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)  

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  1. I remember those days of summer I was born and raised in New York. It meant freedom from books and home work, food fresh from the garden, swirling lighted punks in the night, and watching the fire flies twinkle while eating a slice of sweet cool watermelon.

    Your post has brought many wonderful days to the forefront of my mind, thank you. I also love the quotes.

    I live in Florida now and have for the past 20 years and the seasons are quite different although the feelings that overcome me remain the same. We all no matter where we live celebrate the seasons, and at my age (73) this is the place for me. I enjoyed my youth and the seasons and will keep those memories alive in the written word. :o)

    • I would like to read about the changing of the seasons in your neck of the woods–must be so different from the contrasts I experience….

  2. Love your opening: 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.

  3. Ah, salad days! And we eat a lot of salads in the summer. We had some great summers in the Bronx too. I tolerated school just to get to the summer.

    • yes we do eat a lot of summer salads–there had to be some reward to school–and summer vacation was iit

  4. This year I made sure to spend most of my summer days outside. We had plenty of lazy gorgeous days to savor. I always feel a little blue when fall starts, at first. Then I embrace the fall leaves, sweaters, and hot cocoa. I like summer but I love fall.

    • I love the fall too–though summer nostalgia does hit me, but it does not last long. bought my first little pumpkin today–or big guord!

  5. I love the Seuss and Chekhov quotes. I am looking forward to summer’s end as we’ve broken records here and 90 days of anything (temps well over 90) is tiring. I don’t look forward to the short days but Fall is my favorite time, as you well know. It is beautiful most anyway in the world, as is spring. Summer and Winter are polar opposites of harsh, aren’t they, depending on where one is.

    Great post, Lou and here’s to a crisp, colorful and fantastic Fall! See ya next year Summer!! :).

    • I am so ready for fall! Found an orange purse and an orange turtleneck I want from a store uptown–ready to look like a pumpkin!

  6. Sometimes I miss the summer days of my childhood, when I would be able to sit outside late into the night and we would have the front and back doors open most of the night now days having the doors open most of the night isn’t something that is really safe to do.

  7. So true… When school starts it seems that’s the beginning of fall weather… which does bring the beauty of the colours .. then followed by the winter chills.

    But that’s Canada.. and home… Diane

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