Summer Reading, Summer Possibilities

“Summer” officially begins with the summer solstice on June 21st, but around here, school is out, and summer vacation has begun!

Sleeping in
Time to sleep in


Summer is the time to air out the cottage, put fresh linens on the beds, and open our minds to possibility.

Christine's Cottage
Fresh and cheerful!

The desire is universal. Inland people stream to the coasts; coastal people go up to the mountains. Rural people go to big-city plays, museums, and concerts, while city people go to the countryside and shore for hikes, boating, and campfires.

Summer camp in Maine
“There might be a dozen boats lurking in these coves…” Give Me One Summer

“It is only for the summer.  When fall comes I will have a brand-new outlook, will have recovered my sense of direction, will know what I want to do with my life.” I Hear Adventure Calling

The lure of summer is timeless. We slip on summer clothes–looser, more colorful–enjoy hobbies and friends, and spend more time out of doors. Even foods are more fun–crisp, cold watermelon; hand-churned ice cream, grilled corn and burgers, picnic baskets, and campfires with smores.

“What a day for a picnic! It’s glorious! Don’t you love this, ‘the-world-is-mine,’ feeling, Dal?” Here Comes the Sun!

summer picnic
“You’ve made a mistake, Mister, this isn’t a picnic supper, it’s a banquet.” As Long As I Live

Emilie Loring’s summer cookies:

Emilie Loring's cookies
Emilie Loring’s sour cream cookies 

“One likes something to nibble with a cold drink, so when there is sour cream on hand we have the following cookies in the larder. Cream one half cup of butter and one cup of sugar; add one well-beaten egg and one half cup of sour cream into which has been stirred one quarter teaspoon of sifted soda. Sift two and a half cups of flour with three and a half level teaspoons of baking powder and beat well into first mixture. Add one teaspoon of vanilla. Drop from teaspoon in small rounds on buttered tin. Sprinkle with grated cocoanut and bake in hot oven.”

Emilie Loring, For the Comfort of the Family: A Vacation Experiment, 1914

Emilie Loring’s Summer Vacations

Marshall House 1930s
“Where cool sea breezes blow away summer’s heat”

When they were first married, Emilie and Victor Loring vacationed at grand hotels on the coast. They danced, motored, and sailed, with attentive service from the depot to the dining room.

It was vacation season and the town was a paradise for vacationists who liked the sea.  They were sprinkled over boardinghouse lawns, perched on boardinghouse rails, crowded the street in every variety of sports clothing. I Hear Adventure Calling

1928 SS Aorangi
Her brother’s cruise ship, 1928

Emilie’s mother, sister, brother, and friends–even her characters–went abroad from time to time in the summer, but not Emilie. Instead, she and Victor took their young sons to the Rangeley Lakes, where they fished, hiked, and rowed.

Bald Mountain Camp
“A row of log cabins with brand-new tin water-pails”

This camping experience had poured new spirit through her veins. Never had she known life as she had lived it in the past forty-eight hours.  Two nights she had slept on balsam boughs with the fragrance of pines and the smell of a wood-fire stealing into the window to drug her to dreamless sleep.  In the early morning she had plunged into the icy water of the lake.  A Certain Crossroad

Emilie Loring shore at Blue Hill
Emilie Loring’s shore, Blue Hill

But for most of her life, Emilie Loring summered at Stone House in Blue Hill. Like Melissa Barclay in Give Me One Summer, she, too, managed renters on her property.

“Observe that each house has a motorboat moored in the offing.  That is included in the rent.  The cottages were Aunt Hetty’s pride and she furnished them luxuriously even to books and boats.” Give Me One Summer

“All the young people, rustics and rusticators–that is what the natives call the summer people–played around together.” A Certain Crossroad 

Emilie did some writing during the summer, but she usually wrote from September through May and simply vacationed at Blue Hill. She gardened, she read, she visited with friends, and she stored up ideas for her next, engaging novel.

Is it any wonder that her books are like mini-vacations themselves?

She drew the clear air deep into her lungs. She must make the most of it. Soon the ground roar of a big city, the wail of motor horns, the screech of fire sirens, would be in her ears instead of the swish of pebbles on the beach and the fain moan of a distant buoy. Give Me One Summer

Summer Reading, Summer Possibilities

my book collection wprSummer reading is amazing. There’s nothing quite like reading a book in dappled sunlight with the sound of water nearby and no schedule to keep. Read, nap, get a snack, read some more…

Lucky us, though: We can steal away to a Maine lighthouse, a Cape Cod chowder house, a Boston townhouse, or a Wyoming ranch any time we want. Just pick up an Emilie Loring book–or get one on Kindle–and off we go.


Is this the summer that you will visit Emilie Loring’s Boston, Cape Cod, or Maine? Will you complete your Emilie Loring book collection? Maybe try some of her recipes?

Summer is here, and the world is wide with possibility. Let’s see what we can do with it!

“Curious, isn’t it, what a change of outlook will do to one’s point of view?” As Long As I Live

Happy Landings!

15 thoughts on “Summer Reading, Summer Possibilities

  1. Hi Patti, I just found your blog
    What a treat!
    Yes, I , too, began reading Emilie Loring books when I was about 10 years old. Here in California I would find her books at Weinstocks in the book department.
    It’s so much fun to wander around your blog, reading what you write and then reading the comments, and realizing my enjoyment of Ms. Loring’s books is shared.
    Thanks, again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so pleased. Thank you for your comments. Finding this community of Emilie readers has been such a joy and a real encouragement. Biography is lonely work, and hearing from people like you lets me know that the work matters.

      Isn’t it interesting that so many of us began to read her when we were about ten? I had imagined that I was unique in that, a product of having older sisters—but no!

      I really need to improve the blog’s finding aid. There are nearly 200 posts now; how are you to find the earlier gems? Thanks for wandering about in the meanwhile. Let me know if there’s something you’d like to read about or see on the blog. Happy Landings!


  2. Aloha! I loved this post. I’m going to try the Summer cookies. What a treat. Sitting on my porch with my flowers around me drinking a cup of tea and nibbling a special treat. While of course reading an Emilie Loring masterpiece. Thank you, pam

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is pouring rain here. School ends Friday. High school exams for my boys the rest of this week. Because of snow days, 1/2 next Tuesday. I have no idea how many students will attend.

    Your post made me think most about my family vacations as a child. There are 6 of us. So, we drove (in 2 cars) to KY Lake and stayed in a cabin on the lake. We could walk to the lake from the cabin. It was so relaxing a time. I love the slam of screen doors in the summer. My husband, the kids and I went to a beach community on the Atlantic a few years ago, renting a cottage (with wi-fi!) and a sun room. We could walk a block to the beach. It so great and relaxing, reminding me of the vacations of my youth.

    I’m preparing my youngest for a music program trip to Disney (FL) next week where the chorus and band will perform. Pretty exciting stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My childhood family (6 of us, too) still has its lake cottage. It’s the place we all re-charge. I love your screen-door memory, and Disney, too. I first went to Disneyland (California for us Arizonans) with my high school concert choir. Ah, summer!


      1. Wow! The similarities. My son’s very excited about going to Disney with the HS chorus and band. They had to have special polo shirts and wear long khaki pants to perform. It’s good to know some organizations have standards of dress and conduct these days! I wish I could go, but another son took an ROTC trip this year and well, $, and all that…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s a good thing you have your Emilies / mini-vacations! Or, since you’ve just read all 50, I recommend her friend, Sara Ware Bassett. I had fun with The Wall Between (1920), free on Gutenberg, Her characters are memorable!


      3. Thanks for the suggestion of Bassett. I will look into her soon. (Those irons are still in the fire…making their way out!)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It is! I made the recipe for this post, and the cookies rose high and were quite soft–a little addictive! They would be very nice for nibbling with a cup of tea, and I could see them with a sprinkle of cinnamon instead of the coconut.


  4. Love the way you put that “Is it any wonder that her books are like mini-vacations themselves?”. So true! I “traveling” with Emilie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I always knew I that enjoyed the settings and stories, but when I thought of the mini-vacation idea, it just clicked for me. “Yes! That’s what it feels like!”


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