We Wickeds hate to see summer end – and we don’t like to waste a minute of it. We’re going to enjoy it until fall reaches out and grabs us with crisp, chilly fingers! We’re talking today about those end-of-summer activities and traditions we enjoy as we get closer to Labor Day, back to school and all those other pre-fall activities.
Liz: I’m a beach girl all the way. Most summers I spend every available minute on the sand and, until Shark Week began haunting my dreams, in the waves. This summer I’ve not had as much of a chance to enjoy the beach, but I plan on keeping my tradition of enjoying at least one late summer evening on the beach to take a walk, enjoy the view and the sound of the waves and especially the quiet as people start to head home from their vacations. The water gives me energy – something to carry me through the cold months!
Barb: I’m a big believer in seasonality. I don’t like hockey playoffs in late June and I don’t like summer to end before Labor Day. I love Labor Day as the last, luxurious weekend before the real world starts again. When my kids were in school we had a cottage on a lake in Marlboro, MA, and I could not stand the idea of packing up and going home on Labor Day. So for several years we stayed until the following weekend and the kids “commuted” to Newton for those first few days of school. It was insane. The traffic is always crazy in those first few days when school buses hit the roads and everyone gets back into their routine. Eventually, I was persuaded to give it up, but the sentiment remains.
Sherry: We don’t have any huge end of summer must-dos. Maybe it’s because we’ve moved so many times it was hard to set up a ritual. But we do usually have a cookout over Labor Day weekend. It’s warm enough down here in DC that summer doesn’t seem to end with Labor Day. But the neighborhood pools close and the kids go back to school so there is a different feel and rhythm to life.
Jessie: I’m afraid, compared to the rest of you I am an end of summer wet blanket. I have several kids and I used to end summer with a special day of back to school shopping day with each of them just one on one. We’d shop in the morning for clothes and shoes, have lunch out together somewhere and then look for school supplies in the afternoon. Now, one of the kids is off to college and my end of the summer ritual includes heading to the airport and waving a tearful goodbye, hoping that last hug will hold me until Thanksgiving. I think it was easier when the worst thing about the end of summer was the patch of dead grass left from the kiddie pool.
Edith: When my older son went off to college (which coincided with our second summer post-divorce), we started an end-of-summer beach dinner ritual, and kept it up for a number of years. We’d bring cold chicken, a baguette, fruit, and a big bottle of wine. Sons and friends, my age and theirs, would play Frisbee and swim, eat and walk, challenge each other to sand Bocce, and once even a beach-blanket Scrabble game was accomplished. Now neither son lives in the state full time and I have to take myself to the beach, well, by myself! I guess what I try to do to celebrate this my most favorite season is to enjoy sitting outside at the end of a summer’s day. I soak up the music of the crickets and the smells of cut grass and ripe tomatoes. I might sip a last G&T and read a mystery on the deck. You know, it’s going to snow WAY too soon…
Julie: My end of summer ritual? Getting my syllabus ready for the fall semester. Nothing makes the end of summer more real than scheduling speakers for December, and deciding when the pitch session is going to be. I am also getting ready for the theater season to start. Lots of excitement, but it is happening way too quickly. I want a couple of more beach days!
Readers: How do you celebrate the end of summer? Are you glad for it or wishing for more warm weather? Or does it inspire thoughts of murderous intent?
End of summer? The ocean’s the warmest it’s been all season, and even in mid-September the water can be warmer than it was in June. I plan to keep swimming until one of the hurricanes pushes too much cold water in. (We’re talking about Maine, by the way.)
So that and the end of corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes, which are finally proliferating, define it for us.
As I insist, we’re just now in High Summer. Much better than July, with its oppressive heat. Our goal is to celebrate right up to the autumn foliage.
Great answer, Jnana! I agree completely.
End of summer? Go to where summer is still alive. Let’s say maybe Las Vegas in the middle of August?
How about the Caribbean in February?
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