Watching the Wheel: Summer

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Claude Monet [Public domain], Haystacks in the Late Summer, via Wikimedia Commons

Here I am, firmly wedged into a Tuesday morning, my cup of coffee still just a little too hot to drink. Which is a shame.

I need the coffee.

It’s a sunshiny August day, no hint of clouds, not too warm, as though the weather knows the store shelves are full of notebooks with glinting spiral spines, cellophane-wrapped pencils all lined up straight and planner after planner in every size for every plan, little to large. Late summer.

In my mind, the year is a wheel. It’s probably something I saw as a child when learning the months of the year, and somehow it burrowed its way into my permanent vision of the calendar. Here we are, the front of the Ferris wheel, past the apex and on the way down to the winter months with ice and gray skies.

But round and round it goes, and we’ll be back. Assuming the planet’s still here, of course.

Which is less of a given than it used to be.

But there’s time for a little more summer before the leaves give in to their fading, before steps crunch and the crispness turns to cold. Still more summer.

For a little while longer.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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Back to School for the Brain

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IMG_8756Well, I managed to avoid the Chicago Air & Water Show this weekend. Mostly. I heard a few planes, but with the gloomy rain on Saturday, I think they had to cut things short. And then Sunday was beautiful, but I didn’t hang around for the show.

Eh.

Now things are back to their usual, non-war-machine quiet. It’s a beautiful day, just in time for the first day of school for some kids. Others, luckily, get one more week of summer before it’s back to notebooks and pens and classrooms with chairs that scrape against the floor.

Sometimes I miss that back-to-school season.

Mostly, I suspect, for the school supplies. I love a new notebook.

But I think it ingrains in all of us that sense that it’s time to bring our focus back to this side of the window. It’s time that the lazy dreamings of summer get packed away with the shorts and tank tops, and now we don our serious thoughts like that comfortable cardigan that’s been hanging on the back of the chair.

Fall is a good time for new challenges, new horizons. We think of spring as a rebirth, but autumn is its own kind of renewal, one of pairing down, rethinking, and preparing for the seasons ahead.

But not just yet.

I think I have one more week of summer left.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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Chicago Summer Back Again

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IMG_7980So here we are, nearly at the end of June, and time has gotten slippery. The days themselves don’t seem to speed by, but they pile up on (upon?!) one another, careless paper, fluttering away.

Without much of a thought, I’ve gone from heavy coats and hats and boots to reminding myself I don’t need to grab a jacket as I head out the door.

It’s summer.

Real ice-cream-eating, long, languid days of daylight-giving, sweat-inducing summer. Welcome back.

I’ve never really thought about how the change of seasons might influence my writing. Perhaps how I write; dark winter days with a mug of something hot sounds like romantic writing at its finest. And maybe bright summer days should be spent out in the world, away from a keyboard, doing, experiencing.

Maybe.

In Chicago, we earn our summers through slushy wet sidewalks and sharp, needling snowflakes. Through slidey roads and a wind that drives half of your molecules from your body and into the cold beyond.

But our summers melt all of that away, under broad blue skies and a lake made of shifting blue. The humidity can settle down, heavily, and yet people smile.

After all, it’s summer.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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August Thoughts

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Goodbye July and hello August. August is a month with a character all of its own. It’s still summer, but the stores are packed with fresh notebooks (there’s nothing more irresistible to me than a brand-new notebook, its pages empty and full of promise), pens and boxes of crayons with upright posture. School hasn’t started, but it’s right around the corner.

Sometimes in August, at night, you can feel the early tendrils of fall, tugging us toward more serious mindsets and away from lazy summer thoughts. But August is summer, real summer. Sometimes it makes you swelter and just laughs. Sometimes, like today, the weather is perfect and you think about the coming cold.

August can be angry, with roaring, rolling thunderstorms, the rain driving as though from a faucet, the lightning awakening the entire sky. A strange, hot wind might blow under swirling gray clouds, and you remember that this planet’s will is so much bigger than our own.

It often gets overlooked, with eyes ahead on what’s to come as schedules tighten in September, but it’s not a month to rush past, it’s not a holding place on the way to something else. Ignore that school supply aisle. It’s not autumn yet.

Need something to read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Could Summer Fade Already?

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This morning, I swear I could smell fall in the air. It’s still July, but it was there, that cool morning crispness, that edge that evokes apples and cinnamon. It doesn’t matter that I’m surrounded by the peaks of summer fruits, by the peaches and the nectarines and the berries and the cherries. The gorgeous cherries, some black, some bright red, some speckled.

No, it was a hint of what will be coming, soon. The bright green of the leaves in the park will take on a glow, and then pale, and then head toward their yellows and oranges. Full, fervent greens don’t last long, not here in Chicago where the city settles into the cold as easily as zipping up a down coat.

It’s hard not to think of what comes next, even when you’re right in the middle of what comes now, right in the middle of sunshine(ish) and warm air and flowers. It’s hard not to think of the wind that will cut, that will shake the brittle leaves from the trees, will send them scuttling underfoot.

Right now it’s summer. But summers come and go, autumns come and go, and winters arrive. Until it’s spring, and round we go again.

Need something to read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!