Summer says goodbye slowly here in Southern California. In other places, the seasons tend to move in like a heavy metal band to the apartment above, but here they drift in like a single guitar player, faintly playing, walking the halls, meandering abut until finally it decides to stay put for a bit.
I have been putting off admitting that it is fall. Since I spent the majority of the summer mired in the sticky dough of home renovation, I did not have much time to look up and look around at the beautiful blue lights of summer.
The other day it occurred to me that it was time to take down the patio umbrella (an end-of-summer ritual here) and realized that I had not spent any time at all sitting beneath it, under the lights that I have strung over and around the supports. I thought about Gatsby in The Great Gatsby and how, after a crazy summer, he realizes he hasn't used his pool and decides to use it one more time. (OK, OK, so he gets, you know, shot in that very same pool that day by a crazed gunman. Still, you get the idea. Work with me here.)
So I left the umbrella up and soon enough friends were over, night fell, and we sat there, under the umbrella with lights, sharing a bottle of wine and a bowl of blackberries. The chill of fall was just slightly in the air, but we stayed beneath the umbrella, warmed by the conversation that curled out into the night. I smiled as I looked around that table, grateful that I had salvaged at least one summer ritual before autumn claimed the time as her own.
I don't feel like I totally got my summer ya-ya's out. (There were no trips to the beach, no making of ice cream, no swimming.) However, I am transitioning to the new season just fine. I've already put the area rugs down, pulled out the feather comforter, and unearthed the few sweaters I have.
Yes, I'll be just fine going into fall with a few summer things left undone. My dear blogging buddy, Mom from Madi and Mom: Down Home in North Carolina keeps reminding me, however, that I have neglected one very important ritual--that of painting my toenails in a wild and wacky way. I do it every year at the beginning of summer. It was something I was going to let pass, but then today I thought, why not? I dug through the bathroom boxes of stuff and found my polish and salvaged yet another summer ritual.
Even though they won't be on display in my sandals or flip flops, my painted toenails will provide me with hours and hours of entertainment as I look at them nestled upon my feather comforter, or floating in front of me in the bathtub.
Sometimes it pays to have pesky blogging buddies who just don't give up all that easily.
I hereby present to you my Summer-In-October Toes 2012.
I stuck them in a tub of geraniums just for the heck of it.
Now, I gotta go dance.
My feet demand it.
Thanks Mom and Madi for urging me to go a little off-season crazy and reminding me that it's never too late to add a little color to my life.
Happy End-of-Summer to you all!