August 28, 2012 by Ellen Stimson in September


I hate when summer ends and school starts. Truth be told I hate all transitions. I used to love September as a kid … the fresh notebooks, the smell of the paper, and all those new colorful pens and pencils. I was filled with a sweet anticipation, a wonderful sense of possibility. But then I came to middle age. Now I think about how many more summers I will get. Thirty-five? So, thirty-four left to go. They are precious and I don’t want to miss a minute of them. I want to soak up  the green and inhale grass a few more times.  One more swim across the pond would be really really good.

I start grieving summer sometime in mid-August when it is still hot and seems silly to be lamenting already. But yesterday I saw a red leaf on our lawn right next to the badminton court. Now there are Maples everywhere but they look real and fully green to me. It must be that they are turning way up high where I cannot see. This was one beautiful perfect red leaf. It made me cry.

The good part is that now I no longer have to worry about forgetting to get down to an acceptable swimsuit size this summer. I apparently forgot to do that this year.

And then yesterday we took the teenager to school and I had to look at all these bursting teenage girls in shorts that wouldn’t fit my cat.

Soon they will be wrapped up in bulky sweaters so that anyway is something I can look forward to.


  • Lynn Silence

    If you don’t stop counting what you have left ahead, and start counting what you’ve already had, I’m going to smack you. I know you’re really worried about that for many reasons: 1) I’m in St. Louis, and the thought of dragging my walker through Lambert International to Detroit to Albany airports makes me crazy. 2) Once I got to Albany I’dn have to rent a car because no one in their right mind would go to aother state to pick up someone who wanted to smack them. 3) I talk a good game, but I’d never smack anyone I love and admire!

    • Ellen

      I typically have my say on the blog and am glad for others to have theirs here. But I must respond to the dear Library Lady.
      I count my blessings all the time. I do. But now I am also looking ahead better. I haven’t really looked forward or backward much for fifty years. I once had a car that had no reverse. That was a pretty good metaphor for my life at the time actually. I am a little mopey maybe. I’ll give you that.
      But I am trying to plan a little better is mainly it I think. I want to wake up at 60 and have a couple of books published and have been to Morocco and be able to pick out a handful of tunes on this old double bass. That’s all I think this is. Planning.
      PS I would come and get you in Albany so you could smack me. But then you would have to buy me some really good chocolate to make amends.

  • Terry Matthews

    Maybe if we count e are more likely top pay attention and be grateful.
    That is probably not right. Library Lady is probably right and you are getting morose

  • Heather Roepke

    Do you know about the flower lady? She measures her life by her garden. She says oh I get 20 more rose blooms and stuff like that. I sort of love the concept of measuring one’s life by how many flowers you have left. You really pay attention to every bloom

  • katydid

    Well I hate the counting. I am totally absorbed now in how many weeks I have to go. It is awful. I count up everyone’s lives now. I think my mom probably has 500 weeks left so why is she wasting another one in a church group she loathes making a bunch of deserts for the roof project. She doesn’t like me to mention it either. I sent her here and she said it gave her insomnia

  • Jamie

    I think I’m still looking ahead to that day when I’ll finally feel like I’m living the “good part” and so until I’m there, I find the changing of the seasons is still so incredibly cathartic. So full of hope for what will come into life next. I wonder, if when I’m living the “good part” that will still be the case?

  • Lisa

    Heehee… Still giggling at the “shorts that wouldn’t fit my cat” line.
    But finding this counting thing bittersweet as well. I’m two years behind you and could not feel more fortunate with my life or more content with where I am, but still there’s a feeling of counting down now that was never there before. It means something to be aware of that. Sometimes it’s a sad thing, but I think, all in all, it’s a good thing. Makes you pay attention. :0) Blessings, though, belatedly, friend, on your birthday. You are, with no exception, my favorite *writer* on the web. It’s a joy to hear your thoughts and learn about your life, which is so different from mine. And so the same. You are a gift.

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