The end of the summer

It’s been beautiful these last few days in South Dakota, and all I can think about is when the bottom’s going to fall out – when we’re going to lose our 70 degree weather patterns and start bundling up for snow. I’m beginning to dread the idea of having to zip and button more than necessary just to take the garbage out to the garage.

I’ve really been taking for granted this weather, this mid-October heat-wave. Usually by this time we’ve finished raking the leaves and have brought the outside stuff inside. In fact, I’ve cleaned the garage in anticipation of moving the patio furniture inside. I’ve started to get ready to mulch the perennials for the upcoming winter. I’m one sub-zero day from moving the lawn mower to the back and prominently featuring the snow-blower in its rightful winter place.

Last weekend was our last camping trip of the year. If my fears are correct, it was our last kayaking trip as well. Tonight will be our last grill out. I’ve mowed my last lawn, I feel, and I’ve trimmed my last fence.

All I want is one last nice day – as a birthday present, possibly – on the 29th, my first day off after ten days on at work. Is that too much to ask?

I feel as if I’ve wasted the summer, though I know that’s not the case. I’ve done more this summer than I have in any of my past summers – I’ve camped more than ever, I’ve traveled, I’ve enjoyed the outdoors – whether at a state park or in my own backyard – whenever possible.

Maybe that’s what’s making this so hard to let go of. Maybe I over appreciated the beautiful summer we had, and because of that I’m having a hard time weaning myself off of it. I usually love the fall, but this year I’m just not impressed.

Can it be possible that I’ve become one of those normal human beings that actually cling to the end of summer instead of merely letting it go and waiting for the snow?

This was lovingly handwritten on October 18th, 2005