Monday, August 28, 2017

"When summer's end is nighing..."

To quote AE Houseman. Indeed, it is. Already the end of August and it seems like I just blinked a few times!

Recently I remembered with great fondness the summers when my family rented a house on the beach. My mother liked Scarborough Beach, the crowded Coppertone-french-fry-smelling state beach of my youth. For two or three weeks every July we would set up camp in a house (avocado appliances, plaid sofa, big deck) across the street from the beach. After leisurely breakfasts, we'd wander to the beach where we would ride waves and read on a blanket under the sun. Returning home, my father would already have burgers and hot dogs and sausage on the grill, and after eating and working on a jigsaw puzzle or playing cards, we would plan for dinner.

I recreated these glorious beach days with my own kids for several summers in Westport, MA at Elephant Rock Beach. But too soon, financial obligations led me to working most of the summer, and those halcyon days were replaced with different kinds of summer adventures. Recounting those beach house summers to my wonderful husband, he said Let's try for that again. So perhaps next summer will find me on a beach somewhere, a book in my lap, a burger on the grill, a jigsaw puzzle half completed!

Our travels to Ireland and Italy made this summer extra special. Dingle has become one of my favorite places to be, and Michael and I fantasized about renting a house there some time. From Dingle to Naples where we were caught in the heat wave known as Lucifer. Thankfully the (beautiful) apartment we rented had icy AC, so we had a respite from the blistering heat. Much pizza and pasta was consumed, including my new favorite: pasta with potatoes, which I am going to try to recreate this week at home.

We spent a glorious two weeks at The Breadloaf Writers Conference, immersing ourselves in readings and lectures, gin and tonics and trip into Middlebury for long lunches, literary conversation and the joys of both old and new friends. Now back in NYC, where we are planning a renovation of the apartment--oh joy! can't wait to spruce it up so we can have people over for dinner and cocktail parties. Yesterday we had the great pleasure of seeing Sam's kids musical, Untitled Shape Show, in the morning and The Diana Tapes in the afternoon at the IRT (proud mom alert!!!) and hosting friends in the courtyard here for rose and cheese and crackers. By year's end we will be able to host inside!

Thank you for reading my new memoir, Morningstar: Growing Up With Books. I have lots of events coming up--they are posted on my website--and I hope to see you if I'm at a bookstore near you!

I am still knitting the airplane shawl, but only 1 1/2 skeins to go. I took a break from it to knit a cowl for Annabelle, and I'm looking forward to finishing both and getting started on hand warmers and socks.

Hopefully summer's end is leaving you with warm memories, of beaches or far flung adventures, of time with the people you love most.