The Summer That Never Was…

My 12-year-old daughter keeps begging me to go back-to-school shopping, and I tell her she may not ask again for at least two weeks…but then that’s only a week before school starts. ARRRRGGGHHHHH! I feel like summer never even started!

Between the constant rain and cool weather (there wasn’t one single night where I lay in bed too hot to think and in need of a cold shower—that’s a happy feeling, trust me) and having been so busy that I never even got to my favorite plant nurseries, I’m feeling a strong resistance to autumn.

When you read this, I’ll be on my way home from a three-day jaunt up to see my in-laws, whom I adore. But with both of them 88 years old, I know I’m going to be working every minute I’m up there, helping them get ready for a long winter. My own mother, who is 80, is frail and looks forward to any moment when I can share my 3-year-old with her. I now really understand what it feels like to be the “sandwich generation.”

The sandwich, as you probably know, was invented by the Earl of Sandwich so he could play cards with one hand while eating with the other. I asked my daughter Maya, a historical romance author, what the female equivalent of an earl is, and she said a countess…sometimes, when I’m feeling especially pressed between two pieces of bread I call myself the Countess of Sandwich. But that doesn’t make it feel any more like summer.

Hmmm…the truth is, sometimes life calls for postponing a feeling of summer. Sometimes I just have to steal whatever tiny moments of summertime pleasure I can, and squeeze them inside the bread of my life, for a different kind of sandwich. Here’s what keeps me nourished while I’m eating with one hand and working with the other: the night fragrance of my relentlessly blooming Nicotiana…a quick dip underwater in the pool when the sun peeks out from the clouds and the wavy turquoise water reminds me of the summers of my childhood…a bite of an organic, juicy, just-right ripe peach…and last, but not least, the three hot, sweaty, strenuous polka dances I had last week at Musikfest.

It will have to do. Anyway, next summer is only 10 months away.

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7 Responses to The Summer That Never Was…

  1. Anita McLean August 12, 2009 at 10:10 am #

    i feel the same way, i am just starting to enjoy the summer weather which was very delayed.
    I love the autumn, especially here on the Jersey Shore.
    But, i need more summer to fix me before the winter arrives.
    I am enjoying all the summer vegetable and fruits and swimming and family and the whole outdoors!!!!

  2. Mary Ann August 12, 2009 at 11:31 am #

    Ditto on the resistance to autumn. What a summer! Cool, rain, rain, rain. And then I lost all my tomatoes and potatoes to the blight. What’s a summer without your own home grown tomatoes!!! Well, let’s hope for nice temperatures right into October.

  3. Marlene August 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    What wonderful summer weather YOU have. Living here in the Central Valley of California, (Fresno, to be exact) we have had many days of over 100 degree weather. The soil in our yard is total hard pan so I have not even tried to grow a vegetable garden here. Our last home had a wonderfully fertile garden plot in which I grew just about anything I wanted and I miss it so! I am very much looking forward to the “cooler” autumn weather. Maybe it will be in the 80’s soon. :o)

  4. Fabiola August 12, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    Amen…only 10 months to go!

  5. Joelle August 13, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    I saw a sign for mums outside a nursery the other day. I found it very depressing. It’s August! It’s not time for fall flowers yet.

  6. Luciana August 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    In Bellingham WA, where we’ve had about 2 weeks of summer days, they’re displaying Halloween decorations at the the Rite-Aid!

  7. DONNA FROM DELAWARE August 18, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    I am an autumn person. Although it was rainy and somewhat cool in northwest Delaware from March-mid June, it hasn’t been such a bad summer I was told. I have missed the hottest part of July and August so far because I was in Europe. It has been a rainy August, which is rare. It does seem like summer just flew by. I was remarking the other day to my uncle that it’s almost time for back-to-school. I got depressed thinking about it. The year is almost over and another about to start. I am feeling quite old.

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