Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Summer Into

It's the last day of August. When I was a teenager in Alaska I wrote a song about how that feels. It wasn't a particularly good song, but I remember it, and I remember trying to capture that feeling. It's ominous, the ending of a northern summer, because you know it's not coming back for a good, long time. But it also gives you new beginnings as an academic year starts, and a lot to look forward to if you like coziness and white Christmases and sleds and firelight.

The temperature has dropped from 90 (we think that's hot in Montana, and give us a break, nobody here has air conditioning!) to 71. Clouds are rolling in as I type. I can't sleep with the window open anymore, lest I feel like I'm camping. That feeling has its place, and it's not in my bedroom.

I am wearing my comfy white cropped cargo pants and yellow block-print-floral t-shirt for probably the last time this year. I've given myself a final self-administered summer pedicure in Snappy Sorbet. (Definitely my favorite color of the summer - coral with a little pearliness to it.) I'm on the lookout for a cute, new fall color to which I can treat myself. Anybody got suggestions? I'm thinking maybe something in the tan-to-taupe range.

Fall seems like the time to curl up with a quilt and a book, like Jo in Little Women. I got a Louise Erdrich book to read. I realized that it was twenty years ago I first met this phenomenal author. I read Tracks in my high school A.P. English class. Twenty years is a long time to love one writer. I still love this one. I'm just about a third of the way through Shadow Tag. So far it is as vivid, complicated and moving as any previous books I've read from Erdrich (a lot of them). It's early for this, but I'd already say you might want to pick it up.

I'm reading more because I'm mostly trying to follow the no-screens-on-weekdays rule I've imposed on the rest of my family. (Folding laundry doesn't count.) That's necessary because the kids are back in school, three days' worth. We've taken the back-to-school snapshots. We even have a filing system for papers. Each school kid got a three-compartment file organizer. I labeled them with names, and then "Keep/File," "Work to Do" and "Return to School." After school we sort each backpack out and do homework. In the morning, they can just grab their completed work and signed papers (so many of those papers for Mom to sign the first week of school!) and go. Under each file organizer will hang a backpack hook. I've bought them, but I haven't put them up yet. I'm also hoping to get a big tray for the boots. But we haven't gotten to boot season yet.

Still, I urgently want some Bogs. They're waterproof, insulated, and super cute. You have your choice of colors. I have seen them worn to church, with a dress. I love it. This is the kind of place where you basically flip off any fashion rules you want, anyway. Almost like in Alaska where Sorels and the symphony go perfectly well together. I have shopped around for the Bogs I want, and Amazon's price is the best one I've seen. Just saying. I have cute boots, thanks to my cute professor, but they are not the kind of boots you want to wear in mud and slush. These boots could handle it. If we get the kind of freeze/thaw this winter that we got last winter, that's going to be pretty important.

The storm has hit now, mostly moved on, given everything a fast drenching in big drops. A few rumbles of thunder have been and gone. The sun's shining on the wet streets as the last drops land on my patio roof. My kids need help with their homework. Here comes fall.

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