One single summer is never enough time to read all the books, take all the ferries, eat all the cherries or hike all the trails that I plan to do in May, when summer is just on the horizon.
For some reason, this September, in particular, just crept up and knocked me silly. I was thinking August was cruising along so nicely, and suddenly Labor Day loomed. Now it’s gone.
And with the unofficial end of summer go all the plans that might have been.
I feel greedy about July and August because they come to us every year like an offering. It seems sinful to waste the gift, so I felt determined to enjoy the bounty. This year I dreamed about fishing right here off Atlantic Beach, where the fluke and sea bass are running. Didn’t happen. I thought about a return visit to Acadia, Maine, where we could visit the national park, trek the rocky shoreline and eat lobsters. Didn’t happen.
I thought I’d spend more days in the city, see some theater and hit the museums. That didn’t happen, either. And what about the cook book I’m working on? Still on a back burner.
Still, there were stellar moments. There was the walk on the Long Beach boardwalk at sunset, watching the late-day surfers ride some decent waves as the sun faded off to the west. I took a dreamy flat-ground hike in Rocky Mountain National Park and watched an elk nibble her way across a field. Most days the precious moments came as I sat on my porch over a second cup of coffee, reading the newspaper. The only sound in the air? The rustling of paper and the song of backyard birds.
It was, pretty much, a fine summer, with a couple of lovely trips breaking up the lazy days.
And there were some special days etched in my memory.
One interlude, not undiluted joy but certainly emotional, was the time I spent out East with my sister and our parents in her home. It was just the four of us, the original family unit, which happens so rarely now. No getting around it, our folks are old, 89 and 93, with many of the limitations that age brings but more than their share of good health and moxie. Hearing aids, canes, creaky bones be damned, they do get around.