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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

42nd Summer


Labor Day has come and gone. The swan song of summer. Reinforcement of the signs I’ve been dismissing that summer is ending - - such as cool nights, falling leaves, and the pumpkins, Halloween candy and fall décor in resplendent red, orange and brown displays at the stores. Fall has arrived and along with it, a cold for me and all things flavored pumpkin spice, including cough drops. It’s time for me to get busy doing all the things I said I’d do “after Labor Day”. But this weekend, my cold flattened me and I greedily caught up on sleep. In my waking moments, I blearily looked at CNN and watched their reporters being beaten down in Florida by Hurricane Irma. I’m traveling for work this week but not to stand outside in a hurricane so I’d call that a win. Whenever natural disaster threatens a state, I’m always surprised to realize just how many people I know who live in that state. I’d glance at social media yesterday and feel a ripple of anxiety for all my friends in Florida who were either evacuating or boarding up windows.

I want to take a moment to be grateful for this amazing summer. It was abundant with good, pool weather and crammed full of adventures that made time fly by. When I question where this summer went, I remember that it got a head start with my graduation from grad school which was anti-climatically followed by 4 more weeks of class which delivered me solidly into summer. My first full season at my new job, a season where I really missed my former colleagues to the point that I compulsively brought one over with me where she’s rising high, her career buoyant. I too, am at last, settling into the change. Andrea and I ushered June out by traveling to Seattle where we departed on our cruise to Alaska and back down through Canada. We spent some more time in Seattle, falling in love with the Pacific North West, before returning home where we promptly threw a party to celebrate the fact that we all, collectively, survived grad school. I closed July out in Illinois, spending time with members of the Oswego High School class of 1992, many of whom I hadn’t seen since 1992. I got a new bike this summer, it wasn’t cheap but it was worth the investment. I whiled away the weekends biking and spending time poolside where I read things that were not assigned to me which felt exhilarating regardless of the content. We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with a quick trip to the Cape. Last Friday, Andrea, myself joined a group of friends at Fenway Park where Lady Gaga was the first female to ever headline a show there. I’m grateful for this amazing, 42nd summer.

I’m not ready for the shorter days or my birthday, but both are rapidly approaching. I’ve begun listening to Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg as writing is one of those “after Labor Day” practices I am ready to begin. I love Goldberg’s book. Whenever I picture Natalie Goldberg, I picture a spritely black woman with short hair, standing in braided attention. Which couldn’t be further from the truth as Goldberg, is a Jewish woman nearing 70 years of age. I blame Whoopi Goldberg for this confused mental image. I’m sure Natalie would applaud my creativity. Maybe I should write about that because I may have writers block or I may be lazy? Or maybe this cold is kicking my ass? Time to embrace my inner Gaga and go.

Lady Gaga


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