Is it just me, or does August seem to be the longest month of the year? I’m always so ready to say goodbye to the sweltering heat and humidity here in Houston (even though, typically, we will still be in the 90s for most of September) and to start celebrating pumpkin everything. August is just that pesky 31 days standing in the way. This year, even though we are still suffering through ‘dog’s breath’ weather (a very appropriate term coined by a local meteorologist), I have seen some signs that relief is coming. It may not be soon, but it’s there on the horizon, waving faintly in the distance.
First of all, we had a bonafide cool front push through town last week – this never happens during the summer! It was nice to be able to get out and walk on a couple of cooler and drier mornings. I’ve gone back to walking on the treadmill at the gym because the weather has been brutally hot and it was nice to get a break.
Second, on a visit to Cracker Barrel for dinner, I discovered their country store was already decked out for autumn, including this goat milk lotion scented like Caramel Pumpkin Spice. This stuff smells amazing (just like fall!) and every time I put it on I’m picturing apples and acorns.
My favorite part of fall is Halloween and I’ve learned that one of the Spirit Halloween stores near us will open on August 9! This is probably too early for some people, but I can’t wait! My son is also a fan and visiting these stores has been part of our yearly ritual since he was a preschooler (he’s now 22). I’ve been watching with envy as others on Instagram discuss the earlier opening of their local stores and now I see it’s something that’s going to happen here too.
And the last thing that has captured my interest is the noticeably shorter days. This is my least favorite part of fall, but I have noticed that I’m able to get to work before the sun fully rises, a true sign that I may need to break out my sweaters (ok, probably not yet) but I’m fully reveling in all these little signs. It may be the only things that enable me to make it through this next month!!
I make a card each month that I share with some members of my church and any other friends I think might need a little pick-me-up. I know sending cards has gone out of fashion, but that’s precisely why I do it. I like giving people something to look forward to in their mailbox.
This purchased clip art made me think of summer the moment I saw it on Etsy and I was excited to put it together now that I’ve finally figured out how to manipulate the images in Microsoft Word.
My favorite part of this card is the joyous little sun. I know summer usually is a happy, relaxed time for most people, but I used to get really depressed. Houston is just so hot for so long. We are already at least 90 degrees every afternoon and will not see cooler temperatures until the end of September (if we’re lucky). There is also the constant specter of a hurricane when living this close to the coast.
However, a couple of years ago I discovered that by reframing my thoughts around summer and looking for the positives, I could make a difference in my mood. It worked so well last year I once again came up with a bunch (well, actually a few) of the things that I really like about summer and will be replaying this list in my head for the next several months.
Cherries, though oddly enough I only started eating cherries a couple of years ago. I generally don’t like messy food, such as ribs or wings, and I always avoided cherries because of the pits. However, once I actually ate some, I decided the flavor was worth the mess and now eagerly look forward to their arrival in stores.
Watermelon- all I can say is yum!
Longer days- I have noticed that sunlight is a real mood booster for me. Days are so long now it is still light outside when I go to bed.
Less traffic- no school means less congestion on my commute back and forth to work.
Fall stuff starts showing up in stores. I know it sounds weird, but fall is my favorite season and I am a very anticipatory person. I can deal with the heat and humidity a lot better when I can start shopping for pumpkins.
I hope my card recipients like this little visual burst of summer and that everyone is able to celebrate a happy and safe season!