Squeezing the last days of summer
Talk of the Town photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano
I sat along the shoreline late last evening and as I watched the waves of a passing pontoon lap over the tiny pebbles on our beach, I could almost feel the summer draining away.
On the wind, the sound of cicadas and crickets could tell me the truth. The leaves on the trees are beginning to tell it too. Something about the smell of the air is giving it all away. This thought crept into my mind about a week and a half ago as I sat in a lawn chair at the lake…this summer is fading fast.
There’s also the knowing that the kids will be going back to school on Wednesday. I know that our remaining quiet weekday afternoons at the lake will now be counted on one hand – a clear indication the endless days are behind us now…a finite number of perfect days remain.
It’s sad really and I know I’ll mourn this summer’s passing. This was the first summer where the kids were both old enough to do almost anything they wanted at the lake. It was the first summer I could tell them to go collect the necessary items: swimsuits, towels, etc., and they could do it as experts. Every visit was highly anticipated and at the end of every day there, there was whining when the announcement was made it was time to leave. I don’t think a single visit ended with all participants willing to go home without some argument…myself included.
I think part of what I’m going to miss is the fact that this summer seemed so long to wait for it to get here in the first place. I yearned for it. Last winter went on for what seemed like twice as long as necessary. I spent most of February and March dreaming about how great a hot day at the beach would be. I could visualize the sand, the waves, the smell of the water, the scent of the campfire on a warm evening and the feeling of satisfaction at having prepared a great barbecue dinner for guests.
I’m probably going to be very stingy with the remaining summer weekends we have left, balancing the necessity of doing various tasks with the need to be there. I was tempted to stay out there tonight, but there’s the minor problem of not being able to upload fresh news to Talk of the Town from there. This is a temporary issue as I plan to address it next year with some kind of wireless internet option. This year, I felt like there needed to be some separation – a place where there wasn’t work to do, a place only meant for relaxing, socializing, reading and a whole lot of nothing serious. Next year, the ability to update the site while digging my toes in the sand might be more appealing.
As I see it now, I have until about mid-October to continue enjoying going up to the lake. We won’t be swimming through that time, but we can easily continue to enjoy boat rides, campfires and relaxing. After that, it will be too cold to stay long, though I’ll make time to go there even in mid-winter just to see how the different seasons look from that vantage point…like I always do. It’s not uncommon to drive up there on a very cold day, sit in the car with a warm cup of coffee and look out over the frozen water, just to see it, just to have been there for awhile. Something about being there, even when its cold, is comfortable…but it is more comfortable when the temperature is high, I’m sitting in the shade of a hundred year-old Oak tree, drinking a tall glass of something cold – hearing the laughter of my children playing with others nearby. After all, these precious summers at the lake are the whole reason we ever got “the lake” to begin with…its only a shame that summers, like childhood, pass by so quickly.