Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Summer '09

Ahh, Labor Day weekend. The unofficial end of summer. Now that it's over, I'd like to take a look back at summer '09 in all its strange glory.

Summer '09 was a summer of loss. On Memorial Day weekend, we said goodbye to Jason's mom. It took the better part of the summer for our family to get its bearings and adjust to a new normal. I'm still not sure we're there.

Summer '09 was when the world lost the King of Pop, but through that loss my daughter discovered his music and his dancing and became enchanted by his gifts without being put off by his weirdness. I hope it's a comfort for those who loved him that he lives on in a new generation of fans. It was certainly a comfort to me as my CD of his number one songs still gets more requests than the Hannah Montana movie soundtrack from my seven-year-old.

This summer was one of strange weather and strange creatures hopping into my yard. I had a close encounter of the toad kind in my usually dry-as-an-ember front yard and wore long-sleeved t-shirts in July. Hot, sunny days that could be spent at the pool were rare and treasured. Of course, some of our hottest and sunniest days happened after Ainsley and I went back to school and couldn't enjoy them poolside. Mother Nature can be a real bee-otch that way.

It was the summer I finally saw the Dave Matthews Band in concert and understood why my husband loves them so. It wasn't a concert so much as a religious experience that maybe converted me to the cult. When Ainsley was in the car with me, our summer soundtrack was Michael Jackson. On date nights when it was just me and the hubby, it was all about Big Whiskey pouring out of the moon roof.

Ainsley will remember this as the summer she rode in an airplane for the first time and stayed remarkably calmer than her mother. We'll all remember it as the summer we learned that the Caribbean waters really are as blue as they look in the Corona commercials. One of the most treasured memories of my entire life will be from this summer, standing on a white sugar beach, watching my husband and daughter frolicking in still, turquoise waters. No one knows for sure where heaven is, but my money is on Half Moon Cay.

This fall will bring worries and problems of its own. There's swine flu, and the economy, and the fact that Ainsley really, really wants to be Hannah Montana for Halloween. But for now, I'll just enjoy the afterglow of summer '09.

How would you sum up your summer?

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