Saturday, August 23, 2008

Summer's End

The end of summer is bittersweet. It means the end of one routine and the beginning of another. For me, my writing life gives way to speaking and that means ”trains, planes and automobiles.” But it also means a more hectic schedule, which I am desperately trying to change. Mark’s recuperation from his hip injury has taught me--once again--to take ONE DAY at a time! His progress has been steady and it looks like he will return to work sometime in September. So we are enjoying these last days of summer as a special gift.

Last Monday, we met fellow friend and author Susan Kelly Skitt along with her precious family (Jim, Jared and Joel) at one of our favorite summer spots: Mt. Gretna! It’s the place that time has forgotten with an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, quaint cottages, and a water swing over the lake.

We enjoyed endless root beer in iced glasses and pulled pork sandwiches, while the canopy of pine trees brought a welcome relief to an otherwise humid day. Susan and I first met at an author signing for God Allows U-Turns, and immediately we knew we were sisters of the heart. And now she speaks to MOPS groups and is part of Women’s Mentoring Ministries. It’s a great reunion every time we get together.

Yesterday, Jon came home from his vacation with Kim’s family at Ocean City, Maryland. In a matter of two hours after arriving home, we helped him pack up the Subaru to head out for Grove City College. You would think that having gone through this for the last three years, I would be used to it. I am not!

As soon as the good-bye picture was snapped, I slipped inside the front door so I could cry alligator tears!

Mark knew that I would spend the rest of the evening crying on and off, so we got in the Buick and drove 58 miles down the road to “paradise”—North East, Maryland. We shopped the quaint shops, took pictures of the gorgeous homes, enjoyed crab dip (Maryland style--yummy!), and watched the sunset on the Chesapeake while the fishing boats drifted in.

On the drive home, we opened up the moon roof (yes--our Buick has a moon roof!), played R&B music, and let the wind whip through my hair. The tears had dried and the sadness was gone (almost!).

We have done our job well…our boys are all grown up and leading lives of their own. It’s just the two of us now at summer’s end!


Anonymous said...


It sounds like you had fun at Mt. Gretna, my brother Ron and his wife go there quite a bit,I must try it sometime. The roor beer floats,sound yummy, good for weight managment I bet?

Northeast, Md., I have spent many a day there in my younger years, while going to the Nazarene Campgrounds just North of route 40.

Your pictures are beautiful, especially of the sunset, it looks so peaceful, and to think that God created all this for us to enjoy, I can only imagine as the song says, "Oh How Beautiful Heaven Must Be," I know Carole is enjoying the "Beauty Of Heaven!"

My prayers are with you and your family, and I am glad to hear that Mark is coming along nicely!

God Bless,


Connie Pombo said...


It was a perfect way to end summer...the Chesapeake sunset! We even saw some deer, although my pictures didn't turn out!

We were gone just a few hours, but it seemed like a week's vacation. Sometimes I think the short ones are the packing!

We passed Nazarene Campground and we thought of you; I remember you said something about that before.

There were quite a few photographers taking pictures of the sunset--all jockeying for the right position. It was a glorious night!

We're still enjoying the goodies you brought us (YUMMY!).

Blessings to you!

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

I love it Connie! I felt like I was looking at a family picture book story!

You said it so well, "sisters of the heart" for sure my friend! And even though we only had a little snippet of time together (thanks to an anxious little six-year-old I know who couldn't wait to go swimming - LOL!), it was precious time with friends.

Thanks for showing our family such an amazing spot. We will be back for sure. That rootbeer in frosted glasses was delicious! I'll post soon about the rest of our day. Wait until you see what Joel did at the lake!!! He's such an adventurer!

Your day trip to Maryland sounds delightful. I agree about those day trips - no packing - hurray!

And Jon's last year at Grove City - wow - where did time go? Two more years until Jared leaves for college and he's thinking out of state... I'll come and cry on your shoulder :)

Connie Pombo said...

Oh honey, I'll be there for you when Jared goes off to college! It won't be long (and it is a BIG transition), but it gets easier with time. The recovery time gets easier with each year; however, it NEVER completely goes away.

We'll do lots of lunches (I'll keep you busy!).


Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Okay honey, I posted about Mt. Gretna today!

Love ya,

Connie Pombo said...

Okay, I'm on my way over to your blog right now!