Last Sunday of Summer

(Don't look too carefully; I am well aware that I need "Crepe Erase" Paging Jane Seymour!)

It's the last Sunday of summer.  And it still feels like summer; mostly.  It's that wonderful time of year when it tends to be cool in the morning and at night, and warm (dare I say hot) during the middle of the day.

 Today, September 19th, the last Sunday in the Summer of 2022 was the first day of the summer (of the year) that I put on a bathing suit and went to the beach.  Yes, I went to the beach and not just a quick walk (which I did this morning after I had gotten my Wawa coffee).  I put on a bathing suit, gathered up my beach backpack (with towel, suntan lotion, sunglasses and book), took a beach chair out of the shed and walked the 2+ blocks up to the beach.  I set my chair in the sand (after struggling to open it).  I put my feet in the ocean.  Nothing more; though the water had been calm while I sipped my coffee this morning from a bench up on the dunes looking down at the ocean; this had changed as the wind picked up this afternoon and there was no way I was going to risk going in.  (Sadly, a resident of my hometown died a weekend ago as he rescued two children from the riptide.  He was a selfless hero; I am not.)  I sat there for about an hour.  I would have liked to have been there longer, but it was really windy and kind of chilly.  Of course, packing up my stuff and walking back to the house, it was HOT even before I reached Ocean Terrace, the road that runs parallel to the beach.  So much for an afternoon soaking up the sun.

This has been the first summer in memory where I didn't go in the water. (Putting your feet in doesn't count in my book.)  But then again this has been an extremely strange summer for me (and my family.)  I know summer has come and is ready to go, but it doesn't really feel like a season.  It's some sort of place out of time.  Days that have gone by without any real meaning to them.  (I realize that makes no sense.)  I know that there were summer days and nights.  I know that 4th of July came and I will never forget that this was the last one that I spent with my mother (and I am so glad that I did what I did.  See if you need a recap).  I never saw fireworks (although I did hear them).  I didn't want to and maybe that's part of the reason this whole thing feels surreal.

I am here on a Sunday at the NJ shore because my father is having an injection/procedure tomorrow.  He is hoping that it will help with the pain with his legs.  I am hoping so too, but I am doubtful.  (One doctor said this injection would not be able to be done; another said it could, so we are trying.)  It is scheduled for EARLY tomorrow morning (really early even by my standards), so I needed to be here today so that I can be of assistance tomorrow.  (Side note: my father's caregiver had to return to Eastern Europe where her husband is had surgery.  Her replacement is her cousin who is doing a FABULOUS job covering, but my father is not sure that she will be able to get him out of the car and into the wheelchair, so here I am to assist.  I hope this makes me a good daughter.)  Because it is still summer, I came down early; although I did make a quick stop at Walmart (is there such a thing) on my way, which forced me to drive past the hospital where my mother died.  Driving past was more difficult that I imagined.


It has been a beautiful day.  (As I write this, the sky is blue and there is not a fluffy white cloud in sight.)  I took advantage of the day to sip my coffee at the beach.  (Pumpkin Spice from my beloved Wawa.)  I managed to find time later in the afternoon to put on that bathing suit and sit in that chair.  Even though it was cool and windy (which is why I didn't stay long), I'm glad I did because I got to see a kite sailor AND watch a fisherman catch a small fluke (or maybe it was a flounder).  And even though I didn't get into the Atlantic Ocean in 2022, I did at get to sit and take it all in before the summer is officially over.

 This has not been the summer that I expected.  It has been an odd season.  I'm hoping for the best as we move into autumn, but I KNOW it's going to be different than anything I've experienced before.  We will be looking at colleges for my son and I will be navigating and wrapping up the year without my mother.  (The upcoming holidays may seem far off, but they are heavy on my mind.)

 We are moving into a new season.  As the colors change; so does life.  The best thing I can do is accept that and keep moving forward.


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