Goodnight to Summer

In our home, the end of September means:

  1. changing the wreath on the front door (I'm very "season specific" on my wreaths)
  2. starting school (a new era in our family life)
  3. beginning the 3 month long task of clearing leaves off the roof (thank you, TindalMan)
  4.  creating as many "pumpkin-oriented" foods and beverages as we can bear (pumpkin waffles = winning; pumpkin shepherd's pie = losing)
  5. getting out Yoda the Pug's formal fall sweater (she's also "season specific")

While autumn brings it's own level of excitement and rituals, I often feel conflicted by a sense of bittersweetness. Sweetness in the fall foliage, football, crafty time and anticipation of the holidays (also, pumpkin spice tea = winning). Yet, I have a bitterness in saying goodbye to summer. Summer has become like a welcomed guest in our house. So much of our summer as a family is spent in the sand and on the shore of our local beach. Summer means evening picnics on the beach, kayaking along the Hood Canal, camping in the front yard, getting our hands stained in shades of red and purple from picking berries, partaking in the 100 random summer festivals that take place throughout Washington and grabbing Route 44 Cherry Limeades from Sonic on hot afternoons (thank you Sonic for finally building a restaurant near me!). Not to say these activities can't be enjoyed throughout the year...but there's just something freeing about SUMMER. I think for me, it's what summer represents in my children's lives and our memories together. I'm always documenting, always trying to savor our time together. The good, the bad and the ugly. Because they are the memories we have made TOGETHER as a family. Summer is my cherry limeade to fall's pumpkin spice tea. As my pal Olaf laments --

"Bee's they buzz, kids'll blow dandelion fuzz
And I'll be doing whatever snow does in summer.
A drink in my hand, my snow up against the burning sand
Prob'ly getting gorgeously tanned in summer."

Let's get gorgeously tanned together, Olaf. Then let's hit Sonic for a cherry limeade.