Where, Oh Where, Has My Summer Gone??

Yesterday, I passed a series of shops that had beautiful window displays of sweaters, boots and wool hats. Why were winter items for sale in the middle of summer? Then I looked at my calendar. From a meteorological point of view, summer ends on September 1. Yikes, that is less than two weeks away! An astronomical point of view adds on an extra 22 days of summer, which sounds much better. So, where has my summer gone? Using the weather as my guide, I generously went back to May 2 when our island weather was reliably 15C/59F or warmer. (Hey, my calendar – my rules!) This is where my calendar told me I had spent my time.

40 Meals with friends
38 Days out of country travel – England & Italy
25 Days with out-of-town family(incl. 2 trips to Kelowna-just about to be 3)
22 Days hiking 400 km on the Via Francigena (Italy)
16 Days reconnecting with great friends from out-of-town/country
7 Blogging buddies met  (Janis, Kathy, Erica, Jude, Ann, Lisa & Rand
5 Solo days with granddaughters
4.5 Books read (Until Tuesday, The Great Alone, Educated, House of Mirth and Brooklyn)
2 Home Exchanges (Victoria and North Vancouver)
1 Solo ferry ride with grandson

And here is how my iPhone visually recorded just some of my summer.

 

If our island weather takes pity on us, I figure that I can milk this summer thing out until the end of September. Here’s what’s on my calendar so far for these remaining days.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 2.18.52 PM
Estimated Temperatures for Mid-Vancouver Island

8 Meals with Friends (Hopefully, there will be many more added along the way)
6 Afternoons walking dogs at our local animal shelter
4 Elder College Courses (Writer’s Workshop, Natural Medicine, Philosophy, Mahjong)
3 Book Club Gatherings
2 Blogger Meet-Ups (Sue and Natalie)
1 Seattle Mariners’ Game (in Seattle)
Endless walks on our gorgeous beach before I admit defeat and declare that summer is officially over.

What about you? How have you spent this past summer? What are your plans for celebrating its final days?

88 Replies to “Where, Oh Where, Has My Summer Gone??”

  1. As far as I’m concerned, “real” summer doesn’t start until after Labor Day (September 2) around here. The kids are back in school so everything is less crowded and our weather is usually at its best. Even though I don’t buy many clothes these days, it does drive me nuts to see cold weather stuff on display. Way too soon, I think. It sounds like you had (and are having since it isn’t over) a great summer! I’m happy I was able to spend some of it with you and Richard!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Next on the agenda – With cows in the news recently – accused of being almost totally the cause of global warming – we are going to meet some when we visit relatives renting a cottage on a farm in Shropshire.

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  3. What a lovely fun-filled summer you’ve had! We have done a little travelling, going to Slovenia and Austria and have just got back from a week away in this country visiting places we’ve long wanted to see. I have been able to rest a little and I’ve been reading a lot! I’ve had a good summer so far.

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  4. Donna my first thought was “you spent it hiking!” then I looked at all the other things you’ve done and it looks like you milked every moment out of Summer! We’re in Winter in Oz and I’m looking forward to warmer days eventually arriving. We’ve had a lot of blue skies and clear days – but they’re cold (not your “COLD” but still very chilly). I’m hanging out for shorter pants and tank tops! Enjoy your last lazy, crazy days of Summer and remember “Winter is coming!!!” xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Leanne – I loved your first thought. 🙂 Because I have been away so much the past 3 months, and am just starting to settle in back home, is probably why I feel summer should just be beginning. Our island winters are usually pretty mild, at least compared to other parts of Canada. So, I do have that to look forward to. Enjoy your steadily rising temperatures!:

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      1. Hi Donna – just popping back to say Hi again from #MLSTL and to let you know that I now have my first Winter cold – so enjoy your Summer days while I blow my nose and dream of Spring xxx Shared this on my SM 🙂

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  5. I love the fact that you quantified your whole summer with facts, figures, and trends! How fun! We still have 100-degree temps plaguing us this week just as schools are starting. I got three delta weekends, but I am ready for the bustling routine of Fall classes on campus! You had a fab summer, Donna but I’ll bet you may be ready for fall!

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  6. Hi Donna! Summer isn’t even close to being over for me/us yet! When you live in the HOT desert it takes a while before it starts cooling down so we are hanging at the beach for another 35 days or so…heading home on Oct. 1 when hopefully it will be a bit cooler. And thanks for allowing me (and Thom to be part of your fun summer experience. It was a highlight for us too and can’t wait until next summer to see what we come up with. Enjoy the remainder of your time. 🙂 Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, the desert! I believe that may be the key to my panic over summer slipping by so quickly. In the past three years, Richard and I extended summer by adding on 6 weeks in the desert. We will need to plan some kind of winter escape for this year.
      Thank you and Thom for being part of our last three summers/extended summers. I look forward to our next meet up wherever it takes us!

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  7. Hi Donna,

    You lead a beautiful, full life, and I love the fact that you can look back on your calendar and chronicle all the manifold blessings that occurred up to this point, in addition to the future, calendared items that you are looking forward to.

    I started keeping a yearly planner to prove to myself that I wasn’t as lonely or isolated as I made myself out to be! 😉 Yes, that relates to your last post!
    On any given day, I might write: had tea with a friend, dinner with my son and family, got to exercise class, talked on the phone with so & so, practiced a little Spanish, sent this email or that. etc etc. If I look back and review my days, I might be more than a little surprised. I’m wondering if you were surprised when you finally took a tally.

    Loved reading this!

    Susan Grace

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    1. Hi, Susan – Keeping track of all of the little things that we do is a great idea. They really do add up! One of my reasons for writing this post was to deal with my sheer shock that my summer is ending. The other reason was to chronicle so many of the opportunities that this summer provided that I did not have the time to write about. Still, there were many things that I missed or didn’t have photos for. To the chagrin of my friends and family, I have now resolved to take even more photos! Everyone is now forewarned! 🙂

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  8. Here in SA we’ve hardly had winter, it seems spring has sprung. I don’t believe it, winter is sure to still bite. Some take a swim at end of August to welcome in the official day of Spring but I’m convinced we’re in for a shock.

    Your photos are lovely Donna, and you’re clearly having a brilliant summer!

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  9. Hi Donna,

    Sounds like you have spent your summer well! I’ve had a fabulous summer too – busy almost every weekend. So much so that I decided yesterday I need an iron supplement so I can keep up with my own agenda, which includes a fair bit of travel and activities right up to the end of September – hehehe!
    I’ll be on the island again for Thanksgiving, and the week that follows. You didn’t talk about October plans in your post, but if you have some time that week, perhaps we could get together when my daughter is working?

    Deb

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    1. HI, Deb – I am glad to hear that your summer has been going well and that you need iron supplements to keep up with yourself. I will need to remember that line! 🙂 Yes, yes, yes. I’m on the island this October and would LOVE to see you. Email me closer to the date and we can set something up.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. An interesting idea to break summer down into its days enjoyed!! Your organizational skills know no bounds! 🙂

    I’m most impressed with 4 courses in the next couple of weeks. Not 1 – 4!!! You are a little storm of activity!!

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    1. HI, Joanne – Although our Elder College always offers a diverse range of interesting courses, I usually have not bee on the island long enough when they are in session. Now that I am (or mostly am). I decided to take full advantage of their offerings. I’ll keep you posted on how they go!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Donna, Now I have that jingle playing in my mind:) Meteorological and astronomical? I have learned something new again. It looks like you had an amazing summer! Nice to capture the photos along the way. I suspect the endless walks will continue, although the beach may be soggier. We still have some camping left, wearing a few more layers. May have to add some brandy to our evening tea to stay warm:) Hope to see you again in the Fall 🙂

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  12. You’ve certainly had (or are still having, I should say) a busy summer. Summers are much shorter here. When I lived in England I felt autumn started in September, in Scotland even August can be autumnal. The schools went back last week (though they finished earlier for the summer too) and there is a definite nip in the air in the mornings. I’m happy with autumn – but I’m not looking forward to winter!

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  13. Your summer was very busy!! Mine was restful as I enjoyed the hot temps. I hate the thoughts of fall and winter coming. Afterwards I greatly look forward with great anticipation for spring and summer to hurry and arrive.

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  14. Donna – I never knew the difference between meteorological and astronomical seasonal changes! I learned something today. But I personally like your ” when the weather was reliably 15C/59F or warmer – my calendar – my rules!” I adore your numerical capture of things – plus pictures! You certainly had a fun-filled summer. And of course, I need to look back on my summer bucket list plans and see what I did…I tend to use the astronomical idea, so I have a full month to go to still accomplish things.

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    1. Hi, Pat – Here’s a quick guide to the differences between astronomical and (northern0 meteorological seasons:

      “The astronomical definition uses the dates of equinoxes and solstices to mark the beginning and end of the seasons: e.g Spring begins on the spring equinox, etc. Because the timings of the equinoxes and solstices change each year, the length of astronomical seasons within a year and between years also vary.

      According to the (northern) meteorological definition, the seasons begin on the first day of the months that include the equinoxes and solstices:
      Spring runs from March 1 to May 31;
      Summer runs from June 1 to August 31;
      Fall (autumn) runs from September 1 to November 30; and
      Winter runs from December 1 to February 28 (February 29 in a leap year).
      Source: https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/aboutseasons.html

      I always find the meteorological seasons much easier to remember. I’m glad you like my made-up seasonal guidelines. I believe I will need to employ this more often! 🙂 I look forward to reading your Summer Bucket List Review.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve spent most of my summer at home waiting for various repair people to come to the house to repair things. Then when not doing that I’ve gazed upon our yard and flower beds hoping that someone would take the initiative to weed and trim them on a regular basis. In between all that excitement I’ve researched furniture and window blinds online whilst drinking copious amounts of coffee– enough more coffee than usual for my dental hygienist to mention how much dingier my teeth are than they used to be. So, you know, another great summer here. 🙄

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  16. Without even mentioning retirement, you’ve written a great post about just how great it is, Donna. Kudos to you for making the best of a great summer, full of all kinds of activities. Now, there are still warm days ahead before it gets cold there. I know you’ll make the most of them. 🙂 – Marty

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    1. Hi, Marty – Even though I (technically) had most of my summers off, summers have a very different feel when you don’t need to go back to work when they are over. I’ve been officially retired for four years now and still wake up each morning shouting “Yipee”!!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I love how you’ve measured your summer in terms of activity. You’ve certainly made the most of it! We’ve had a relatively mild winter. On Monday we had 28C and today it will be 24C. Our ocean temp is still around 20C.

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    1. Hi, Jo – This post originated because I had some special events this past summer (other than our big hike) that I didn’t want to miss recording. When I started to write them down from my calendar, I realized that most of these events naturally fell into distinct categories. That made for an easy post….and I left the pictures to tell the rest of the story! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. What a wonderful summer you’ve had, Donna. Lots of happy faces in your photos. I’ve had a very active summer and year. I’m out of town or out of country almost every month and lots of events when I’m at home. We have relatives visiting us in the next three weeks, then I look forward to my trip to BC next month.

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  19. Thanks, Natalie – Richard and I have definitely had a busy summer. We are looking forward to a bit of hibernation this winter. I don’t know how you manage all of your travel and activities every single month. You are very inspiring!

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  20. Busy?! How do you fit it all in? Sounds wonderful though.
    You know Donna you only have to look at the soles of your boots to remind you what you have been doing all summer.
    We are doing a charity walk – the Bloody Long Walk in Melbourne this Sunday.
    T-H-I-R-T-Y-F-I-V-E-Ks. I will be thinking of you. At least it’s winter here and I will only have to worry about rain. Which has been forecast for the end of the day. Wish me luck. Louise

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This has definitely been a fast summer for me too. Lots of good stuff but after waiting so long for it, I hate to think it’s coming to an end. I never knew it but I tend to think of my seasons in the meteorological way so Labor Day will be the end for me. I’m hoping for a great (and long) fall but sometimes winter creeps in early.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Donna,
    While I was teaching I despised the end of August…felt like 3 weeks of Sunday nights anticipating school. Now I look forward to it. Kids in school, things less crowded. Weather still warm…foliage change on the way.
    Still, retail does rush it!!! My solution is to stay out of stores. My bank account likes that better, too!

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    1. Hi, Nancy – That sounds like “Labour Day Syndrome”, a condition that I developed every year when I worked. I didn’t despise it, but always had the feeling that I was on the top of a roller coaster that was just about to blast down!
      Staying out of shops is good advice, which I typically follow In our small town, it is difficult to walk/run to the gym without passing a shop window or two…or more! 🙂

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  23. Wow, what a fabulous summer! And I loved the photos. What island are you on? And I always forget that summer isn’t really over until mid-September. I’m hanging on to that!

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  24. Hi Donna I’m so excited to meet you and share some time together. Your Summer has gone because you have been busy living life and you are such a wonderful example of that. I am inspired by you and your ability to enjoy Retirement in so many ways. The countdown to our meeting is on, my friend! #MLSTL

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  25. Hi Donna, what a fun way to share your summer with us all, especially as we’re coming to the end of our winter down under! Your life is never dull and i love your enthusiasm and joy that oozes out of your words and pictures. Keep it up my friend!! #mlstl

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    1. Hi, Debbie – As I was enjoying my warm and active summer, and still keeping up with my blog readings, I felt bad every time my Australian friends mentioned that it was Winter there. Until I realized that your Winter temperatures are similar to our Spring (and sometimes Summer) temperature here. Then I was simply jealous! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Donna, we are very fortunate with our mild winters, compared to yours! I’m off to England for a month and am looking forward to warmer temps than here. It’s the end of their summer so it should still be quite nice. 🙂

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  26. Your window shopping experience reminds me of the displays of summer clothes in the shop windows in January and February, Donna. It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like selling Easter eggs at Christmas or Christmas decorations in July. You’ve heard of ‘Summermas’, yes? It’s something that seems to be taking on in the Northern hemisphere and can happen anytime between May and August.

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    1. Hi, Hugh – I never fail to learn something new from you. I don’t remember hearing the term ‘Summermas’ before. I just Googled it, and you’re right — it’s a HUGE thing!
      Life passes by rapidly enough without needing to rush things. Call me a Grinch, but I always refuse to put up Christmas decorations before December 1. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same here, Donna. I have to have opened the first window on my chocolate advent calendar before any decorations go up. However, it seems that most of those who celebrate Summermas only put up a Christmas tree for a few days, before taking it down again. I’m not sure I’ll be adopting the idea, but who knows?

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  27. That’s a lot of meals with friends. How awesome? And, from your photos, it’s obvious how much good company – whether family, friends, or husband – means to you and your happiness.

    I learned as a kid that summer begins on June 21st and ends on September 21st (which somehow has been moved a couple of days) and that’s what I stand by. Unfortunately, the weather in Canada doesn’t agree with my September anticipations. At least, it didn’t last year on Vancouver Island. Maybe we are more lucky in the Maritimes.

    Then again, we are much further north than I usually am in the summer. Another couple of years like this and I’d have to agree with Mark who says summer consists of June, July, and August… 🙂

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  28. Hi Donna – you’ve certainly filled your days … but I’m so glad you were able to get overseas to see your son and then ‘take your walk’??? Brilliant – and I’m so pleased I came across your blog and now remain around …

    I have to say I’m glad I’m here in little old England … where the easier weather is around for six months + … whereas my summer on the Island was ‘claustrophobic’ it was hot, but then very cloudy from the fires … too hot for too short a time – mind you my scenario wasn’t the best … but that was life. I can quite see the benefits of the Island (loved that part of my stay) … and you two are making the most of your Retirement life … cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary – I’m delighted that we found each other’s blogs, as well. My only regret is not having the chance to meet you when you were on the Island (and not very far away from where I live, I might add). Hopefully, we will get a chance to rectify this in the future!

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  29. I consider summer to be June, July & August. I know it’s summer because I’ve cut grass 24 times in 13 weeks ( I take care of my mom’s yard). Between grass cutting, I tended to the small vegetable garden that was planted in May and tended to the bedding plants in 3 flower beds and 2 perennial flower gardens. My aged mom was settled into a seniors’ lodge in July, leaving her home of 65+ years that needs tending to in her absence. She had a carpal tunnel repair in Aug and needed tending to awa transportation to and from appointments. A cousin had open heart surgery and that meant trips to and from the nearest city 2 hrs away awa local medical appointments as she is unable to drive for 6 wks post-op. My young cousin and her partner have bought a house so I helped her paint there. It hasn’t been all work and no play. There was a bridal shower for my nephew’s wife followed by their wedding in Banff, a week with my 2 delicious granddaughters, volunteering at the amateur rodeo that the community association that I volunteer at hosted, 2 support group meetings for caregivers, 3 lunch/game dates with friends, 2 music festivals, 3 yoga/mindfulness retreats, 1 50th wedding anniversary celebration, hosted dinner guests 4 times, had drop-in visitors 5 times. I’ve managed to finish 3 books – I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, Forgiveness, & Mamaskatch and I’ve started The House Girl. There’s more time for reading in the winter months. Snow means slow. The summer will be capped off with a 4 day camping trip with cousins and friends. Life is full. Like Sue in Australia says, your summer, like mine, goes by because we’re busy living life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Mona -Thank you so much for sharing this. Your words were very moving to me. Your diligent commitment to others, combined with your positive attitude, is extremely inspirational. I’m sending warm thoughts to your mother, and your cousin, and hope that they are both doing well.
      I agree that there is more time for reading when the summer ends. I just finished Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. Next up, Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.

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  30. Ah, yes, the rapidly approaching end of summer hit me this week, too. I’m still working, so it seems each week blurs into the next. I do watch my garden change and it reminds me that fall is near. Your summer was busy and full of the list of things perfect for bucket lists and relationship building. It made me wonder if you had any of those types of activities on your calendar pre-retirement? Or if it is retirement that has offered you the opportunities to fill it so? Regardless, congrats, your list explains in part to me why you have that beautiful smile on your face. 😉

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    1. You’re welcome. (Note it took me 4 days to reply to your comment! LOL). My posting regularity is due to a craving for a dose of creativity on a daily basis – therapy from the work mode if you will. Keep smiling and sharing inspiration as you do!

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  31. Donna, having spent a good portion of my life in northern B.C., the land of snow, my definitions of the seasons are a bit different. Six months of winter (November-April), Spring (May, June), Summer (July, August), and Fall (September, October). Fortunately, I love all the seasons. I agree with you, though; summer seemed to whiz by really fast this year.

    Jude

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    1. Hi, Jude – I agree that our internal temperature gauges are likely quite different. I’ve already worn my heavy winter coat, boots, gloves and wool hat! But, the weather was awesome today. It was a delight seeing people in shorts, and drivers in convertibles with their tops down!

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