Relishing Summer

Gayle_BozemanFamilyChristian_smallThis blog post by Gayle M. Irwin


During summer it’s easy to “relish” – watermelon, apples, ice cream, ice tea, the occasional strawberry daiquiri or margarita (or both!): all quench a parched throat, dry from summer’ warmth.

But, there are other things to “relish” as well these days: the season itself with respite from snow and cold; hikes and walks in woodland splendor; laughter of children; companionship of family and friends – treasures of summer’s majesty.

Writers Group at CabinI’ve been fortunate to relish – and revel in – many things this season, like cabin solitude and cabin time shared with family and friends, including my parents, and good friends such as my writer’s group just a few weeks ago; and the spider-webbing of my writing through new magazine and blog opportunities, several of which will be published this fall. I recently received the new copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What? and had my first sales of the book last Friday! I spoke at a library and senior center in a town about 90 miles south of Casper and connected with more dog people, and later this month I travel to Colorado to speak at the Fort Collins Senior Center. I relish these opportunities to share uplifting presentations with a call to action – to help animal rescue groups in the area. During this particular weekend I will continue my travel south to New Mexico, to visit a friend I’ve known more than 35 years, and then drive back north with a stop in Colorado Springs to visit places I’ve not seen, like Garden of the Gods and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I’m also planning to share dinner with Doris McGraw!

TetonsIn July I spent time with another friend, someone I’ve known about 30 years, when he and his family visited Teton National Park, therefore, I was fortunate to return to a lovely part of my state: Jackson, the Tetons, Yellowstone National Park. My parents visited at the end of July, and in September my father and I will visit national parks in Utah as well as the Grand Canyon. I’ve been to a few of these places; my dad never has. At 78 years of age, he’s put this trip on his “bucket list,” and I will “relish” sharing this vacation – and nature’s grandeur – with him.

I relish writing, speaking, travel, knowledge, my pets, family, and friends.

Many people make relish from summer gardens – I remember my mother doing that for years. I am neither a cook nor a gardener so my “relish” is a savoring of life’s sweetness when certain opportunities come my way: enjoyment of friends and family; sharing my passions, talents, and gifts in a variety of ways; and creating memories … and anticipating more in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

What “sweetness” will you be relishing soon? SAVOR!!



Gayle with book buyerGayle M. Irwin is writer, author and speaker. She is the author of several inspiring dog books for children and adults, including Sage’s Big Adventure, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dog, and Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God. She is also a contributing writer to editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul, including the latest dog book The Dog Did What? to be released August 19, 2014. She also writes for WREN (Wyoming Rural Electric Network), Crossroads, and Our Town Casper magazines, as well as for the Casper Journal, Douglas Budget, and River Press newspapers, and she’s had articles published in Creation Illustrated magazine. She’s also authored a guidebook for owners of blind dogs, available on Kindle. Learn more at


Walking_FrontCover_small       Dog Devotion Book_Cover_FinalChicken Soup_DogDidWhat_Cover    Blind Dog Ebook Cover_updatedMay2014    SageBigAdventureFront-small     SageLearnsShareFront-small

16 thoughts on “Relishing Summer

  1. Gayle, life is to be ‘relished’ and you expressed it beautifully. May the joys continue on through the cold winter days until the next warm weather arrives. See you soon. Doris


  2. So many things to relish about summer, Gayle! Have a great time on your trip and visiting with Doris. I have very fond memories of a trip to the Garden of the Gods many years ago.


    1. Hi, Stephanie — thank you! I’m looking forward to the trip, to sharing my works with Colorado folks, and to visiting friends! And, yes, lots to relish in summer and its fast fading — may you relish each day!


    1. Thank you, Abbie — I am quite excited to share another story about Sage with Chicken Soup readers and fans. I will be reading part of the story when I’m in Fort Collins at the Senior Center — my sweet blind dog continues to touch hearts! 🙂


  3. Summer is a time to relish life. The long, lazy days, pleasant evenings, sandy beaches, cool green mountains.
    We recently put up an inexpensive 10×10 “garden house” on our patio – (canvas cover on wrought iron uprights). It’s amazing what a difference this has made. Even though we had a nice table and an adjustable umbrella, we rarely made use of our patio. Now we go out and drink our morning coffee and watch the hummingbirds. Or have drinks or dinner in the cool of the evening.
    It’s fascinating how that simple change has made us relish our pretty backyard more than we ever did before. I look forward to sharing it with guests.


  4. There you go, Gayle, you did insert a photo of glass bottles of relish. You saved me from looking like a fool. When I first started reading your post, I thought it would deal with food as in “relish” — the stuff squirted onto hotdogs and hotdog buns along with mustard, catsup, etc. I do love hiking and exploring the trails in national and state parks. I did quite a bit of it back in the 1970s and 1980s, but I’m not so sure my back and hip could handle it nowadays.


    1. Ah, Mike, I wanted to put the hotdog relish jars at the front of the post as a “teaser” but since our personal photo extends into the copy … well, I got it in anyway! 🙂 I did want that play on words — lots of us writers think alike! 🙂 Yes, I totally understand the hiking bit — not so active that way these days either, but there is a lot of beauty to “relish” all around us and I’m thankful to live in an area where I can still do that, even from my car … or up at my cabin. Thanks for stopping by and hope you’re surviving the Nevada heat!


  5. Gayle- I admit ‘relish’ did make me think of food, too. You do indeed have a wonderful time trekking around and look so hppy in th ephotos you post. I’m branching around a bit more and getting into author ‘talks’ to local groups, but I think rather than doing it for free ( as I’ve done so far) if I travel 90 miles, I might have to charge expenses for petrol (gas). Relish all the rest of your summer, whether at your cabin or spreading the word of your writing.


  6. Love the play on words, Gayle. All the years I canned, I made countless jars of relish, all different flavors. We had our pick when it was time for summer barbecues. I have relished every summer of my life, although some more than others. Your photos are so great and it’s easy to see you have enjoyed this summer tremendously. You asked the question “What sweetness will you be enjoying soon” and it’s probably my birthday this month. My folks always made a big deal of our “special” day and we had a lot of summer picnics for the event!


  7. I am anticipating a long overdue road trip and I plan to relish every moment of it, as I believe you have. My destinations will be more out of the way than yours , but no less sweet.


  8. Lovely post. We all have the things we “relish” and it’s lovely when a specific food or scent brings back specific, positive memories. Like you, I’m not much of a gardener and while I cook, I don’t can, but the right brand of canned cherries and I’m back at the old farmhouse. 🙂


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