All spring I waited, counted the weeks until I could buy a full gallon of milk at the small town market, one that would be tippled for more than a two day weekend, one that would last for an entire week, or longer. That time has come and gone, summer is officially kaput.
To ease the transition, today was cooler than any day last week, clear and blue and beautiful but definitely crispy. That it warms up this week matters not at all, the official last day of summer reminded us all why we love the autumn months, although not quite as much as summer.
And what a summer, the highlight being the removal (finally) of the training wheels (theirs, not mine). At eight my urban children, with very little space to bike ride, found the wide open spaces of a small town and decided, after much debate, to free themselves of the clickety clack of training wheels. I held on, I let go, and they were off. Sunday night, just after sunset, they rode with us the four blocks to the beach, on only two wheels (each), the cap to a much accomplished summer.
They swam to the buoy, picked blueberries, ate ice cream, and suffered from assorted scraped knees, elbows and chins. Kate got stung by a bee, five times, and survived (she was much braver than her mother). We watched movies on rainy nights, learned to play gin rummy, and began the arduous process of building a doll house.
My old leather calendar stayed in my bag and the computer came out only after bedtime, and only for writing. I cut my hair, got too much sun on my nose and loved every minute of living without a schedule.
We're back, a very long and traffic congested car trip later, but we're back. As I brushed Mary's shower tangled hair before bed, police sirens screamed outside the bathroom window. Dinner arrived in 45 minutes, noodles from the Thai place down the street, and the grocery man comes tomorrow. Jack's busy two nights this week, I go back to work tomorrow, and, even though the girls are one week into fourth grade, summer didn't seem officially over until tonight.
In no time we'll be back savoring everything we love about the city but for now, for one last minute, I'm allowing myself to miss the sound of quiet on the small town back porch and the incessant chirping of the cicadas.