Still Summer: Soak It In

I’ve slept with windows open for countless days straight. I made sure to grab a denim jacket one chilly morning last week, and while sitting at the Packers pre-season game last night at Lambeau, I ordered a hot cocoa to help keep my hands warm. I haven’t heard the hum of an air conditioner in quite some time. It’s that time of summer when we notice every store transition to “back-to-school” marketing and see busses heading around our neighborhoods starting to scoop up kiddos as school resumes. It’s a bittersweet sense that the end of one joyous, favored season may be coming to a close while another one of fresh starts begins.

I’m not ready. I’m usually one to accept the change of seasons and feel fully prepared for change, but I will make this lake-day-heavy summer last as long as possible. As mid-July hit, I knew that it would take some intentional planning to make sure I could, and it seems God, the universe, mother nature, whatever you believe in, is meeting me halfway. It’s been reported in numerous places that this fall is projected to be a hot one, and I’ll take it, because there is so much living to do. I bought an inflatable paddle board so I could partake whenever/wherever I wanted. Our family got a new puppy, forcing us to immediately double the amount of time outside, and more importantly, outside playing. He kept us from thinking about the inevitable shift into late summer and spent more of it smiling, throwing sticks, watching Eddie learn to jump off the pier and take first rides on the paddleboard.

I also read an article recently about how maybe Milwaukee does summer too big. There is a sense of pressure to attend festivals, events, dine al fresco, lake walks, etc. And I’d imagine that there’s a sense of that across the Midwest, or really the entire northern half of this country where temps dip to uncomfortable lows throughout much of the year. This sense of “so much to do, so little time” is actually something I’ve been conscious of ditching. You can only do so much. Give yourself grace to do what you can. Seize the days, but let yourself rest, too. That, after-all, is another component of summer that we need to remember - the beautiful colors and temps and breezes are meant to be fully felt. Soak it in.

So as Labor Day Weekend comes and goes, I’m going to be sure to celebrate the sunshine and take as many dips in the now cool water temps as I can. I’ll cast a few more lines out. I’ll pause to notice the few leaves overachieving as they begin to turn gold, but I will not let that take away from the summer that’s left to live. Just like I can’t feel badly about the fact that I attended zero Milwaukee festivals and dined al fresco in this city only twice, I can rest easy knowing that I chased sunrises and sunsets, explored new lakes across the Midwest, but even if I hadn’t, it was still enough to simply pull over my car on those days I had a few extra moments during a commute to watch the sun glistening on the water. It was enough to sleep in and enjoy the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore instead of being out exploring as the sun rose. It was enough to simply enjoy a few glasses of wine with close friends near the water, enjoying the peace it inevitably brings.

Enjoy the last official month of summer, and let’s welcome this transitional month with as much joy as we did summer because fall brings so much to celebrate! Apple crisp & brilliantly hued leaves to start...