Finishing School Friday · Something to Think About

Summer’s Fading Fast

I read a post from someone in the Midwest this morning, and the blogger said she could start to feel the turn in the air, that telltale sign that summer was fading and fall was around the corner.  Here in Southern California, where today’s high should be 106, we forecast “fall” by the calendar.  In other words, if school is starting, it must be autumn.

School starts on Monday for me.  I have a mess on the dining room table, unable to move it upstairs because of my mess in the studio from the Lollypop Trees.

My main goal this summer was to get all of the lollies cut, shaped and pinned up on their background squares.  Done.

Then I went a little further and created all the border blocks, arranged here alongside the big lollypop trees.  Done.

And since I was picking up all the mess from off the floor and from around my cutting area, I cut the squares and rectangles needed for the sashing and borders.  Done.

Then I folded all the fabrics up into squares, stacked them by color and shoehorned placed them onto my fabric shelves. Done.

I’ll dust, squirt, vacuum, and sigh as I tuck away the mat, rotary cutter and sewing machine, as I prepare to bring up the laptop, textbooks, papers, attaché case and supplies from downstairs and move them up.

It’s been a good summer.  I had an 8-day visit from my daughter and her three children and we made a series of curtains for eight windows in her house.  My husband and I went to New York for a week, where my son and his wife joined us for a day, a night and a day in the Big Apple.  My daughter and her husband and three kids came back again for a week before their school started.  My sister and her husband started the treatments in Los Angeles for his cancer, and they came to stay with us a couple of nights.  We went into LA a couple of days for laundry and moral support.  I listened to three books, trying to keep up with my mother, and read three more in-the-hand books.

I sewed the blocks for my Summer Treat Quilt.  I conquered the Lollypop Trees–now to sew on them all fall.  We had great gingham fun with lovely and interesting and fine participation from excellent quilters.  Good conversations, late on a summer’s evening led to me finding last year’s sparklers from the 4th of July and my grandchildren writing their names in white-hot sparks in the air.  We made SomeMores over the barbecue.  My son and his three boys came up for a day of swimming, running, visiting and two meals.  My brother, his wife and family stopped over one night on their way to a coastal site for their week’s vacation.  I went to a Quilt Festival/Convention and learned how to make a bracelet and a New York Beauty Block.

As I look over the things I thought I wanted to do and the things I did, there are some differences.  It’s easy to fret about those tasks left undone — no Cross-X blocks made, no basket quilt started.  I can look at other lists I’ve made (I have a classic full-page To Do List from 1993 that has over 65 items on it organized into 8 different categories and neatly typed up) and realize that some will be crossed off, while some will never come to fruition.  My lists as I’ve grown older have become simpler, allowing for things like a trip to the frozen yogurt shop instead of the finishing up of a quilt task, or like taking the time to read to the last page of a novel instead of reworking a binding’s corners.

But after all, it is summer, and what else are summers for than to let the tasks drift like a folded paper boat out on the stream of time, watching it bob and weave and sail out of view?  I can pick up my rotary blade another day, but maybe there won’t be time to stand by a grandchild while they write their sparklered name in dark summer air, or feel the ocean tug the sand from under their feet, enjoying the delicious feeling of being pulled off balance by tides, by time.  By a summer’s moment.

Happy Summer’s End to you all.

7 thoughts on “Summer’s Fading Fast

  1. You accomplished quite a bit. I agree with letting other things go in order to spend time with little ones who are so special. I LOVED your word picture of the “folded paper boat out on the stream of time.” Wow.. I’m writing that down! And maybe once school starts we can actually pick up the phone for a few minutes? Hope so! I miss you.

  2. We don’t go back to school until September so summer is still on here in Canada. I hope you have a spectacular fall, your summer sounds very wonderful to me.

  3. Nice. The perfect kind of summer, if you ask me. Lots of family time, but still time for the creative waters to flow, filling the nooks and crannies of your days.

  4. You said it all so well – thank you for putting and keeping it in perspective. And best wishes for the new school year!

  5. Yes, summer has started it downward path, but can’t wait to see the lollipop quilt come to fruition during dark winter nights. Happy sparklers to you!

  6. i don’t always comment on your posts elizabeth, but i love reading every one of them – you write so beautifully – what a wonderful summer – and i fully agree that time spent with those we love the most is far more important than ‘reworking a binding’ etc – my lists get a little simpler each day – but i have to watch my innate idleness or nothing at all would get ticked off!

  7. Beautifully said Elizabeth. And speaking of beautiful, you must be so pleased with your lollypop tree blocks, they are gorgeous!

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