Friday, August 9, 2019

So Fast Summer

August sneaks up on me every year. In June, summer stretches before me like an endless daydream of carefree days, family adventures, sunshine and warmth. Then, suddenly, it’s August, and it feels like summer is coming to a screeching halt before it’s really even begun.

This summer has seemed to pass particularly quickly. It feels a bit like one of those days where you get to the end of it, flustered and exhausted, and wonder what the heck you did all day. But once you’ve had time to sit and reflect, you realize there was a lot packed into the day – or, in this case, the season.

During the first month of summer we had a revolving cast of visiting cousins in town, which made for days – and nights – that were fun, to be sure, but also sometimes hectic and amorphous. We loved the quality cousin time, but never really got into our own summer swing of things.

For the first time since the kids were toddlers, we also didn’t take our annual week-long pilgrimage to the ocean. We’ve had lots of shorter adventures that have all been a blast, but without that week of beach time marked on the calendar, summer has seemed a little off, I guess.

And don’t even get me started on the garden. Oof. Busy June weekends, on top of some pretty miserable early summer weather, thwarted all my good intentions of getting the vegetable gardens planted early. The perennial bed is a disgraceful tangle of weeds with the occasional sturdy bloom poking through.

Still, my flower boxes are overflowing with color. And the small plots I managed to sow – late as it was – with veggie seeds are producing well, keeping us in beans and carrots, cukes and zucchini, beets and more kale than I know what to do with. It all makes me think it’s simply time to cut back on the size of both gardens for a while.

Despite missing our Cape week – and the fact that it took us to the end of July to get to our first big hike of the summer – the adventures we have had have been fabulous. We’ve gone glamping and mountain biking, camping and kayaking, climbed a few tall mountains and splashed in our favorite spots along cool rivers. I’m still holding out for a few days at the ocean – and a few more hikes, bike rides, and trips to the pool and the river.

I guess that’s the upside of August hitting so hard – realizing summer isn’t really forever, and that it’s wise to fit as much of its goodness in before the days shorten too much more, before the kids are swallowed up back into the school year, before we move on – ready or not – to the next season. 

Original content by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul, posted to her blog, Writings From a Full Life. This essay also appears as Meghan's Close to Home column in the August 9, 2019 issue of the Littleton Record.