It’s A Grand Life — Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

Wow, where did summer go? I realize it is officially still summer until September 22nd, but for many of us, summer ends when schools open, the pools close, and long family vacations end. Living in a beach town, I am ready for there to be fewer tourists so it is easier to find a place to park not only my car, but myself in a chair and toes in the sand. I am also looking forward to cooler temperatures and less humidity, but to be honest, that may not happen until November!

When I do look back, the summer was filled with a lot of wonderful events. Finally being able to venture out more meant the ability to see friends that had stayed in while waiting for the vaccine to take hold and the virus to abate somewhat, before this new variant came along. Hopefully, this one will be short-lived and our lives can go back to some semblance of normalcy. Catching up face-to-face, enjoying lunch out, and sharing pictures of our grandchildren was a true gift.

Summer also meant visits from my Charlotte family. It had been so hard not being together throughout the year. I am not a huge fan of a lot of the modern technology, but being able to FaceTime with them definitely made it easier to deal with being apart — although, real hugs are definitely better than virtual ones. Thank goodness, there are four grandchildren that live here, so they got extra doses of their Gigi. Having all my family together was something I won’t ever take for granted again.

Summer also saw two of my granddaughters and one grandson heading off to camp. My 13-year-old granddaughter had been going to the same camp her mom and aunts went to, for years, but the eight-year-old granddaughter was experiencing overnight camp for the first time. Fortunately, she was attending the same camp as her cousin. Although she was a bit unsure about going, she had a great time. She ended up going to another overnight camp in Idaho where the family was vacationing. It was fun listening to all three of them talk about their experiences. I learned a lot about activities at boys’ camps from my grandson, and remembered so much of what my daughters related when they came back from their time at camp in hearing from my granddaughters.

July brought one of those birthdays that call for a monumental celebration. I have always wondered why certain ages are thought to need more attention paid to it than any of the others. I understand why, when you are a child and turn one, then five,10, 13, 16, 18, and 21 birthdays seem pretty important. Then 30, 40, 50, and 60 are the years you climb the age hill and then go over it. After that, it’s a downhill slide that needs reminding every five years. I must say, even though I had requested a simple family affair, I was overcome by the love, thought, planning, and attention to every detail my daughters and husband put into making my birthday incredibly special and one I will never forget — no matter how many more of those birthdays ending in five or zero I have.

August was another fast moving month. It had a major anniversary for my husband and me. We will celebrate that with a big family trip in October. We also had three birthdays to celebrate. On the 19th, our middle daughter turned — I’m not allowed to say, the next day, our youngest grandchild turned three, and four days after his, another of our grandsons turned six. Lots of cakes, candles, parties, and gifts in six days. 

Now, school is back in session. I have two grandchildren starting elementary school, one finishing middle school, and a daughter going for a second degree. The days are different for my daughters, so they are also different for me. I loved the lazy days of summer — the impromptu trips to the aquarium, ferry and boat rides, fishing, and just hanging out. One last annual family trip over Labor Day weekend signaled the official end to summer for us, but it was a good one — except for the heat and humidity. Now, bring on fall and all its splendor — and please temperatures in the, well anything but the 90s!


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