Posted by: jeannineatkins | August 24, 2008


At the farm stand, the blueberries are getting wrinkly though the corn is still sweet. Containers of mums are hauled to the front, which depresses my friend Mary. The crickets are noisy and the hydrangeas are turning pink at the edges. But after reading my watery metaphors two days ago, my husband asked: so are you going swimming?

Yes, I was, I did, and again yesterday for the last day that our local beach is open. A lifeguard dragged in the buoys, but otherwise it was business as usual. I swam back and forth, mentally revising a few sentences I’d written that morning. Children wearing hats made of more fabric than their bathing suits toddled to the water to fill pails. Bigger children stalked the shore with nets. Some dug holes. Some sat in holes.

Except for the disappearing buoys, there was no sign that most of us won’t be smelling sunscreen for a while and we’re leaving the water to the geese, mallards, and occasional herons. No one gave speeches about the last swimming day of the year. I didn’t hear anyone call good-bye to the lake. There were no declarations, a reminder to me who loves to tie up stories with bright bows, or tug the end of a verse into a fancy shape. Sometimes just stopping is the best way to end.



  1. I noticed the days getting shorter. When I let Trixie out for the last time each day, it’s getting darker and darker. *sigh* And the peaches from the Farmer’s Market are not as sweet as before. (I’m making a peach/blackberry crisp for dessert tomorrow. Wish me luck! hehe)

  2. Those ending days of summer are so sad. I drove to the Berkshires last night and couldn’t believe that the sun was setting at seven-thirty. For me, the shortening of daylight is the worst of it. But the gardens are still bounteous, though not with blueberries, and the weather is still warm enough for swimming elsewhere. Maybe the happiest endings are the slow melts from one time to another.

  3. Yeah, the darker days are the worst of it. Peach/blackberry crisp: how could you go wrong? Your guests are going to be very very happy!! Hugs to you all!

  4. I agree the sun should just stay out, but lovely idea about the slow melts between times. I’ll try to work on that. And that sooner or later we’ll get to circle back.
    Yes, I still have hopes for another swim beyond our local beach!

  5. Thanks! We’ll imagine you sitting at the table with us! 🙂

  6. Today is the last day before school starts. I asked my son what he wanted to do today, and he said, Not Much. He’s okay about going back to school, but I think making a big deal about the last day might make it feel worse. So, okay…not much today. 🙂
    I’m glad you got to swim, though. It sounds like a very nice place to revise!

  7. Yes, I don’t think we like to think: last day, and sometimes even the-day-before is rough too. Your son sounds like he has it down.
    Yes, I will miss the mid-water revising! And looking at a three-year-old just sitting in a sand hole. Content. Something very calming about that.

  8. Excellent point. I shall leave the bows off.

  9. Don’t go, summer … don’t go …
    (I don’t say farewell to this season gracefully.)

  10. Wait…it’s the end of summer already? :-O
    We do tend to prolong the season since we take our east coast trip in September. I’m hoping we’ll have the Smithsonian to ourselves!

  11. Every day I remind myself: scissors are our friends.

  12. I was trying to get into the first asters I saw today, but it is hard to measure up to.. the beach. Kicking and screaming…

  13. Not the end, really, just seeing a few of its pleasures end. Washington will be wonderful in September. But re Smithsonian, check their website before you set your hearts on seeing Dorothy’s red shoes… I think the Museum of History may be temporarily closed for renovations. Of course there are still, what, seven or eight other museums, so all is not lost.

  14. I opened the sliders yesterday to let the dog out in the morning and breathed in crispness and thought, “Yes! Fall is coming. Sometime soon. Finally. Right?”
    I’ve loved your descriptions of your idyllic summer, which seems light years away from my life! For me, fall is the new beginning of each year, the time the heat is gone enough for me to willingly venture outside, and the season when there’s finally enough quiet (after summer’s usual chaos) for me to put two thoughts together without interruption. I adore fall.
    But I’ve enjoyed your summer vicariously:>)

  15. endings and beginnings…..*sigh*

  16. I do remember a post of your months ago when you seemed to be bracing yourself for summer. Glad the nip of fall is in your air now and may you have way more than two thoughts coming together in its peace!

  17. yeah lots of those in your house, endings, beginnings… and sighs. Best wishes for transitions, Nan!

  18. Thanks, Jeannine!

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