The End of Summer

The end of July, I cannot believe the summer is almost past here at Our Little House.  Sure, the long term weather forecast says we still have at least a month left of these oppressively hot and humid temperatures, but once July is gone, I feel the summer slipping.

This too, is ingrained in my DNA from childhood. July 31 marked the end of my Dad’s month long vacation from his long-time railroad job and August 1 marked the beginning of school clothes and supply shopping (the railroad paid once a month on the 1st) and the dentist and doctor check ups.

While there were still plenty of days to run, bike and play and evenings to catch fireflies the end of summer was just around the corner, as school usually started by the 3rd week in August (as it does here now). My staying up late with my mother also came to and end as she tried to get me back into a routine.

It was a time to begin to hunker down, spend more time indoors and get serious about life again.

Here at Our Little House, that same feeling envelopes me – not that summer has meant those carefree days we had in childhood – but the beginnings of change is around us in nature and in our plans.

The tomato and cucumber plants are starting to wilt and produce less. Things are drying up and taking on that “August” hue of brown.

At Our Little House, it’s time to call out the chimney sweep before we need to light the warm fires of fall and winter and to plan a final weekend visit “home” to Kansas City for the year.

Since Dale returned to work in the spring and has been working many hours this summer, it’s also a time to finally prep our boat for some crisp fall fishing outings and of course, to plan our now annual reunion with my friends from high school.

I know the end of summer is marked differently by people, one friend even told me she overheard someone say “Summer is almost over!” during the July 4 holiday.

For me, Memorial Day marks the beginning, Independence Day the middle and August 1 is the beginning of the end of the season.

What marks the end of summer for you?

I will be posting some fresh and freezing recipes on Monday. If you would like me to include yours, please send it to me by tomorrow, 7/31.

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16 Responses

  1. It’s going to be summer here for at least 2 more months. This is not something I am bragging about.

    • Kerri says:

      Hahahaha! It will feel like summer here for at least 2 months as well, Emily. If I had my choice, I would take summer over winter any day!

  2. Kristi says:

    This coming week is the County Fair in my part of the country and that for me signals the end of summer. After the Fair sports and marching band begin at the local school and before you know it classes start. I know, I know we still have beans to can and lots of warm weather (especially when the kids are in school in our un-airconditioned schools). I do love the change of seasons though and still anticipate the fall color and the first snow storm as well as the spring and summer of next year. I am careful to not wish my life away, just enjoy what comes next.

    • Kerri says:

      Ah, yes, the county fairs, happening now all across the U.S. Very good point, Kristi. I think county and state fairs are the signal of a waning summer. Good philosophy, to not wish your life away. Something my mother always advised against. 🙂

  3. Frugal Kiwi says:

    Down Under I’m busy sprouting plants in the glasshouse for planting in a few weeks. Spring here we come.

  4. Heather says:

    Thank goodness, summer is in its infancy here in Washington State. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that the good, sunny weather lasts through September. My tomato plants just starting forming fruit. My favorite time to vacation is in September after the kids have returned to school.

    • Kerri says:

      Back in the day when we took vacations, Heather, we always took it the week after Labor Day weekend. Heaven. 🙂

  5. Sandy says:

    Memorial day starts the summer off, July 4th has me thinking the summer’s half way over, but it’s Labor Day that signifies the end of summer for me.

    As a child I spent summers on the coast with my Dad and headed back to WVa the end of Aug. to start school after Labor Day.

    My BD is Sept 3 so after that it always feels as if fall is on the way!

    Funny how certain months begin or end a season for each us. My garden is still producing tomatoes and peppers, waiting of the 6 cantolopes to ripen, cucumbers are still giving me 1 every couple of days. Yeah, I’m winding down too!

    • Kerri says:

      You started school after Labor Day too and now it is in your DNA, Sandy. 🙂 We’ve had a horrible growing season here, it just got way too hot too fast after a cool, rainy spring.

  6. olivia says:

    Like Alexandra, we too have later summers. My tomatoes are still in the flowering stage and it will be several weeks yet before we can begin to pick ripe fruit… same with much of the produce. Around here, “Old Home Week” (exhibition) is, in some ways, the end of summer (mid August) but, in actual fact, we usually have long warm autumns thanks to being an island surrounded by ocean. Mind you, we can have frost by early to mid September (or even late August) so delicate plants have to be covered at night or herbs brought indoors. School holidays run from the end of June to the day after Labour Day. Back when I was a kid, we started back to school closer to the end of August but then had 2 weeks off in October to pick potatoes – even if we lived in town! PEI is a big potato producing province.

    • Kerri says:

      When I went back into the archives, Olivia, I saw we had the wood stove going in September. This crazy weather, we just never know here anymore.

  7. V Schoenwald says:

    My DNA clock runs very similar to yours, Kerri.
    I am canning, and drying herbs and veggies for winter use. My garden is very behind because of the 6-8 wk delay in planting from a very late winter/spring and then, Bam, summer and it seems just too soon.I have a thought on this very strange weather thing, that has to do with the volcano in Iceland and the Gulf gusher, but that is another story, but anyway,its can, and can some more and dry, and dry some more. I know that I have tons of people ask “why do I work my brains out” to do food prep and I really don’t answer them but just say I like to open my cupboards and see my results,and take great pride in knowing that I did it, and I don’t have to run to the store to buy cheap Chinese or overseas poisoned products. I rely on my wits and hands and my skills. My Amish grandparents would be proud that I have continued the task at hand.
    People have very much lost their instincts of nature and the seasons. I see it at famers market on Sat, the unhappy faces, the ugly temperments from customers who are just out of sorts with the meaning of farmers market and what it has to offer, and its bounty. It is truly an ugly scene and a great shame.

    • Kerri says:

      Yes, V, people are definitely out of touch with the seasons and almost everything else that’s natural. As we’ve gotten older, it becomes more important to me to make sure I know where our food is originating and what it has in it (and most importantly, what it doesn’t!)

  8. Alexandra says:

    It is true that this year it feels more like summer has been going on for a while and should soon be over, I find that my New Engaldn garden does what you are describing around the third week of August. That’s also when the crowds of tourists and non-residents leave Cape Cod to some extent as kids prepare to return to school.

    • Kerri says:

      I think you have later summers than we do in the Midwest and the south, Alexandra, in that your schools start later.