Last day of August

Fall whispers entice; Still a

Glimmer of summer….

Published in: on August 31, 2016 at 3:36 pm  Comments (7)  

Waning Days of Summer

Just a note: at the end of this column (the one I write weekly for the Kingsville Reporter) I mention the Harrow Fair  which takes place in a town about 8 miles from my hometown of Kingsville–my father used to take my sister and I when we were little.


It is the last week of August working its way into September, and though summer is not my favourite season (because of the outlandish humidity) there are some things I will miss. The waning days of summer will eventually give way to the cool crispness of autumn, but before that happens we still have the opportunity to say our fond farewells to long days of light, waking up to birdsong, and a general laziness that the weather seems to encourage.

For your pleasure, (and admittedly mine too) I Googled “end of summer quotes” and this is what I came up with. These 10 quotes were put together by Jessica Sandhu under the title “10 Quotes to Soften the End of Summer Blues” in the online Elephant Journal. They barely need an introduction:

  1.  “Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.” ~ Harper Lee
  2.  “Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” ~ Yoko Ono
  3.   “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ~ Dr. Seuss
  4.  “August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.” ~ Sylvia Plath
  5.  “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” ~ Sam Keen
  6.  “By all these lovely tokens,/ September days are here,/ With summer’s best of weather/And autumn’s best of cheer.” ~ Helen Hunt Jackson
  1.  “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” ~ John Steinbeck
  2.  “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” ~ Anton Chekhov
  3. “One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
  4. “There is something deep within us that sobs at endings. Why, God, does everything have to end? Why does all nature grow old? Why do spring and summer have to go?” ~ Joe Wheeler

So many memories in these few words: sleeping on a screened porch; good food fresh from the garden or stands or outside markets; exuberance defined as fun; lazy days; happiness for no reason other than it is summer; and sadness at summer’s decline.

I love the lovely days of summer, when you can walk out the door and not be cloaked in the heaviness that is called humidity—a dirty word in this part of the world—turning a fine day turgid. I look forward to the clear crispness of fall but remember fondly the days when no sweaters or light coats are needed. There is lightness to a good summer day; a weightlessness, even buoyancy but it seems that we are going to have to wait for the cooler days of fall to put that bounce back in our step.

Summer is not over yet and though the first day of school is next week bringing with it thoughts of fall—we will still be in the late bloom of summer. I remember wearing fall clothes on the first day of school, and the second day reverting back to my summer wardrobe because the weather just did not call for woollens and long pants. There would be time enough for that.

Bringing the summer to a partial close in my books has always meant the Harrow Fair. It was an event I never missed as a child, and one I made sure my kids got to experience. I enjoy and bask in the busy-ness of the fair—the animals and parades, the entertainment and the pies, the artwork and culinary expertise on display, the midway with its food and games and rides. It is a festival for the senses. And of course it features my favourite fruit—the hallowed pumpkin—in all its shapes and sizes and colours.

I was born a country girl and the fair brings back such fond memories, but you do not have to be a country girl to enjoy it, you can be a little bit rock and roll too. (For those of you wondering—this harkens to the days of Marie and Donnie Osmond. She was a little bit country and he was a little bit rock and roll. (I know, what a nerd! I delight in my nerd-dom!)

Published in: on August 30, 2016 at 9:43 am  Comments (13)  

Zenku #376

Seriously…go to this blog and follow–you will be glad you did……little slices of life in just a few words…..

Zen Kettle

A gardenia


at the corner

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Published in: on August 28, 2016 at 12:52 pm  Comments (1)  

Days Gone By


Streetlight shines too bright;

Romance, mystery of lamplight–

Silky shadows gone

Published in: on August 25, 2016 at 4:23 pm  Comments (2)  

Sticks and Stones


Remember when you were a kid and someone would say something mean to you or call you a name and when you tried to find some comfort  all you would hear is the oft cited but never apropos phrase: “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? I am here to tell you that I believe that little ditty should be locked away and the key destroyed so it never sees the light of day again.

Seriously, “words will never hurt me”? Nothing hurts more than a sharply worded criticism, a slight that is not in any way trivial or minor, or a knockout punch in the form of a barb. Words are notorious for being hurtful, upsetting and cruel but they can also be healing, nurturing, and comforting.

As a self-described scribe, words have provided me bread, if not butter. And I know the power they have. I try to be careful with my words, particularly the written word, but I have to admit that I have said things in anger that should not have been said. Anger seems to break down our barriers and I have found that if I can keep my mouth shut when I want to lash out, the outcome is much better. I cannot always do this. Eating your words is a bitter pill to take, but it is better than letting them dissolve someone else’s psyche.

Sticks and stones will break your bones, but those bones generally heal. Harsh, harmful, and hard words hurt, and if not properly anaesthetized by a heartfelt apology they are left to fester for an eternity—or at least twenty minutes. So where did I get twenty minutes? According to an article I read over the weekend called “How Advertisers Lead Us to Do Their Bidding” by Linda Blair, twenty minutes is “the time it takes for an emotionally driven reaction to settle down.”

I am not so sure this applies directly to being unfairly attacked by words, but it could. If, after being chastised by someone we waited twenty minutes, would we be as likely to attack back? Maybe, but by then our response might be a bit more tactful than if we reacted immediately. I am not saying this would be easy, nay, in some situations it would be close to impossible, but it is something worth contemplating. And it would also confuse your attacker if you did not react immediately—which would be a reward in itself.

I Digress….

The article was not about hurtful words, but about words that create “the power of suggestion” and are meant to elicit a response. For example, in one study, students were given two lists of words. One list had words that suggested aggressive behaviour; the other, words that suggested politeness and patience. The students were then asked to go to a room to speak with another researcher but “in a move deliberately designed to cause frustration” that person was busy chatting. Now I am sure you can guess the outcome, but it is disturbing how we can be so manipulated by “mere” words. Those who had been “primed with the rude words interrupted the conversation”, while those who had been exposed to the “polite words waited patiently.” I am thinking that I should try this experiment on myself as I am notoriously impatient, though most of the time I try to keep it under wraps.

We are easily manipulated by words, so it just makes sense that when we are hurt by harsh words it is hard to get them out of our system. I am well aware that I am a bit of a sponge when it comes to outside factors getting in my craw and eating away at me—just watching the news can put me in a melancholy mood, as the news tends not to highlight the better side of life.

Maybe I will try the twenty minute trick, as well as guard my exposure to negative things, people, and events. If twenty minutes is the magic time needed to quell consumerism and make sure that the decision you make is “your own and rational” rather than “influenced and impulsive”, perhaps it is also the time we need to calm down from an “eventful” or “stressful” situation. Certainly something to think about….

(I do know that a twenty minute recess will not stop me from eating my precious Hostess chocolate cupcakes with the deadly white filling and swirl on top. The last one is calling me from my freezer right now and I am afraid I am going to heed its call. The good thing is that there is only one package left as I am only safe from their siren call if they are not within reach.)

Published in: on August 23, 2016 at 5:06 pm  Comments (7)  

Wishful thinking…

Magic in the air

I can feel, touch and taste it

Breathing it in….

Published in: on August 23, 2016 at 4:25 pm  Comments (8)  



harsh summer heat

blown away by harsh winds

and pelting rain

relief sighs sweetly

Published in: on August 21, 2016 at 8:28 pm  Comments (18)  

Magic Of August

love this…

Ben Naga


We stand – poised – aghast
‘twixt enraptured Summer and
Entrancing Autumn

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Published in: on August 21, 2016 at 8:22 pm  Comments (1)  

Zenku #373

mid August….

Zen Kettle

Towels line dry

after the beach

Sand-sifting wind

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Published in: on August 17, 2016 at 7:32 pm  Comments (1)  

Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links … Plus a Thank You and an Apology

Reblogging so I can read all the info at my leisure thanks to a very busy Jamie….

Live to Write - Write to Live

Miss YouHello, fair readers.

I’m afraid I only have time for the briefest of notes – a quick hello, and then it’s back to the grindstone for this freelance writer. But, though my deadlines have me working both days this weekend (I am, at the moment, a poster child for the classic feast-or-famine quandary), I wanted to take a moment to thank you guys for always being here to share a little of the weekend with me. Though we’ve never met in the so-called Real World, connecting with you via the magic of the Internet is always one of the most enjoyable parts of my week. I am sorry that I haven’t been able to be here for the past couple of weeks. My absence is due in part to continued technology issues (I’m currently waiting to hear from Apple’s engineering team about the latest crash report) and in part to…

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Published in: on August 14, 2016 at 11:41 pm  Comments (2)