Farewell, Summer

On a recent Saturday morning I had coffee with my girlfriends. We used to be neighbors when our children were small.

Now, Helen has her second grand baby on the way, Kathy’s only daughter is getting married this fall, and my baby is back to college for her sophomore year.

As we laughed and caught up on the news, we noticed 3 older women across the way. They were slow-moving, white-haired, and were also doing a lot of laughing.

Nodding toward them, Kathy said, “There we are!”

“Yeah, like in twenty years!” I replied.

Both she and Helen looked at me funny and then proceeded to remind me that those ladies were probably only about ten years older than us.

Momentarily, I was in shock. I couldn’t digest what I knew was true. There’s no way!

I laughed it off.

This led to a conversation about how we used to think our parents were ancient when they were in their fifties and sixties.

Which led me to think of how when I was Alli’s age I thought I was grown. When I was about nineteen,  I began to notice the swift passage of time. There was a necessity to have fun and enjoy my youth before it was too late.

My Mom used to sing a line from a Guy Lombardo song (lyrics by Herb Magidson) to me when I was young:

Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think

And my grandmother used to tell me, “The older you get, the faster it goes!”

They were both telling the truth.

Over the summer, Alli brought up this awareness she is feeling. Time is flying and she wants it to slow down. She’s beginning to think more in stages. Within the next ten years she and her friends will possibly be choosing mates, settling down, getting married.

That feeling of urgency, of wanting life to slow down is very much the same for me, but accelerated somewhat. I no longer finish a bad book. Life’s just too short to spend reading something that doesn’t float my boat. I don’t have time for false friends and hateful people in my life. (Thank goodness I don’t have too many of those!) I want to spend more quality time with my loved ones, the people who mean the most to me.  And I want to experience everything before it’s too late.

In my wiser age, I’m trying to re-learn the art of doing nothing. It seems to have left me years ago. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I just sat still and did zilch beyond letting my mind wander. It’s hard to balance the urge to do everything, see everything, be everything with doing nothing. I guess that’s why I do not slow down very often.

Every morning I sit in a little kid chair in front of our aquarium to put on my shoes. I’m always in a hurry. Well, the other evening I sat in that little chair and just watched Mr. Pooey, Mr. Whoee and Scary swimming in their waterlogged world. It was so relaxing and freed my mind of all the clutter I had accumulated during the day.

Mr. Pooey, Mr. Whoee and Scary (named by my great-nephew, Alexander the Great)

Part 2 of my mission to just do nothing, was hanging out on the deck with Bella Bunny today. I let the sun soak in and I watched the green leaves against the blue sky and the birds flying about until I dozed off. It was healing.

Anna Nalick’s lyrics kept playing over and over in my head:

♪  And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button girl,
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe, just breathe ♫

Labor Day was a week ago. Even though we had temps in the nineties last week, this holiday supposedly signals the end of summer.

It’s gone by fast, but I must say, it’s been fun.

I shall leave you with my little ode to summer:

A summer’s night in Tennessee

Crowds cheering at the local ball field

The crack of the ball against the bat

Dogs barking, children laughing

A whippoorwill in tune with a distant train whistle

Lightening bugs blinking in the thick, humid air

The scent of magnolia blossoms and white pine

Mingled with grilled burgers, fried chicken,

And ball park hot dogs.

Enjoy yourself and try to sit and do nothing at least once this week!

Libby Lu


18 thoughts on “Farewell, Summer

  1. I once did an article for Southern Living about the health benefits of doing nothing! It’s a goal to shoot for in these busy, stressful times…thanks for the posting. I am pulling out some Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations (yes, I decorate for every holiday, ridiculously so) and I thought, “I KNOW I just put this stuff away. How can it be time to do this again?” No wisdom in that, just recognition of the same thing we all learn: the older you are, the faster time goes.

  2. You paint a lovely southern summer picture, dear Libby Lu. A true southerner says lightening bugs, and you are true blue!! I know what you mean about time, or no time in some cases. Time for real friends, family, children, love and laughter, and no time for people and things that bring it down! Amen! Seeing the fishies… I miss mine – Isabel and Ferdinand. They taught me fishies have feelings too! Love to you. And love to our beautiful girls… we ARE the lucky ones!! xo

    • Thanks, Dalin fa readin mah liddle teensie blog. I do declare, I have the vapors. Southen indeed! Hand me those curtains!

      Okay, enough of that. Thanks for reading my blog, L. And you are right…fishes have feelings, so don’t flush them.

      We do have some lovely girls, don’t we!

      Love you!

  3. For me “doing nothing” extremely rare and carthetic. Yesterday, Saturday, I went to my 9 am fitness class and didn’t leave the house again until 4 p.m. A rarity indeed for me. And I even took a little 30 minute nap! Those kind of days are much needed but rare for me. PS the next time you have coffee with former neighbors me know! Love you! Anna

  4. Lovely! This could be a lesson in “mindfulness”, to use a current buzzword.
    Like you, I’m working hard at remembering how to sit and be still, how to just enjoy the moment. Like you, I am no longer finishing a bad book, watching a boring movie, or indulging unkind people.
    Thank you for this post!

  5. DL, Agree with the Sentiments!!!…

    “I too have loved the season passing well.…
    So, farewell, Summer,
    Fair but faded Summer,
    Sweet, farewell! ”
    …….. From Farewell to Summer By George Arnold
    Best Wishes,
    Gurmeet and Anil

  6. Your story reminds me of a joke I heard not too long ago:

    Two friends were sitting at the bar drinking and laughing. One of them looked across the bar and said to the other, “That’s going to be us in 10 years.” Her friend said, “You’d better stop drinking…that’s a mirror!”

    It is far too easy to get caught up in the “must dos” and forget about the little things. I am visiting a friend for some music this weekend, and the next weekend is Cousinpalooza. My girl cousins and I are going without children and without men to a house in the mountains without cable, telephone, or internet. There will be quite a bit of “nothing” happening that weekend!

    Magnolia blossoms bring back such memories of growing up in the South…thanks for the words.

    • Love me some Magnolia blossoms!

      And wow! I think it’s grand that you have a Cousinpalooza! Time, minus the distractions of responsibility and technology. I love it. Smart thing…I think I may need to begin this with some gal friends…then have another “retreat” like this with my wee family of 3. I don’t know if the 19 year old would really embrace this idea…. HA

      Mirror! FUNNY joke!

      Thanks for reading!

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