See you in September

How was your summer? That’s the question this time of year and perhaps the most telling part of the ‘how was your summer’ question is that it is never asked about any other season. I’m just never sure what the right answer is. Is it the same as answering ‘how are you’ where the questioner really doesn’t want an answer other than ‘fine thanks’? Probably. I don’t think they really want the details about my mosquito bite tally, my soggy flower bed, or my neglect of kayaking. And what they really don’t want to know is, regardless of how cold or wet or otherwise suboptimal, I hate, hate, hate the end of summer. One problem is that I am always a year older and unfortunately that issue will remain until I am no longer around to complain about it. The most obvious issue is of course the start of the painful slide towards winter. However, since I don’t otherwise get the chance to answer the question with the degree of detail it deserves, here is really how my summer was.

My summer started with a dead Rhododendron. Okay, technically the deadness of the plant actually preceded June 21 and could probably be traced back to one or more of the arctic vortexes that descended in January and February and March and maybe even April. Anyhow, that meant one of the few redeeming features of my front yard did not make an appearance this year. The black knot on the chokecherry tree is doing just fine though, thanks for asking.

This year I hung Boston ferns on the porch rather than something with flowers. I’d like to say this was in anticipation of the very fern like weather that showed up this summer but I’m not that smart a gardener. No, my fern foray was really because of being out of town for about six weeks in a row, including over the May long weekend, a time period that corresponds to the availability of summer plants. But this actually worked out well in the long run because aside from the fern success, I picked up some sad looking deeply discounted mystery flowers that turned out quite well. And next year I won’t buy anything before the middle of June either.

I can tell that the turkeys had a very good summer. They showed up (or more correctly, showed themselves) the first week in May. There are seven or eight of them and they walk up the path to the cottage with an air of entitlement and seem to enjoy horrifying the cats. I’m not quite sure what they do or where they go for the balance of the summer, but come the beginning of September they show up again, crashing through the bush and cutting a swath from one side of the island to the other. Then they are gone until next year, at least between Thanksgiving and Easter if they know what’s good for them.

Anyhow, the water was quite swimmable until it wasn’t but I swam anyway. The weather was okay except when it wasn’t. The power stayed on except when it didn’t. And the summer wasn’t very summery. But how can it be over already?

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