It’s cooler outside, socks and sweaters are back, and instead of everyday ice cream, we are back to Cake of the Week. This can only mean that summer is over. But before we dive too deeply into the leaf pile and pumpkin flavored everything, let’s recap the almost normal Summer of 2021.
I’ve already reported on my daughter’s wedding. But, good news! The professional photos are in. Here are a couple of favorites.
More good news, I managed to consume a record 5 lobster rolls this summer. By far the best was eaten sitting outdoors on a bench in downtown Kennebunkport on a beautiful day next to my friend Cat. I am pretty sure the secret ingredient of that lobster roll was the ambience and the company.
I kissed some dogs.
Remember my college roommate? We have stayed in touch and managed a couple of in-person visits this summer: in Boston, New Hampshire and Connecticut. We are doing lots of catching up on the decades we missed. And, just like the college freshman we were once, also talking fashion and diet and former boyfriends. Hooray for old friends!
My group of old banking buddies managed to gather for two seacoast lunches. The six of us had not been all together for several years. We discussed retirement, our ailments, our kids, our grandkids. If there is anything good about getting older, it is acknowledging how much you love people you have known for a long time. Hooray for old friends!
Having enjoyed a Rhode Island Beach Week last year, this year we headed to Cape Cod with the kids and grandkids. We did not have the most cooperative weather and the little ones had a hard time understanding the need to stay in bed for the whole night. But there were plenty of moments of joy including cooking with my new son-in-law/grill master, chasing Cora chasing seagulls, collecting seashells with Lo and having both granddaughters snuggle up each evening. I’m looking forward to next year’s beach week.
My husband and I spent a weekend in the Berkshires and Vermont with my sister and brother-in-law. We enjoyed both of their marvelous homes – an urban artists loft and a rural log cabin. There was good food, an art museum, a visit to Tanglewood and much laughter while eating fancy chocolate in front of the fireplace. Did I mention we picked blueberries?
Now that we, our two children, their spouses and our grandchildren all live within a 45 minute radius, we started a new tradition of themed Sunday family dinners. We have only managed to have one so far – but it was a good one. The theme was Italian, or more accurately, the Sopranos. We had the checkered tablecloth, the Frank Sinatra playlist, an extreme antipasto platter, meatballs, pasta, focaccia, Aperol Spritzes and more. I can’t wait for another. Or maybe I need to re-watch the Sopranos. Again.
A solid summer, right? But, as we know, there is no summer without the coming of fall. No joy with sadness. And no sadness without joy. This summer my father died. He was nearly 91 and he had endured a rough battle with cancer. Then, mere days later, his brother died at 100.
These two veterans were honored at military ceremonies. Perhaps it was not joy, but there was definitely beauty in the celebration of these two good men. There was indeed joy in being able to pay homage to them and spend time and reminisce with my beloved siblings and our extended family.
As the days shorten and sandals are replaced by real shoes, I find myself replaying scenes from my father’s burial: Rain and tears, Taps played in the distance, Cora enthusiastically splashing in the puddles, the reverberations of a gun salute, and the resulting crying of baby Margaret, my Dad’s youngest great-granddaughter. If this is not a metaphor for sadness and joy and a potent reminder that life goes on, I don’t know what is.