Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What's Good About the End of Summer

Summer is finally over. 

If you read my blog last week about what's overrated, summer was one of the things. 

After reading that blog post, one of my friends told me that saying something bad about summer, especially a beautiful summer, when you live in Seattle was heresy, and she was going to call me and tell me off.  She didn't, but I understand.

Up here in Seattle, we had an outstanding summer this year. Some say it has been the best in over 10 years.  When the sun shines in Seattle, it's a big deal.  

But I think summer is a pain.

When I was young, summer had a stagnant stillness. It dragged.  I missed my friends from school, it was drippy hot and there was nothing but reruns on TV.

As a youngster, I was even more of a TV addict than I am now.  I could name the evening line up on all three channels from memory.  Of course, there were only three channels.  When summer rolled around and the reruns started, I fell into a deep depression.  My mother also constantly yelled at me to go outside and play, or I had to watch Leonard Bernstein's "Young People's Concerts."  Outside I went. (I wasn't the sophisticated intellectual then that I am now).

I am not much of an outside person. 

Give me a smoky café (metaphorically speaking) and good conversation any day over hiking in the wilderness and communing with nature.  I never quite got over that jogger in Southern California that not only got eaten by a mountain lion, but it chased her down.  When hiking, I keep looking over my shoulder and wish I had Mildred the collie along.  I hate to say it, but I would let her handle the mountain lion.

I am not a sun worshipper, either, because my fair skin burns as soon as the sun sees I am out in it.  I am not much of a beach person because wearing a bathing suit?  Hell, no.  I can't swim and I get bored lying around on the beach.  There's nothing to do. I could read, I guess, but why read somewhere where you can get sand in places you never knew you had, the wind blows the pages around and you can't quite get comfortable? Give me a comfy chair and a glass of wine.  Or two. 

So when summer ends, I am not sad. 

Now that summer is over, here are some things I am looking forward to.

  • No kids at the mall because the kids are back in school.  I like to mall walk and shop with the place to myself.  Once school starts, the mall is like a graveyard. Good.  Likewise, since the little darlings are in school, if I travel, no kids running up and down the aisle of the plane or screaming their little heads off.

  • Rain.  Constant sunny days get monotonous and annoying. I don't mind bad weather. I am happy to stay inside and listen to the pitter patter of the rain, especially if I am sleeping in, which you know, I love to do.  Better yet, let it snow.  Now that I am retired, I don't have to go anywhere so I don't have to stress about driving in it. Now I look forward to snow days.  Growing up back east, I never quite got used to winters with no snow which was the norm in California, where I spent most of my adult life.  Here in Seattle, we get the occasional snow storm and I find that magical.  The only problem here is getting the proper balance.  Once it starts raining, it doesn't stop.

  • The leaves turning.  One of the reasons I left California was the dearth of deciduous trees. Growing up back East where people actually take "color tours" to revel in the fall colors as the leaves on the trees turn, I always missed that.  Now Hubby and I like to take walks in Seattle in the fall, especially the Capitol Hill and Queen Anne areas where someone had the foresight to plant a bunch of maple trees that turn bright red in the fall. 

    My favorite time to go is dusk after a rain shower, kicking up the fallen leaves glistening in the glow of the street lights.  I try to forget that dusk comes at about 3pm.  I said I'm not much of a sun person, but that doesn't mean I like darkness.

  • Sitting by a crackling fire, sharing a glass of wine with the wine guzzling poodle, while the wind howls outside.

  • I can bring out my fall clothes.  As I have said in earlier blog posts, my pale skin doesn't work well with summer clothes not to mention getting all sweaty.  I love jackets (did I say I had over 70 of them?) and faux fur and velvet and suede, none of which work well in summer.


        I also love boots.  I know there is a current fad of wearing a sundress
        with bare legs and cowboy boots, but I don't think that's a good look. 
        Give me cold weather, tights and knee-high boots and that's a look!

  • The Holidays.  The end of summer heralds the beginning of "The Holiday Season."  I love that time.  It brings back many happy memories of growing up with my Mom, Dad, Sister and Brother,

and then celebrating it with my own husband and children, 


and now the next generation.

However, the "Season" seems to start earlier and earlier every year.  The stores start putting up the Christmas decorations as soon as Halloween is over. I am not a fan of that.  I like celebrating one holiday at a time.  I wouldn't be surprised if they start combining the two - dressing Santa up as Dracula and putting fangs on Rudolph.

But as I said, it's been a beautiful summer.  And I did have some enjoyable times. 

Riding my bike, long walks with Hubby, road trips, reading in the hammock, outdoor concerts, barbecuing, visits with our children, the evenings staying light until 10, feeding the ducks with my grandsons, enjoying the deck and the garden...

Hey...now that I think about it...
what the hell am I talking about? 
I don't want summer to end!
How was your summer?

Thanks for reading!

See you Friday
"Actors and Actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood: A Quiz"
and Pt. 1 of a discussion on the
"1001 Films You Need to See Before You Die"
The Week in Reviews
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