Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of "Fall"

For all intents and purposes, Fall has fallen!

The girls have returned to school, and the house has that unbelievably quiet nature--primed for leaves-dropping (Ha!). Perhaps even a project or two (or ....!?... don't ask).

But besides the girls heading off to school, I know summer is over when something else gets put away.

Swimsuits? For the most part.... They are in the washer today. A last good washing before being put away for the season (though there could be some unplanned overnight at a hotel with a pool. Eh.....)

Beach towels? Ditto!

Sunscreen? Don't put that away! Same with the bug stuff. Fall cleaning does not include closeting those items.

Flip-flops? Yep, not that I wore them extensively anyway. (I'm totally attached to warm fuzzy brown slippers, though I don't wear them to the pool....I'm not that crazy!)

Red nail polish? Out with the flip-flops.

Truly, the sentimental end of summer comes when this goes back into my jewelry box:

I made reference to my anklet quite a few posts ago. My sister, #3 in age ranking and the one on the far-right side in the picture from the beach in yesterday's post, presented all of us girls with this anklet after we started venturing down to the Outer Banks together. Since 2001, we've been 6 times! (The 2002 Mountains trip, in which we thought we'd try something different, is not fondly remembered--lots of sick little kids and no laundry facilities in the cabin to wash out the stuff of being sick. We have been to the beach ever since.)

As you can see, my anklet has one of those elastic string bands. It wasn't supposed to be an expensive memento. Just one of those cute beachy pieces of bling! It also features 5 pairs of very fancy, fake diamond-studded glasses, which you could argue look a bit like Mardi Gras.

This is the anklet that goes on my ankle the day before we leave for the beach in June (when my entire family stays overnight here in our not-so-beachlike villa without the master suites, bunk bed rooms and elevator!)...and doesn't come off until, well, today--the first day of "Fall."

I started thinking more and more about the anklet when I read a Washington Post blurb. Their Sunday magazine occasionally looks for writers to submit answers to questions.

"What tradition do you have that marks the end of summer?"

Taking off the anklet, I thought.

And I got to thinking about it all summer. Staring at it. Why am I wearing this?? It's so unlike anything I would wear--and for months, no less. Not like it's a wedding ring.

Then, I started to notice things I had never seen. There are 5 sunglasses. There are 5 family groupings that go to the beach. Each lens of the sunglasses represents the husband and wife in the grouping. There are those little fake diamonds that surround the frame. I have to be honest, they don't quite work out in number the way they should. But, that we all have children now, and there are diamonds to represent each, is a pretty cool find.

Of course, the linking of our sunglasses in a circle is not lost on me either. And the elastic line holding us together just reminds me of how we change, grow, need to be flexible with one another, stretch across state lines to come together again....

So, why take it off?
Because summer would never end. A-ha!

So as not to interfere with the God-given flow of the seasons, I take off my anklet.

And, besides, I need something that works well with brown woolly socks.

* * *

I was totally in the boo-hoo club today, as I watched D#2 take a bus to preschool for the first time. Happiest she had been all morning. Saddest I had been all morning. See...you never can tell....


Chatty Kelly said...

We were talking about you round the breakfast table this morning at 7:10. Said I'll bet you were waiting for the bus, and I was voting that you'd be meloncholy. How could you not? The bus! Big times!

At least you know she is thrilled with her new status as "big girl." Which is probably the exact reason you're crying. Your little girl is a big girl now. :-)

On Purpose said...

It's suppose to get hot again here this week....it will be hard to think fall yet!

The Patterson 5 said...

It is hard to let go of the summer. Yesterday I was moping a bit about summer ending and Mr P said, "you know it will come back soon enough"-- but my children won't be 8, 6 and 3 next summer. I love to watch them grow and fly but yet I still want to savor it just a bit longer.

I love your anklet story! A beautiful momento to remind you of the bonds your families share. May you enjoy your brown wooly socks until it is time to wear the anklet and flip flops again!

May tomorrow at the bus stop be easier for you as your cheerful big girl flys a little.

Edie said...

I'm so glad I don't have to do these things any more. I wouln't be able to take it. You write sooo well. You have a knack of being able to connect things. I mean see the connection in things. I admire that as that does not come easily to me. I loved your anklet story. She'll be home soon. Have some cookies ready. :)

My ADHD Me said...

Well look, you made it through the day....and so did they!

Truth4thejourney said...

Thank you for sharing this. I love the anklet and the fact that you leave it on from beach to fall. Great tradition!

I can't imagine sending off your little ones to school, I'd be a basket case. I hope their first day went well for them.


My ADHD Me said...

P.S. By the way, I'm not down playing the trauma of the first days. It's easier now but I remember very well when my 2 first went to preschool and kindergarten (and 1st grade and 2nd grade and 3rd grade and...) I was a basket case---good thing THAT went away....

Leebird said...

Hi there Sue! It was great to have you visit my blog today to help celebrate my dad's birthday. Isn't that Nichole (on purpose) just the most precious thing? I love her!

Hope to "see" you around...anklet or no anklet! :) It's still in the triple digits here in AZ....the anklet, swimsuits, and beach towels could stay out for at least two more months!

Bonita said...

What a wonderful gift and tradition though I'm a little sad that you took it off because I'm so not ready for fall yet.