Summertime Reflection by Joan Reeves

Cover of Heat Lightning by Joan ReevesI love that old song “Summertime?” Maybe it’s just me, but it’s like the summertime I lived as a child.

Fish jumped. The cotton was high. The heat was a palpable thing because no one had air conditioning back then.

The bluesy melody plays in my head as I write this, and it makes me think about all the things I loved about those long ago summers when the living did seem easy.

Bygone Years

Since we had no air conditioning, summer evenings were spent on the porch and out in the yard. We kids chased lightning bugs, or fireflies if that’s how you know those little insects that could make a Mason jar glow like a lantern if you caught enough of them. If it wasn’t quite dark yet, most of us played baseball. We never seemed to tire of baseball.

The porch swing creaked as it swayed back and forth. The quiet voices of the adults on the porch talked about the happenings of the day, and the talk gleaned from the grapevine that always seems to wind through every small town and rural community.

The Evening Calm

Evenings were peaceful and a time to relax after a long day. I think people in today’s world lose that winding down at the end of the day. Instead of talking quietly, as a family, about the day, we seek relaxation in front of a television set, computer screen, or video game. It’s just not the same.

In fact, a lot of scientific studies have been done that say these activities interfere with sleep rather than make it easy. In a society where sleep deprivation is rampant, maybe we should change the way we unwind in the evenings?

The habit of enjoying the quiet calm of evening still lives in small towns and rural America. I see it whenever I visit my brother on his farm or talk with friends who live in the small towns near our country house. That small town environment is what I often write about in my romance novels.

In my most recent work, Heat Lightning for Summer Fire, the NY Times and USA Today bestselling romance collection, I touch on this a little. Tessa and David are secluded at a lake house in West Texas. When their WiFi goes out, a neighboring rancher offers his mobile device for David to use.

That’s what people in ranch country do. If a neighbor has a need, they’re willing to help. Later when there’s trouble at the lake house, not only does the county Sheriff show up, but also the neighboring ranchers. Farm and ranch folk are used to helping each other out.

Weather Phenomenon

The title for my romantic suspense novella was a no-brainer for me because the phrase heat lightning has always had a certain cachet for me. Perhaps because I remember watching it often in the night sky at summer.

I’ll be publishing Heat Lightning on June 30, apart from the box set which will be taken down in a few weeks. The story ended up being one of my favorites because the phenomenon known as heat lightning, where lightning can be seen but no thunder is heard, figures in the story.

I hope your summertime is full of good books, good times, and easy living!

Post Script

Bestselling romance author Joan Reeves lives her happily ever after with her husband in the Lone Star State. Her books, available as ebooks and audiobooks, all have the underlying theme that is her motto: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.” Readers, sign up for WordPlay, Joan’s email list/newsletter. Joan also publishes Writing Hacks, a free newsletter for writers. Find Joan at SlingWords, her blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

About Joan Reeves

Joan Reeves is a NY Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. She lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Sign up for Joan's mailing list: and visit her at and her blog
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14 Responses to Summertime Reflection by Joan Reeves

  1. MRS N, the Author says:

    I remember that song. I grew up in the perfect time period (80’s) where it was exactly how you described. You went out and played until your mother yelled for you to come inside or it was too dark to see. Those were the days. I feel sorry for the kids nowadays because they don’t have that same sense of freedom and innocence. Everyone is on their devices and don’t unwind.

    Every evening, my husband and I take out favorite beverage out onto our solarium. We sit on comfy chairs and put our feet up, holding hands. We talk about our day or anything else that pops up while watching the trains and birds fly by. For thirty blissful minutes, it’s just the two of us.

    Happy Summer to all of the Authors of Main Street and the followers of this great blog! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Joan Reeves says:

      I’ve been away so I’m just now catching up. Sounds as if we had a similar childhood. When I’m at our house in the country, it’s like stepping back into yesteryear. Hubby and I sit on the porch, have wine, and watch dusk descend. Happy Summer to you too!


  2. Carol says:

    I grew up in a small town also. Unwinding in the evening was normal. Finally dinner was over, dishes done and us kids out on the lawn catching fireflies, practicing standing on our heads or turning cartwheels. I never did accomplish cartwheels! Yes, the kids now miss out on so many things. It’s sad.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Joan Reeves says:

      Sorry to be so late in responding to your comment. I never could do cartwheels either, Carol! But that skill is like algebraic equations–most people use it later in life.


  3. E. Ayers says:

    I grew up on the top of a hill in what was dairy country. There was a neighborhood, not like what we have today with hundreds of houses packed on a few acres. Flashlight tag, if there was a friend around, and lightning bugs kept me busy. But we also had a huge porch that was a full story off the ground. Rarely did a mosquito fly that high! So I sat on the porch and kept myself busy until bedtime. Glasses of iced tea that sweat puddles of condensation. I’d be chased to bed and could still hear conversations floating on the air through open windows to my room.

    My husband and I used to sit on the steps of our front porch almost year round. It was the best way to unwind from busy days. Sometimes we’d talk and sometimes I’d just put my head on his shoulder.

    We’re all so busy we’ve forgotten how to stop and relax.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Joan Reeves says:

      Sorry to be so late in responding to your comment. I’m playing catchup today. Sounds like a lovely childhood too. You’re so right. Everyone is too busy to take a few moments to relax.


  4. leighmorgan1 says:

    Love spending mornings in the summer on the front porch with my flowers drinking coffee and communing with the birds. I think I like it more than the birds do, but, hey, it’s my porch. Also love evening on the back deck with iced tea or a beer or glass of wine winding down the day hearing about the day my family has had. Summer is perfect for that. Can’t wait to read, Heat Lightning! Congrats on the box set and on your solo release.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Joan Reeves says:

      When I’m in town, I have my coffee on the back deck with my roses. In the afternoon, in town, you can find me on the bench under the giant oak tree, ready to chat with any neighbor who ventures out to enjoy the hour before sunset. Thank you so much. Hope you enjoy HEAT LIGHTNING.


  5. A marvelous post…it brought back memories of my summertime activities as a kid. I never see ‘lightening bugs’ in the small town I live in, but out at the camp…yes. They made the evening magical.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Joan Reeves says:

      Sorry to be so late in responding to your comment. Thanks, Pepper. I see lightning bugs at our place in the country, but never in town. I guess the use of insecticides in urban areas kills the little glow bugs.


  6. Kristy says:

    We had lightening bugs in Connecticut, but only mosquitoes in Washington where I grew up. Being so far north, in the summer daylight can last until bedtime. Of course, in the winter, nightfall comes in the afternoon. Here in Southern California, the seasons all blend together and every day is sunny and warm. Every once in a while I long for some weather drama, but the truth is after so many years, I’m not sure I would know how to live in anything other than warm sunny days.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joan Reeves says:

      Sorry to be so late in responding to your comment. Isn’t it odd that mosquitoes thrive even in colder climates? I had friends in Alaska, and she said the mosquitoes and flies were just a plague. Couldn’t escape them. Personally, I’m like you. I’ve lived mostly in climates like Gulf Coast Texas so I’d be hard-pressed to make it in anything else. Southern Cali has pretty terrific weather.


  7. Mona Risk says:

    Sitting on the patio to relax on a swing is what I did when I came back from a long day at work. Those were the days when I still lived in Ohio in a big house with a big backyard and I watched what I called my private ‘wild life’, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, lightening bugs. It was peaceful but warm.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joan Reeves says:

      Sorry to be so late in responding to your comment. Hi, Mona. Our private wildlife is certainly one of the attractions at our country house. I like the deer and their fawns, and the foxes. Even the coyotes are okay since they keep their distance, but the skunks, armadillos, field mice, and snakes are nuisances.


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