Some areas across the nation have already started back to school! I know this from listening to the news, reading social media, belonging to a teacher blog-writing community, and talking with friends. Here, in the upper mid-west, our summer is not quite over, but it is close. Most districts have two to three more weeks until students arrive back at their desks, ready to learn.
As the years go by, summer seems to go faster and faster! This summer was no exception. Although probably busier than most summers we have had, I feel a sense of accomplishment as this one comes to a close. My husband and I took our very first, week-long trip alone, since our honeymoon – thirty years ago! Our sons have kept busy – the youngest finishing up an online course, which he has diligently spent 2-3 hours on a day since the Monday after school got out – even he said he feels tuned up for his first AP class experience that will start in September! The traveling soccer league he belonged to is over and done with for the season and perhaps for good for us. It was exhausting and not truly necessary to be driving two and a half hours to a large city to compete against teams than might not be more skilled but were definitely more cohesive than ours. But, just as that ended, the high school team started having captain’s practices and contact days with the coaches. We are in the middle of “training camp” which has constituted 9 hours already just between Monday and Tuesday this week. By the end of today, another 5 and a half hours on the pitch will be completed. Between the mental demands from the online class and the physical demands of the soccer, our fifteen year old needed a three-hour nap yesterday for the first time in years! It almost felt as if he were two again, with all of us checking on him periodically!
College visits have been underway. It just makes sense to use the time over the summer to get to some of the prospective campuses rather than take a day from school once it starts. Our middle son will be a senior this year! He has been employed for over 12 months, kept up good grades, learned to enjoy working out at the YMCA, helped to win a tennis team conference championship – which continued into the summer, and fine tuned his 3D printing – software – coding skills over the last year. Currently, he is printing a pin-hole viewer for us to use during the solar eclipse next week. I even got a hug before bed from him last night, and a chance to tell him how proud he makes me! However, he is a worrier – like me, and the state of the world weighs on his mind. His final year of high school will go fast (we have been through a senior year once before), with memories being made on a daily basis that he can hopefully look back on happily when the future arrives and he is a college student.
Our oldest was just home for a visit. He graduated from college this past May, Summa Cum Laude, no less! He blossomed during his university time and has elected to pursue a PhD in Statistics. His program starts on Monday. I am excited for him! Employment during the summer was split between two research labs, checking on goats, being with friends, and developing his own areas of interest to pursue in the coming months. A couple of week-long visits home were squeezed in along with a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, with his Aunt to celebrate his successes – which have been many. The trip was well deserved!
Early summer and mid-summer brought the death of both of our beloved cats. They were fourteen and blood brother, barn cats. We are pet-less now and I can tell you it is still an adjustment, especially for me. I miss them. I miss caring for them, loving them, and receiving their love in return. Yet, I know we are not ready for new pets. Not yet.
Our house siding project is coming along. Hopefully, it will be finished by the time the weather turns cold. Our fruit has been coming in all season – first cherries, then blueberries, now plums, and pears. The harvests have been plentiful and they keep us busy processing the fruit. We have learned that ripeness turns to rot if you wait too long!
I have had a tiny amount of time to work on jewelry making – a hobby of mine. But, I also took a summer graduate course that was grueling and did not end until early July. So, my time has been somewhat limited. I am itching to get back to more creating. For the first time ever, I am really not sure I am ready for my fall semester of classes to begin!
Yes, our summer has been busy and fulfilling. I think we all have a sense of accomplishment. I know, in many ways, we have been enriched by all of the activities and challenges. But, summer is winding down. Our town’s local festival – Kornfest – is this weekend. To us, it signals the end of summer is near and the school year is about to begin. I think we are ready!