So it’s Labor Day. The unofficial end of summer. Or maybe that happened for you earlier this week, or the week before, when the kids went back to school.
For the first — and last for probably two decades — time in our married lives, we are not bound to a school schedule. And let me tell you, it’s a little weird. In the five years we’ve been married, my husband has been in school. Our daughter will start kindergarten next year. So, this year, August, September, they’re just months. I remember, a little, what this was like the first fall after college. When for the first time in my life that I could remember, I wasn’t starting a school year. My working world continued, for the most part, as it had the previous month. And suddenly, I was a grown-up whose “year” didn’t start in August or September but in January.
I happen to love fall. I’m not a hot-weather girl. Humidity and I are not friends, and when the temperature rises beyond 90, I get cranky. I prefer open windows to air conditioning, pants to shorts and sweaters to tank tops. But summer has its moments, and even though we have a few more official weeks of it, I’ve made a list of seven things I love about summer and will miss as the season changes.
1. Hanging laundry on the line. If there was a sunny day this summer, I had clothes on the line. I think I can count on one hand the times I’ve used the dryer in the last 2 months. It’s been partly an economic decision and partly a we-can-so-why-shouldn’t-we decision. As the weather turns, those clothes-hanging days will dwindle. I’m not yet a die-hard winter clothes hanger like our Mennonite and Amish neighbors.
2. Flip-flops. So easy to slip on. And off. Terrible for my feet, but I can’t resist. I wore out one pair this summer. Maybe the pair I just bought will make it till next summer, but I will wear flip-flops with jeans and a sweatshirt, until my toes start to freeze. I know people who will wear them until Thanksgiving, or even into December. Socks and boots are soon in my future.
3. Time it takes to leave the house. In summer, when ushering three people out the door, maybe you need to grab a hat and a bottle of sunscreen. In winter, it’s layers and layers and layers of clothes. I find myself having to start getting the kids ready about 15 to 20 minutes before I want to actually leave the house so we can get hats and gloves and coats and boots on, if necessary. And I’m guessing this will be the year that we get all bundled up and someone says to me, “I have to pee” just before we walk out the door. In some ways, summer is easier.
4. Playing/sitting outside. We’ve spent many days this summer with the kids riding bikes or playing with sidewalk chalk or bubbles or even just reading books or coloring outside. I did a lot of reading on the porch. Spending time outside in winter requires much more activity. I don’t see myself sitting outside with a good book in the middle of winter (unless it’s a balmy day).
5. Fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m not a gardener (yet) but I appreciate those who are. I love seeing fresh local produce in the grocery store and visiting the farmer’s market for some homegrown fruits and veggies. I feel like our meals are much more colorful in the summer and we eat with more variety. Fall still brings us squash and apples, so all is not lost. Winter is dull in the food department. (Although we tend to make more soup in winter, and I love soup!)
6. Summer reading programs. The kids did the library program this summer and loved it. We read a lot of books, made some neat projects and treats, and they won some cool prizes. On Saturday, they get to each spend a dollar, courtesy of the library, at the annual book sale. I participated in the Tyndale Summer Reading Program again this year and read a lot of books for me. I love being exposed to new authors and new ideas, which is one of the major benefits of the program. (That, and earning a free book for every five books I read.) I won’t stop reading now that we’re heading toward fall. I’ll probably read more, in fact, but there’s something exciting about summer reading programs. (Yep, I’m a word nerd. High five!)
7. The pace. Even though summers are busy for a lot of people, the season tends to be filled with things we WANT to do not things we feel we HAVE to do. We’re more relaxed. We go on vacation. We have more flexible schedules for leisure and play. (Generally speaking.) With fall comes school activities and the BIG holidays and family gatherings. Church activities start again. Life is FULL. And before we know it, it’s the first of a new year and we’re tired. Summer passes all too quickly, but it seems time really does fly in the fall.
Those are my top reasons for missing summer. I welcome fall and all its coolness and color.
What will you miss about summer?