UPDATE: Giveaway winner is Trixi O! Congratulations, Trixi!
Hi there! Lee Tobin McClain here, wondering if you dislike that “last days of summer” phrase as much as I do. I love summer! Getting outdoors, wearing casual clothes, cooking out…I like all of it, and much prefer it to winter cold. Plus, I’m a teacher and my daughter is a somewhat reluctant student. It’s hard for us to even say the word “S-S-S-September” around here.
Nonetheless, fall is almost upon us. At my house, we’re shopping for school supplies, finishing long-put-off summer reading assignments, and preparing classes. But wait….summer isn’t over yet! Here are a few ways to stretch out the end of summer and get the very most out of it.
Do one last trip
I don’t know about you, but I measure time in events. “We’ll start planning the party after we get back from vacation.” “There will be plenty of time for remodeling the porch after my small group’s end-of-year banquet.” For me, this year, it was a trip to Presque Isle State Park up in Erie, Pennsylvania that marked the end of my summer.
There’s still time! If you plan a trip for the very end of summer, you won’t have to contemplate the end of the season until, well, the end. I’m thinking about a Labor Day getaway….
Have an Adventure
These can’t always be planned, but if you’re open to them, you just might make one last summer memory. For example, my teenage daughter and her friends wanted to locate a mysterious swimming hole. I had way too much to do getting ready for classes, but it was a Sunday afternoon and I decided that friends, fun, and family were a better way to spend the time than working. So off we went.
A few dirt roads, a lot of direction-asking conversations with strangers, a scary walk over a railroad bridge and a scramble down a steep hillside, and there we were: a glorious off-the-beaten-track swimming hole complete with pools and waterfalls, cool trees and off-road vehicles.
Did I get my work done? No. Did I help three teenaged girls make a summer memory? Most definitely. That was worth it.
Read a Summery Book
Escape into a summery book world! Of course, I have a couple of suggestions. Several members of the inspy blog teamed up recently to put together a box of our novels that are set in summertime. If you can’t travel physically before the end of summer, do it through a book. Where would you like to go? A small town? A beach? A farm? An inner-city mission? All of those locations are there in our collection. Grab Summer of Love for only 99 cents and escape back into summer! Or, if you want to remember summer fondly and look to future seasonal fun, how about Christmas in July? Several of us wrote novellas centered around an animal shelter fundraiser with a Christmas in July theme. You can get Love in Mistletoe Springs for only 99 cents as well!
Pause to Reflect
You know from the bible that summer wasn’t always the “break from school” season that it often is for us today. Instead, summer was a mixed blessing: the heat of summer can dry up your strength, as in Psalm 32, or produce delicious fruit—summer fruit is mentioned many times in the bible. What has been the fruit of your summer? Has the season been productive and fruitful, or has it drained your energy? What have you learned? What’s next? Try journaling, praying, or talking with a friend about the season that’s passing and the one to come.
What’s your favorite trick for extending summer or making the most of its last days? I’ll give away a $5 Amazon Gift Card to a random commenter. I know, it’s not much—but if you check out yesterday’s blog, you’ll see all the 99-cent boxed sets on offer from Inspy bloggers. You could end up with 25 different stories to read!