How We Celebrate the End of Summer

How do we celebrate the end of summer?  We participate in all the local fun and take advantage of the few remaining warm days.  I took my grandson out with me Friday, where we visited the locally owned shops in downtown.  The historic downtown isn’t always accessible to me, but more and more businesses are having small ramps built that can be removed to get around the restrictions which include not changing the front facade of historic buildings.  We visited one such store where I found a beautiful gift for my youngest grandchild then had lunch in the coffee shop.  He loved the coffee shop so much I had to take several pictures.


The coffee shop is operated out of an old Victorian house.  There are 4 rooms open to the public with seating in each.  Unlike the expensive coffee chains it’s nice to have a bit of privacy when you want it.  To the left of the door is a sitting room complete with couch, where the owner’s little boy was sleeping.  My grandson was taken with the elaborate woodwork and paneling around the staircase and the chandeliers.  WP_20131003_005

Our food was delicious, and unlike the chain restaurants spinach is used for its health benefits over iceberg lettuce on the sandwiches.  My grandson had a bit of trouble deciding what he wanted to eat, at which point the owner offered to make him her daughter’s favorite sandwich…..3 cheeses melted together. Our meals came with fresh raw carrots as well.   Little one was torn between milk and water when he was offered the opportunity to make his own soda. I wasn’t thrilled at first but after learning how it was made relented.  Club soda was blended with his choice of flavorings which were low in sugar (nice to have a mother who understands these things serving you). His was raspberry and apple.  Our sandwiches arrived on clear glass plates, but our drinks were in disposable cups. I will have to remember to take my own cups next time.  But aside from my disappointment with the disposable cups, this was the best meal I have had out in years.


The entry way is the information section where you can browse the bulletin board or check out the table of free community newspapers and event postings.   Each room has at least 2 bookcases overflowing with books to enjoy and artwork both to admire or to purchase. There are some oddities to check out like this lamp my grandson spent quite a bit of time checking out from every angle to figure out why it had to be so ugly. :-)


We strolled around town watching everything being set up for homecoming


We also had to take time to admire the fall plantings. Most homes are adorned with mums on the front walkways or by the main doors, and then there is this display I enjoy each fall.


In between there was some work to do, I am fortunate to have such wonderful helpers.


I have a good start on my Christmas shopping, and while picking up my youngest son’s gift I spotted this.  You know it had to come home with me.


The veneer is almost off and I can already see how this will look when finished. Little one has her own ideas on how it should look.  She wants the wood stained on the top and sides then each drawer to be painted in a different color “like a rainbow,” she says. From the top right she wants yellow, green, middle drawer red, bottom one pink.  I think I will have to do the painting when she’s not here or it will have her vision and not mine.


Can you tell someone else loves this dresser?  Look at those legs, I spotted these legs first and couldn’t wait to find out if I could have this piece from that moment on.



On the way to the parade this morning, loaded with blankets and snacks we stopped to watch two chipmunks at play. We didn’t arrive as early as I would have preferred and had a bit of trouble finding a good place to view the parade.  Once we found our spot little one got busy getting her seating arranged and waited patiently.


The highlight of any parade is the Zem Zem Shriners.  If you aren’t familiar with the Shriners, they are a charitable organization which raises money for sick children.  They have some of the best hospitals around staffed with caring and dedicated specialists.  Their motto is: “We ride so children can walk”  Here are some pictures of just a few of the different vehicles they take around the country.







We call the Zem Zem vehicles “the funny cars” and while they are entertaining to watch, there is always the potential for an accident.  My son was able to join us today and remembered from his childhood of my moving him back away from the street.  He quickly gave his daughter the option of sitting on my lap or his shoulders.  Guess which one she chose?  His rationale was that he could move a lot faster with her if he didn’t have to try to pick her up should there be an incident.


When your university’s mascot is known as the Fighting Scots you can’t have a parade without several bands with bagpipes.


Everyone knows bands are a part of a parade, but do all parades have a clown band. Sorry I didn’t get a better picture of them.


Plenty of floats went past us, I wish I had taken a few more pictures. Every year there is a theme for the floats, this year it appeared to be children’s movies. Included was The Wizard of Oz, and even Clifford the dog walked around to shake hands with the children.


While I do not agree with war, I do know that we have many men and women who have risked their lives in the hopes of protecting our country.  With the news this past week of World War II veterans having to storm barricades to view the monument built in their honor as a result of the government shut down, it was nice to see everyone stand and applaud these men today.  These men are both veterans and Zem Zem members.


And that’s how we celebrate the end of summer each October.  Now it’s back to work putting the garden to bed and getting some furniture sanded before the weather turns cold again.


How do you celebrate the end of summer?

31 thoughts on “How We Celebrate the End of Summer

  1. What a lovely way to say goodbye to summer. I loved your cafe photographs, it looks like a wonderful place to visit. I really like the shape of the chest of drawers and am waiting with interest to see the finished one. It has good bones!


    • I very much enjoyed having lunch in the cafe, I normally hate going out to eat but the atmosphere, food and the service was the best I have ever had. I am slowly getting somewhere on the dresser, it won’t be what I had envisioned but it will be loved so I am happy about that.


  2. So love your end of Summer festival, we hold here in the UK less and less traditional celebrations, We have within our Churches and Schools Harvest Festivals, and we have Well Dressings which are mainly in the Derbyshire Villages to celebrate the gift of water from the wells and springs… I used to as a child help make these, as frames of wet clay would be soaked in the local brook, and flower petals would be pressed into them to make pictures of either biblical or topical designs… My Nephew my Brothers Son who is at Uni, designed one of the 3 for the village I used to live this year… Here is a link for you, the one my nephew designed is the Heron on the water to the right.. If you click other links you can view other wells in other villages and throughout the years.. :-)


    • I like the idea of celebrating the well waters. Maybe more people here would think about the water they need and take better care of it. Those on wells, are very mindful of how they use the water knowing it could run dry, but those on public water systems don’t give much thought to water, just assuming that when they turn on the tap it will be there for them.

      Your nephew is very talented. I looked at the other two and liked the 4 seasons one as well. Thanks for sharing those, I had no idea you had such celebrations.


      • These date back to pagan times, and once upon a time I knew all 500 people in our village, now I know only a handful as those from cities bought country cottages as weekend retreats… Sad, it was due to not being able to afford house prices that we had to move away… But having now live away longer than when I left age 20, I still call the village Home!


        • I love pagan holidays, as they are about the elements of the earth and the seasons. I have never lived where there were only 500 people in the area, but I’m sure it was not only nice, but gave an extra feeling of security. I’m sorry you had to move from your hometown, I too moved a short distance from mine, but it isn’t the same place any more. When I am there it does still feel like home in some areas, yet many of the places I enjoyed are now filled with condos or yacht clubs. Sad to remove a free area around the lake with exclusive locked gates to keep the general public from enjoying the water.


  3. Hi Lois, I’m just making my way through my weekly digest of your posts and had to say that I can’t believe how fast summer is going!!!! It seems like you were just writing about rain and planting your garden. Did it seem fast to you??? Of course where I live we are moving into our “good” time of year because the heat is way down and the days are absolutely gorgeous….maybe the opposite of where you life. Our autumns are when everyone starts coming back outside the house and we start reconnecting with our neighbors and walking and riding our bikes. Very different. Anyway, thanks for sharing your fall day with us. I think it’s so nice to remind ourselves that people in other areas of the country/world are experiencing any particular day in a different way due to weather or all sorts of circumstances–but we’re still all in this together! Oh, and good news about the wheel chair! ~Kathy


    • Kathy, summer never seemed to arrive here. We had late frosts, unseasonably cooler weather and lots of rain. I feel as if I am still waiting for it to get started and it’s over.

      Your weather is probably similar to Phoenix, it seemed so strange to me that local produce was hard to find in the summer and it was too hot to enjoy the typical summer activities I was accustomed to.

      We do move back indoors during autumn, on some of the nicer days you can find people out doing routine maintenance but just to be outside for the sake of being outside is past.

      The US is so large that I have enjoyed traveling, and living, in many areas. Each is so different from the next. To even drive an hour and a half south we find they hardly get any snow while we can get between 200-300 inches each season.

      Glad you enjoyed seeing how I spent some of my weekend. The gorgeous weather of Saturday has been replaced with very chilly temps and cold rain since.

      And thank you, I am looking forward to getting the parts installed on the chair.


  4. Today is so warm I would have mistaken it for summer returning. Three weeks ago it was wintery weather falling as low as 8 Celsius. Summer is over for me, and I will celebrate the end of Autumn at the end of this month.

    Your community appears to have better parades than we do in Colchester, UK.


    • Leave it to a university to put on a fun parade. :-) Yes, our weather was wintery, with frost only a couple of weeks ago, now it’s like summer if you wait to head out until about 10 or 11 am. Nights are cool but not cold either.

      It’s a shame autumn is such a short season as it’s such a beautiful time of year.


    • Interesting is one description for that lamp. :-) The weather is expected to cool a bit, but not frigid weather so I’m good with that. I hope you are having a good weekend, even if you don’t have a parade to attend.


    • Yes, Sarah, I do read BetterAfter, love Lindsay’s sense of humor and the makeovers. The ugly lamp contest is one of my favorites. It’s hard to believe so many ugly lamps have been not only created but displayed. Enjoy your summer, do you have any special celebration that for you marks the end of a season?


  5. Looks like you had an amazing day to mark your end of summer. I love that dresser Lois and can’t wait to see how you finish it! The parade looks like it was a fun time–love the Shriners, the bag pipers and the clown band!
    My official end of summer comes next weekend–it will be Thanksgiving here in Canada. I will sit Saturday night around my table with my wife of one year (thankful that 2 woman can legally marry in Canada!), our 3 sons, my mother in law, our 2 dogs and 2 cats and be thankful for all that I have. I will also be mourning the loss of my mother 2 years ago-but thankful she is free from pain.
    Last year on the one year anniversary of her death I shaved all my hair off and have not colored it since! Next weekend I will shave it all off again! When I finally find the courage to start a blog I will tell everyone what it has been like to have a shaved head of gray hair–what an eye opener it has been!!
    May you enjoy the color, scents and comforts of the fall season!


    • Lil, we did have a great weekend only once since 1988 have we had nasty weather for the homecoming weekend. The Shriners have done such wonderful work for decades. They were there when I was young and needed medical care, but to see grown men in those funny cars always cracks me up. The bagpipes are the highlight of my weekend, there is something about the sound that resonates deep inside me, maybe it’s just the novelty of it as they aren’t played in any popular music.

      Congratulations on your marriage, your Thanksgiving sounds perfect. Our Thanksgiving, as you probably know, is in November. I travel each year now to visit my son and his family for a couple of days. We have great food, lots of laughs and football. :-)

      I’m sorry for the loss of your mother, your shaving your head, did she have cancer? I hope you do start your blog I’d love to read about your hair and the reactions you have gotten. Please drop me a line if you start it and let me be one of the first to visit. I have worn my hair really short but never had the courage to shave my head.

      Thank you, I am enjoying the colors, and scents of autumn, it is funny you included scents because that is one of the things I notice daily. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Lil


      • Yes my mom died of cancer but we were not aware of it until the autopsy. I will definitely drop you a line when I over come my fear of doing a blog!
        As for the Shriners they do so much for the children’s hospital here they are always a high-lite of all of our community parades. Bag pipes resonate deep within me as well–I close my eyes and can feel the beauty of the music in my soul.
        And yes–the smells off fall–oh how I love the scent of the air, the leaves, the dampness of the earth-it is almost as if you can smell the different color of the leaves–we are truly blessed to live where we can experience all four seasons–autumn is my most favorite of all.
        Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


        • I am sorry for your loss, but if I had cancer again I would rather go and not know I had it this time.

          The air does smell different now, and this weekend was a mix of scents. There was the typical smells of autumn, people were out cutting grass (and leaves to leave on the lawns) and the smell of fresh cut grass is another favorite. Later this afternoon we had a warm rain, quite the downpour for a while, which cleansed the air. Autumn is my favorite as well, with the one exception being that it means winter is just around the corner…my least favorite season although even in winter there are unique scents I take the time to enjoy. Smelling the crispness of a day with temps below freezing is one such pleasure of mine.


  6. Now that looked like fun. The dresser is a good find for sure. I love the legs. I celebrate the end of summer by slowing down a bit and enjoying the colors of fall. We’ve already had frost so the trees are really changing fast. All too soon it will be winter.


    • Jackie we had frost a few times and our trees are changing fast too. I enjoy these days, the colors are so beautiful it’s almost worth knowing winter will follow. Aren’t the legs on that dresser cute? The newer things just don’t have any character anymore.


    • It’s been a wonderful weekend. I love the details of the older homes around here when left untouched. Builders put so much attention into the details of homes back then, not slapping them together like today. I too love the dresser, I don’t have a need for it myself but just working on it will satisfy my desire to have it. I’m sure someone will ask for it before it’s finished, but if not I’ll sell it.


  7. A very celebratory end to summer! I like independent cafes, too. That lamp was something else! The dresser was a good find – solid wood under there. I look forward to seeing the “after” photo. You had great weather for the parade, with everyone in T-shirts! We have Shriners and pipe bands in all of our parades, too, but I have never seen a clown band!


    • We did have beautiful weather today, if it wasn’t for being bombarded by falling leaves all morning it might have been a typical summer day. :-) We were literally sitting near a couple of trees that dropped leaves on us throughout. Isn’t that lamp ugly, but the atmosphere and food made it a special place to take the little one. There was plenty to occupy his wandering attention. The clown band was actually very good, small but they were talented.


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