I can sense that summer is drawing to a close. Back-to-school sales are in full swing and my email inbox for work is filling with messages about the upcoming semester. Most of all, I can smell the approaching fall, especially in the mornings.
Consistent routine has eluded our family for months, but we're on the cusp of more rigid schedules. Knowing how I can feel adrift when days roll by with little differentiation, part of me welcomes this. Another part wants to cling to these final moments of summer and not let go.
Earlier this week we took a three-day family road trip and explored some Pennsylvania gems, like Lancaster County, home of the Amish and several family-style dining restaurants. Have you ever visited an establishment like this? You're seated at long tables with strangers and served platters of food to pass around to one another. Your plate (the first helping, that is) ends up looking like this:
Then there's dessert:
Approximately three-thousand-five-hundred calories later, you exit.
Another day we visited an amusement park that was oddly charming due to its county-fair-feel, surrounding campgrounds, and nearly non-existent lines for the attractions. Built into a valley and around a creek, the park posted multiple signs documenting its historic floods. The 1996 floodwaters reached the level of my shoulder. The 2011 flood (quite a doozy, it would seem) capped off over my head.
Showing a penchant for thrill rides, my oldest gravitated toward the coasters. At one point, our youngest passed out on top of the stroller.
Typical of a day at an amusement park, we left happily filthy and tired. Multiple times the girls tried to eke out just one more ride before we left for the drive home.
I understand how they felt. In these final moments of vacation as we're looking ahead to the fall and reflecting on the summer behind, we're all trying to eke out just one more. Just one more lazy day. Just one more evening to pick raspberries off our sprawling bush, and just one more night to sit on the front porch eating them as we watch the sunset.
Eventually, we'll ride the final ride and need to head to the parking lot, tired and sticky and full. We really will reach the end of the seemingly endless summer.
I'm still trying to steal just a few more days.