Monday, August 24, 2009

What I Will Miss About Summer

I woke up this morning and there was a crispness in the air instead of the hot and steamy mugginess that has plagued the East Coast for the last couple of weeks. As I glanced at the calendar a wave of nostalgia swept over me, summer is over! And then like a hiccup, I broke into song…”See you in September” – the classic by The Tempos (1959).

The truth is: I will miss summer. Here are a few reasons why:

Fruit stands. One on every corner. They bedazzle me with their colorful umbrellas that shade the fresh picked corn, tomatoes, green beans, and “yes” even hand-picked flowers from the garden. The sunflowers and bright zinnias beckon me to buy a bunch for $5.00 that last for weeks on the kitchen table.

Fireflies. The walks in the park at dusk mesmerize me. I conducted several symphonies with the help of my lightning bug friends. With my iPod blaring (do you think they could actually hear it?), “we” orchestrated a new version of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

Long Days. The evenings are shorter now and gone are the jogging runs at 9:00 p.m. The running shoes need to be put on at 7:30 p.m. in order to make it back home before all the street lights go on. Sigh.

Mt. Gretna. Although we only visited it once this year, it is a magical place of gnome-like cottages, the Jigger Shoppe with homemade ice cream (voted the best in Lancaster County), quaint gift shops, walking trails, the 1950’s big swing over the lake, and pine trees that wave back at you. Of course, it’s still there in the winter, but it's simply not the same.

Maggie Moos Ice Cream. I’m not really an ice cream fan, but this summer I discovered the “Better Batter” flavor. It’s America’s version of gelato and for a few extra cents, they will add any combination of “condiments” you prefer: toffee chips, Baby Ruth, Snickers, and “yes” even Swedish Fish (no thanks!). I always ask for the “Kiddie Kup” and indulge in one of life’s simple pleasures.

Writing Deadlines. What? Did I really say that? Yes, the summer is when I write uninterrupted. I stay up until 2:00 a.m. pounding out deadlines and get lost in the world of words. There’s nothing like a summer project that gets zipped up and put to “bed” before winter. I guess it’s like the summer “reading” list (writer’s version only!).

County Fairs: Big, big, big on the East Coast. Every town, municipality, and borough has its own. The E-Town fair starts this week and we will be going. Cotton candy. Ferris Wheels. Pie-Eating Contests. Tractor Pulls. Fireworks. And not to be missed, The York Fair, the oldest fair in the country is right in my backyard.

Lazy Days. There’s something about ice cold lemonade and the lazy days of summer that spell relief. Sipping lemonade on the back porch simply doesn’t feel the same in winter (try it!). Soon the hot chocolate and marshmallows will fill my cup and Jack Frost will be nipping at my toes! Ouch.

Back-to-School Shopping. Although the “boys” are all grown up, I still gaze at the store windows with bittersweetness. The fake fall leaves donning the store displays with bright orange, yellow, and red with back-to-school paraphernalia signals the end of one season and the beginning of another.

Flowers, flowers, flowers. This year, my calla lilies were not eaten up by the beetles for the first time in several years. Their simple elegance is a tribute to our Creator. I marvel at the way they open up gracefully and then close back up when they are ready to kiss the summer goodbye.

Vacations. We took one with some dear friends who let us enjoy a respite at their lake home at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia. It was a much-needed getaway from a July meltdown. Memories of s’mores, Christmas Tree Island, boating, lounging on the deck, long walks, spotted fawns at dusk, drifting on an inner tube—soaking in the summer rays, and hot dogs on the grill are pleasures that will endure through the cold days of winter.

Goodbye summer…hello fall!

Living Life Passionately,

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1 comment:

Susan Skitt said...

Oh my, what a word picture you've created - the picture of summer for sure! Would have loved to meet at the Jigger shop again, but this summer was our trip to the Jersey shore :) The kids had fun boogey boarding!