Monday, August 29, 2011

Farewell Summer

I love summer...and I mourn its slipping away on the heels of September, even here in California where we are blessed with gorgeous days every month of the year. Summer is a certain breezy idleness; summer smells of sunscreen and sweat and barbecue grills and wet dogs, and other untold loveliness.

In my childhood I spent summer with books stuffed in my bike bag. Library books, mostly, everything I could find, a treasure chest of possibilities - best-loved re-reads and daring pilferings from the adult shelves, all jammed in the bag with my favorite languid-day snack, ritz-cracker sandwiches made with crunchy peanut butter. I would bike to Nickel pond (if you are reading this, Mike, I know you're smiling) or hike to "our" tree house, the one we inhabited like hermit crabs in a borrowed shell, a mile or so back in the woods behind our house.

(It seems odd now, looking back, but I never once gave a thought to the unknown persons who constructed the tree house. Obviously, they'd gotten old, too old to appreciate a good and magical thing, moved on to the adult world of jobs and obligations, and so they didn't matter to me at all. The house wasn't much, a series of planks nailed to a trunk, with a rough plywood platform in the high-above branching-out of the tree; but I adored it. I read Little Women there, all of it; Franny and Zooey. I dreamed of writing my own book.)

This year the end of summer is especially poignant because my baby is going to college. We took one final trip together, to visit family in Boston.

My brother made me a pie. Well, I guess he made everyone a pie, but I choose to believe it was mostly for me. Blueberry, like our gramma used to make.


I took a couple of the kids to Fenway Park - the team was out of town, but we got to walk around all we wanted...



What's summer without junk food? We ordered every disgusting thing on the menu at this pub next to the park:

One day we took the ferry out to one of the harbor islands and camped. The bugs stayed away, camp food was delicious (as always) and we got to watch one of the most magical sunsets of my life. The Boston skyline shimmered in the last rays of the sun, the slowly came to sparkling life as the lights came on one by one. The tide came in and covered the remains of the pier at waters' edge, and the evening concluded with a campfire, as every summer evening should...


3 comments:

Nora said...

I'm still adjusting to the west coast "summers" (insert Mark Twain quote re San Francisco summers here), but this post reminded me of summers past when summer was all about the sun and sand and salt air and two whole months of freedom. Lovely, thanks! :~)

Kristen said...

So nice to remember the good parts of Missouri...

Judith Starkston said...

Summer does have its own delightful feel--even in my household where all the kids are grown, no school year rhythm left. Your brother makes one good looking pie! Happy empty nest to you, Sophie. I've loved hearing about my kids' college experiences and knowing they are out there in a big, exciting world exactly where they should be, learning and growing up.