a radish right out other ground, wiping it clean and then us munching on it.

  2. Good reads – love summer bounty. Biting into a big, warm tomato is the ultimate summer delight!

  3. First day of summer … happy times.

  4. I loved your post, Rhoda! It certainly struck a chord with me. I almost wrote my post about my parent’s summer cabin in Northern Minnesota. That cabin and that area of the country have been a part of my life since I was a baby. We spent every single summer of my youth going to the cabin (and my grandparents cabin nearby) with family and friends. We hiked through the woods, swam in the beautiful crystal clear lakes, water-skied, fished, golfed, hunted for golf balls and did so many more things I cannot possibly list them all. We had such good times and that place is just a part of who I am. My dad, who will be turning 80, has started talking about selling it — something I never thought I’d hear! It’s hard to keep up two places and so many of their friends have sold and moved on that they want to keep it much longer. I bring my kids and husband up there every summer and they have grown to love it as much as I do. It’s hard to imagine not having a place to go up there any more!

    Thank you so much for being a part of this tour, for sharing your precious family and memories. Every time I see you post anything about your mother’s food on Instagram I want to dive right in to the picture and be at your table! lol

    Have a wonderful day !

  5. What a blessing to have such special time with your parents. Being a southern girl from SC, I am always torn between my love of the nearby mountains and time at our NC beach. I am so ready to go have some good ‘ole summer cooking at my mom’s now!!! Wonderful touring with you today! ~Christy

  6. lucky you to have such wonderful memories with your sweet family. happy summer!

  7. Love this post about summer! Like you, I love being outside…though those pesky summer bugs sure love me. I love the way you honor and cherish your parents and family….the most important of all. I wish you a delightful summer!
    My Kentucky Living

  8. Sounds like you have many wonderful summers to remember and hopefully more to come. It is hard as our parents get older and we finally begin to realize they won’t always be there. Embrace every moment and thanks for sharing them with us.

  9. Love this post…and all the fresh summer produce. I could just dive right into that plate of veggies if my computer would let me! You have wonderful memories to treasure. It seems so bittersweet. I have very similar ones here in middle Georgia. Our crops are harvesting later this year, and I haven’t had a good summer tomato yet. My most recent post has a summer home tour and 30 things I love about summer. Fresh summer tomatoes sprinkled with salt and pepper are at the top of the list!

  10. This looks like heaven to me. I don’t think I could ever let it go.

  11. Sounds old fashioned and wonderful, Rhoda. I’m telling you…I know you exercise but that food your mom makes would make it hard to maintain a girlish figure. It all looks so good!

  12. That plate of food sure did remind me of the way my mom cooks in the summer. Summer to me means spending Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays riding long distances on our bicycles and stopping at little country stores for a sandwich and bag of chips. It means spending more time outside walking to the movies, farmer’s market, the park, local restaurants and shops. It means sitting on the “front stoop” on a week-end evening enjoying a little impromptu cocktail party with the neighbors.

  13. Beautiful family! I love seeing your photos on Facebook with you and your family!
    Happy Summer,

  14. Oh boy Rhoda…I just know your Mom’s cooking is the best. Anytime you post her food, I drool. What beautiful memories and a beautiful place to have so many.

  15. I loved all of this. The photos of your mom’s cooking looks just like what my mom always served up.

  16. P.S. Some of my memories are watching my dad and uncles hand churning the ice cream freezer on my grandma’s porch. Her house is gone now, but I can still see her purple petunias blooming there.

  17. Yum! Looks like a fun summer! That is great that you have such a wonderful place to spend time with your family.

  18. There’s nothing quite like a good ole tomato sandwich on white bread. Salt, pepper and mayo is all you need. Simple and delicious. My daddy used to garden too, now just grows tomatoes and peppers.

    This post has made me hungry…

  19. Thinking back on childhood summers in KY when you would go to bed with the windows open (before A/C) and smell the newly mown grass and wild honeysuckle!!!

  20. I love this post! It totally takes me back to my childhood, when my Grandparents had a huge vegetable garden! Such simple times of helping my Grandma can her tomatoes and help with her homemade bread and butter pickles! Those tomatoes are making me want a tomato sandwich, NOW! Lol how do you get take part in these fun group home tours? I would love to be considered for one in the future!
    Hope you’re doing well!
    Kathy@The Daily Nest

  21. Hi Rhonda, It’s lovely that you get to enjoy your parent’s garden. I also grow a garden here in Vancouver, but always leave for England and so plant all the tomatoes and berries for my children…who get the full benefit with no work…lol. But don’t worry, because I also have a garden in England. Looks like you’re all set to enjoy your summer. I also love that first sweet tomato for that tomato sandwich, and usually watch it turn red ever so slowly, and guard it with my life!

  22. Summer is really all about building memories, isn’t it! And you have a treasure trove full of them Rhoda! Our summer is quite cool so far and my tomatoes are just barely little buds. Seeing those amazing southern tomatoes and mason jars filled with their goodness gives me hope.
    What a blessing to have a place that generations can go and enjoy each other and the joys of summer! LOVE all the southern food… sigh!

  23. Rhoda, this could have been the summer of my youth. My grandparents farm with a bounty full of fresh veggies from the garden. Popping the green beans and shucking corn on the front porch with all the family telling funny stories of the past. Thank you for reminding me once again of simpler times. I saw the fried okra on the plate!!! My favorite food of all time! Have a wonderful summer, takes lots of pictures to share the memories of your special family home with future family. I’m not fond of the heat either. ~Jeanette

  24. Rhoda… what a beautiful heartfelt post. I love seeing pictures of your Dad, the mountain house & your bounty there. Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself with us on the tour. I feel for you with the changes coming – change is hard. But think how lucky to have all those memories to cherish and I know you do that.

  25. I just have to tell you that I follow you through the bloglovin’ site and that juicy tomato is what shows up with your link. In Alaska, there is no such thing as a juicy, warm, fragrant red tomato like that one, no way, no how. We have salmon and rhubarb and really big cabbages and delicious carrots, but no tomatoes, not like those. And since I grew up in Tennessee, I know just how those smell, and feel, and taste. I know about sweating in the hot kitchen over a kettle of boiling water and jars full of tomatoes to put on the shelf. And then the pictures of the okra, and the cucumbers, and the beans, on that plate of food all fresh from the garden. I’m not even going to get started on the corn. Nope, not in Alaska. So, bless your heart, please enjoy a tomato sandwich, on white bread, with plenty of mayonnaise and some salt and pepper for me. My mouth starts watering every time I see that picture.

  26. Also being a Southern girl, I have many of the same memories of summer. I can almost taste that delicious meal in your picture! Summer is all above family!

  27. what a blessing to be able to spend time like that with your family and enjoy the fruit of all the hard work – you need to figure out a way to keep that place, but I know it would be hard – but Lauren and her husband are young it looks like ………..:) happy summer

  28. I love how your family have such bountiful fresh veggies, no wonder you all look so young and healthy. Your parents are much an inspiration I guess to you as well as your readers. I now try to buy organic and fresh and this summer hope to plant a lot more in my tiny garden.

    In New Zealand people have summer homes near the beach, mountain homes are where they head in the winter to ski but mainly they have summer beach houses. It must be lovely to get away to the cool mountains in the summertime though. We don’t have a beach house or a mountain house, just our little cottage by the sea which is actually only 10 minutes drive from Auckland city centre, the biggest city in New Zealand. However, only half an hour and we can be in the Waitakere ranges which is a small range of hills that are covered in Native bushland and also by the wild surf of the black sand beaches of the West Coast of Auckland. Because we are such a small country we are never far from anything really, lakes, mountains or sea.

    Your yummy images of food have inspired me to go and make some lentil and vegetable soup as it is a chilly Auckland day. I have been shooting my home office to post tomorrow, the photos are not too bad considering the overcast day, I am back to taking some more shots now.

    Have a lovely weekend

    Lee 🙂

  29. Rhoda,
    You did such a wonderful job of describing your summers that I now feel officially homesick for a place I’ve never been. 🙂 I have similar memories of my grandma’s ranch in the sandhills of Nebraska–huge vegetable gardens, Grandma’s cooking, and lots of family. It will be interesting to hear what the next generation’s memories of summer will be…

  30. I, too, have so many wonderful memories of my daddy and his vegetable garden. I loved going home and seeing he and my mother under the carport cutting corn of the cob, or inside canning tomatoes and green beans. I miss his Big Boy tomatoes, Silver Queen corn, and fresh peas. I truly believed this contributed to his longevity and physical stamina & the good health that my family and I now enjoy. And, I remember as a really young child getting up early to go pick plums or blackberries with my grandmother so she could make jelly. Such good memories!

  31. Thanks for sharing your summertime memories. I went to visit my 81 yr old mother last week and it makes me sad to see how things change and how time makes such a difference for everyone. Mom is doing well and lives on her own, but she started giving my daughters all of her fabric out of her cedar chest and she gave me a big picture of myself that has hung on her walls for almost 50 yrs. Why did she do that, I wonder? I wanted the pic, but it makes me sad that the pic of her baby (4th child) is not hanging on her wall. I’m sorry that I started gushing. I have some of the same memories that you have. We are blessed!

  32. Thank You so Much for Sharing Your Summer Stories, it
    brought back memories of My Parents and Summers. I especially
    Love Your dad shucking corn. And Oh Yes the first ripe tomato
    And the first of may fresh fruits and Veggies. Your photos are just
    Gorgeous also, some fit for framing.
    Thank You

  33. LOVE when you post pics from your parents garden! takes me back to my roots!

  34. lenda davis says:


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+Rhoda Southern Hospitality