The Last Gasp of Summer

Yesterday was one of those summer days we just hate around here, hot and muggy.  Oppressive.  Today, though, was nice.  The air felt light.  There was even a breeze, and the temperatures were down about 10 degrees from yesterday.  It was almost like, well, fall.

Now Dragon Con is upon us, ending on Labor Day.  While summer doesn’t officially end until September 22, Labor Day feels like it draws the curtain over summer and its freedom.  Maybe that’s because school used to start right after Labor Day, not in August like it does now.  For whatever reason, Dragon Con itself has become my signpost for summer’s end.

As far as food goes, the end has been in sight for a couple of weeks.  Watermelon starts being less good after July 4.  By Labor Day, it’s often pretty anemic in both appearance and flavor.  Corn on the cob is not as plump or as large.

NY2014_GramercyBirdhouseWhen I look back at the summer, I managed to do quite a few things I intended.  I ate more fruits and vegetables, cut back seriously on soda, and am exercising more–though not as much as I’d like to.  The boy and I got his travel arrangements made, and we had a nice, if short, family vacation and saw this unusual birdhouse in a park.  We even planted some irises, which steadfastly refused to bloom.

We even went to a minor league baseball game, courtesy of the boy’s boss.  The dh used to go to minor league games regularly until the stadium burned down and the team moved to South Carolina, but that’s a long, involved story!  Anyway, we were glad to experience this bit of Americana together.  And our team won–go, Knights!

And of course, as you may have seen on Facebook, I finally got to see a space shuttle.  And it was the Enterprise!  I know she never actually flew, but…the Enterprise!  I’d wanted to see the U.S.S. Intrepid Museum and the shuttle for a long time.



BackyardOwl_2014A big event for us, though it seems fairly insignificant in the grander scheme of things, was spotting an owl in our back yard.   We stood under it, talking and taking pictures, and it ignored us totally.  It might be a sort of “I know I can take you if I have to” kind of attitude.  Still, we were all agog, and watching the big raptor was one of the highlights of our summer.

But I didn’t go out to our local park and watch the geese on the big artificial pond.  I didn’t whittle the TBR pile noticeably.  I didn’t learn to make pretty raffle baskets (I rely on other bandits for that), nor did I tinker around with changes to my website or paint the upstairs bathroom. *sigh*  I keep hoping the painting elves will just, you know, do that, but they haven’t so far!

What did you do this summer that you especially enjoyed?  What did you hope to do that you’re probably not going to get done before the seasonal calendar changes?


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  • Amy Conley says:

    Wow after yesterday’s last post it’s only fair to be first tonight.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Honestly? This summer pretty much was the worst of my life. Other than spending an unexpected day in DC, and 26 hours with grand #4, absolutely nothing good has happened.

  • Jane says:

    Hello Nancy,
    I’m not ready for summer to be over, but I read somewhere that you can now expect to see pumpkin flavored products everywhere like lattes and muffins. Haven’t done anything exciting this summer, but did enjoy hanging out with friends and catching all the superhero movies.

    • Jane, I’m behind on superhero movies, a shocking state of affairs at our house! We’re hoping to see Guardians of the Galaxy before the boy goes off for the semester. He has seen it already, of course, but is willing to see it again with us.

      Pumpkin latte in September, to me, is kind of like Christmas candy in October. Aren’t we rushing it just a little?

  • Daz says:

    It’s winter here, being in Australia and all but nonetheless we have had an eventful season. My husband retired from full time corporate work, we moved to live in wine country, I’ve got time to cook and experiment more with new dishes and the husband’s book which is due to be published just went to the printer. I even (at the urging of my neighbour) put in a herb garden. I’m so grateful the winter has not been as cold as I thought it would be.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Daz, congrats on a most productive winter! Man, I need some of that energy in my house…

    • Daz, wine country–how nice! I envy people with the kitchen skills to experiment. I’ll bet you’re turning out great food. The dh tried to grow herbs once, but it didn’t work out. Sounds as though yours are doing better.

      Best wishes to your hubby on his book!

  • flchen1 says:

    We spent a long weekend at a mini family reunion with some cousins and had a great time! He lives on a river, so the kids enjoyed all kinds of water fun, and we ate like kings 😉 Can’t believe it’s time for school!

  • Helen says:

    Hi Nancy

    Yep the days are getting longer here in Oz and a little warmer and soon it will be very hot and I will be indoors with the AC on and reading LOL. This winter has been a bit colder than normal or maybe that is just me getting older 🙂 and we haven’t done a lot had a new grnadchild some family BBQs and even though I have read a lot I keep adding to the TBR pile so it doesn’t seem to get any smaller LOL

    Have Fun

    • Helen, I’m glad your weather is getting better, and I hope summer won’t be too hot. Congrats again on the new grandchild!

      I know what you mean about the TBR pile. Though the ereader is helping with some of that for me!

  • Caren Crane says:

    Honestly, summer just flew past me! No big vacations, though I took some fun weekend trips. Got nothing at all accomplished in my yard or, really, in my house. Though I did get a great new floor scrubby thing and awesome spinny mop. If I felt more inspired to use them, now that would be something! 😀

    I am SO looking forward to autumn. It is quite chilly this morning – which is just WEIRD for August! – and I wish it would stay this way. Forever. I did read far too many books this summer, but sadly have still not quite gotten my own book pushed out into the world. This week. Fingers crossed…

    • Caren, I know what you mean about not feeling inspired to clean. Only the impending arrival of guests spurs me to it. So we can fool them into thinking we’re tidy.

  • Mozette says:

    Yep, Winter here in Australia… but we still get out into the garden – when it’s not pouring cats and dogs! 😀

    We’ve had some of the coldest days around right here in August… really dreadful! Anyway, I’ve been enjoying the craft markets, hanging out with other romance writers while proof-reading their work (even if one of them got snotty about it and bit off her nose in spite of her face) and then she apologised to me during group. She turned to me when she critiqued my work saying she can’t wait to see what happens to who and when! 😀 This is great!

    Then, I’ve done my volunteer work at the Logan Art Gallery just last Saturday (during the coldest day in a decade here in Brissie)… where we had Alvin Rostant play for us! He set up a dancing competition where he played ‘Hot, Hot, Hot!’ on the steel drum and we all danced for around 6 minutes and one of us won a cd of his! And he got to pick the winner! He said it was a redhead… and well… um… it was… me. 😛 I told him to pick somebody else as I worked at the gallery, but he insisted. 😀
    Then I got him to sign the cd covers 😀

    Life otherwise is going well! I’m hoping to get in and work harder on a new line of products while I finish cleaning out the house. 😀 Then, I thought to write about the worse time of my life: when I endured an abusive relationship, then spent 15 years working through the nightmares, problems and fear to get back to being happy… 😀

    Yep, that’s me this Winter…. 😀

  • Shannon says:

    This summer was cooler than usual, 80s instead of 90s, so less pool time.

    At work, I had a project that would go to our very most senior leadership that I did with a co-author in another agency. Lots of emails and phone calls. It “published” last Thursday, got great feedback, and work gave me an award on Friday.

    But at work I was also negotiating the details of a new job. It is strange that after 7 years of doing the same portfolio, I’ll be switching to a completely new subject. It’s time for this old dog to learn new tricks.

    There’s also been some drama. I filed my first missing persons report a week ago Saturday, and found my friend in a hospital after an accident. It’s hard to be non-family caring for some one with dementia and no family.

    And then there’s a friend who said there’s someone in her life who wants to hurt themselves. I advised it was time to reach out to professionals.

    I’m leaving soon to see my Mom. Other than talking too much and remembering the good old days, I’ll be dividing my reading time between my new work portfolio and my TBR.

    • Shannon, congratulations on your success at work, and best of luck with the new job!

      I’m glad your missing friend turned out to be safe. It’s good that she has you to keep an eye out for her.

      I hope your other friend finds help.

      Good luck paring down the TBR pile!

  • Your summer sounds wonderful. We did not get a full vacation in (pout) but I can’t complain. We managed three days in Cape May and two in Manhattan !

  • Hi Nancy –

    While we never managed a vacation this year, I did an awful lot of traveling. This year I traveled to Milwaukee, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Dayton, San Antonio, and Hagerstown, Md – all for writing/accounting events. I still have Iselin, NJ and Jacksonville, FL on the calendar. But I love it. I really enjoyed teaching classes and signing books.

    But because I was traveling, I didn’t get really anything done around the house or garden – and there’s a lot to do!!! Oh well – there’s always the fall.

    • Hi, Donna–Our garden is better when I’m not in it, but I know people who actually get along with plants miss the garden when they can’t get to it. The dh is like that. Sounds like you had a great summer, though!

  • catslady says:

    It’s been a pretty quiet summer. I would have loved to have seen a wild owl so close up! I never cleaned out my back hillside of weeds and it really got out of hand – I seem to catch poison ivy something terrible any more (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it lol) and my husband hurt his back. We did have someone do our front yard for us but the hillside is on it’s own until next year lol.

    • Catslady, the owl was about 20 feet above us. The last time we saw one in our yard, the boy was small. We used to hear them at night but never saw them.

      Sorry about your husband’s back! At least hillsides look good going “natural.”

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Interesting post, Nancy. I always think I’m going to set goals and get a list of to-do’s done during the summer, but then the heat sets in and I think, why bother??

    I did start clearing out my books (a very painful procedure) and donating them both to the local library and the local jail. Do you know that inmates far and above love the romance stories of writers like Danielle Steel? Yes, strange, isn’t it.

    • Thanks, Jo! I know what you mean about the heat putting a damper on things. I’ve been weeding books, too, and it’s painful.

      Yes, it’s surprising that people in prison like romance. You just never know!

  • Becke says:

    The turn of the season makes me sad even though I enjoy the cooler weather. I create a goal list every weekend and a monthly goal list, but I’ve never made up a list of seasonal goals.

    My biggest project is scanning all of the photo albums into my external drive. I strive to do one a week. I can’t face the task any other way. We’re talking thirty years of photographs.

    A seasonal goal sounds like a good endeavor. Thanks for the suggestion.

    We’ll see how it goes.

    • Becke, that’s a huge job! Once you get it done, though, it’ll be great.

      We have scads of photos that aren’t even in albums. I have to sort them all out one day.

  • Patricia Cochran says:

    Hi, Nancy,

    Don’t think many know, but I am a major Nascar fan! I entered the Nationwide Dash 4 Cash contest this summer. Out of 30,000 entrants, four finaliists were drawn. I was one of the four! My prize was an all-expenses paid trip to Iowa Speedway for the contest finals plus a nice check. We were part-
    nered with drivers who had qualiified for the finals. The driver who attained the highest spot in the results (and his contest partner) would each receive a nice big check!! Unfortunately, I was
    wasn’t the winner. My favorite activities were being an honorary member of Regan Smith’s team and riding in the pace car up to a speed of 115 miles per hour! I also enjoyed meeting my fellow contestants and the team who guided us through the weekend. This was my favorite activity of the summer!

    Pat C.