Here we are again, in the middle of sweet, soft, September.

Back in May, I had high hopes that this would be the summer I’d stop working long enough to actually bait a hook and catch a fish. Then, in late June when the wild strawberries were ripe, I hoped to get out one afternoon to walk the fields full of daisies and gather enough for at least one tiny jar of jam. In July, I picked a few wild raspberries off the bushes on the side of the yard to eat with my morning yogurt.  And don’t even get me started about the wild blueberry situation. The closest I got to picking a single blueberry was the day I watered planters up at the cemetery and looked down at a blueberry bush in the forest with a few hard, green, berries on it. Then, POOF! August arrived and with it, meetings and traveling and lesson planning.

We checked quite a few of our things off the infernal Cabin To-Do list, though, so that’s good. The little brown house next to the river is standing up a little straighter and prouder than it was last spring. There was one weekend with highs in the 70’s and low humidity and not a bug to be found where I spent hours basking in sunshine on our new deck.  I think back to that one perfect weekend as the highlight of my summer. I’ll take that memory out again come February. It will keep me warm.

Lilly the Beagle has adjusted to life with two humans who aren’t kids any more, but who do their best to understand the needs of a dog who, at age two, still is. She doesn’t mind being an only child in the slightest. Our grown kids think we’re pretty dopey about this small dog and let us know at every opportunity how “spoiled” she is.  They chide us for giving her too many treats and roll their eyes at us because we let her get away with too much nonsense.  Then they pack their cars and take their strong opinions about beagle-rearing home with them to the Cities, leaving the three of us here in the woods in peace.

Here and there, maples are beginning to change colors.  In a month, the woods will be ablaze with crimson and orange leaves.  The days are getting shorter. The nights cooler. Before too long, we’ll button up the cabin for its long winter’s nap. Turn the key in the lock and hunker down where the roads get plowed better.

But before that happens, there is still September.

Sweet, soft, September.

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