What Did You Do Last Summer?

Are there questions that trigger specific memories for you?

For me, the question “what did you do last summer” is one of those. As a student, it was always the title of the year’s first composition. When I became the teacher, it was the title of the semester’s first assignment. As an English teacher, I usually asked for a piece of writing, but were I to do it again today, I might accept a work of art, like my granddaughter’s painting of the river where they are enjoying a family vacation in a rented cottage. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Wouldn’t you like to be there now?

It wasn’t until last summer and then again this year that I realized how difficult answering that question was for those unfortunate enough to have done nothing all summer–make that all year long.

And Then There Was COVID

For years, I looked forward to the summer because that was the time when we could travel. As a teacher, married to an accountant, there was no way I could get away in the winter, but come the end of the school year, the world was mine to explore. I retired from teaching, but hubby still works. While we’ve been able to snatch a few January vacations in the past, the Coronavirus has put an end to that. I have not had a vacation since January 2020. I looked forward to getting away in the summer, but that didn’t work out either. Now that July is drawing to a close, the winter and summer of 2021, don’t look a whole lot different.


So how have I compensated? I’ve had staycations. I’ve spent more time in my yard this year than I ever have. Thanks to the weather, everything is lush and green. To cope with the high humidity, we even installed a pool! Here you can see hubby filling our foot cooling pool. It may not be fancy, but it works!

We have Happy Hour every afternoon at four, weather permitting, and sit out, soaking our feet in our glamorous tub.

So how have I filled the hours before sitting in the pool? I’ve worked on new stories, edited old ones and spent time contemplating where I want to go from here. I’ve had my vaccines, but I don’t think we are going to get back to where we were anytime soon. Masks, social distancing, and frequent hand washings are here to stay. Still, we can try to make the best of it and use our time productively. For me, that meant publishing The Tipsy Pig. Set during the pandemic, it’s an amusing story about a former socialite, a reclusive author, a he-cat who’s actually a she, and a potbellied pig with a fondness for dandelion wine.

The Blurb

A former socialite, a recluse, and a tipsy pig—the perfect recipe for disaster or romance?Dreading publicity over her recent divorce, her ex-husband’s arrest, and her upcoming 40th birthday, Sahara Larson, the former CEO of Larson Enterprises, escapes from Toronto to hide away at a friend’s rustic cabin near Algonquin Park. The future looks bleak, but among her neighbors is Hiram Colson, a reclusive bestselling author who rescues discarded pets. Will he be able to rescue her, too? Can a potbellied pig with a penchant for homemade dandelion wine unite two lonely people?

The Tipsy Pig is the fourth book in my Cocktails for You series. Believe it or not, a Tipsy Pig is a bacon flavored cocktail, and the recipe is in the story! Get yours for only 99 cents USD or free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Don’t forget to check out all the great box sets available from the ABB including the new Sweet & Sassy A New Beginning which features my book, Forever and Always. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B098PLHBMT as well as Unforgettable Satisfaction featuring Echoes of the Past https://www.amazon.com/Unforgettable-Satisfaction-Secrets-Courage-Unforgettables-ebook/dp/B097785RHW

See you next month.

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About Susanne Matthews

I'm a retired high school English teacher turned author. I'm Canadian. My husband and I have been married 48 years and have 3 children and 5 grandchildren, as well as 2 step-grandchildren.  I enjoy traveling, especially somewhere warm in winter.

4 Replies to “What Did You Do Last Summer?”

  1. By the way, I haven’t traveled since September 2019. We’re talking about a world-wide traveler who used to take three to four cruises a year, in addition to several trips within the US. You get used to everything in life!!!

    • Mona, we were just getting our cruising legs when this happened. We’d hoped to go to Hawaii for our anniversary this year, but those plans are kaput. Not sure if we’ll be able to do anything.

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