We spent all summer working on our new barbecue patio. It took every free weekend from Victoria Day weekend to Labour Day weekend, the entire Canadian summer, to dig out the dirt, sift out all the plastic, broken glass and rusty nails so we could put it back into our gardens, refill it with gravel, and place the flagstone and brick border on the garden side. It’s so nice to now have use of this awkward and uncared for corner of our small backyard for the first time since moving in. Even Pepper likes lounging on the cool gravel on hot afternoons.
The weather turned cold this past weekend, finally ending this year’s summer weather that felt like one long heatwave. We used and enjoyed out new patio as much as we could while the 30 degree days stretched into September and look forward to spending more time outside in our finally fully rehabilitated backyard when the more seasonable early fall weather returns. I know I’m going to spend all winter waiting for the snow to melt and reveal our beautiful pea gravel and flagstones again.
All photos by me.
August always has a certain magic to it. July slips away unnoticed when the weather is perfect and the weekends are filled with adventure. You look up one day and notice that everything has changed and summer is almost over. The nights aren’t as hot as they used to be, a summer storm can break the humidity for longer than a few hours, gardens are lush with full grown flowers and ripe vegetables, and the light turns golden.
It’s hard to notice this shift, and even harder to appreciate it, when the end of summer means the beginning of the school year routine. When I was a kid, I barely noticed a difference between July and August, now I find myself telling anyone who will listen, just how much I love this time of year. The weather is warm but not too hot, just right for spending hours outdoors. The trees are still full and green but that distinct smell and feel of the fall air has started to work its way in. The nights are cool enough for sleeping under the covers, but not too cold to sleep with the window open and listen to the crickets. There is a bittersweet feeling to the waning summer and creeping fall. It can too easily sneak by when you can’t take the time to stop and soak up the last few perfect days of summer.
Top American Apparel
Photos by me and Matt Harrison.
Like a lot of people our age, my husband Matt and I had to wait a long time to save up enough money, and pay back enough student debt, to break into the housing market. We spent many years in apartments, watching the seasons change through a window because we had zero or very little access to quite, calm or secluded outdoor spaces. Private outdoor space was one of the things we were longing for most while spending weekends stuck inside. Now that we’re finally here, we’ve been spending as much time as possible out on the front porch or back deck. When we have to go inside, we keep the doors open to the screens so we can keep the outdoors close.
We found our house in late spring and had to wait all summer to close and move in. I think it was the first whole summer I ever spent dreaming of fall and winter. I’m so excited for my favourite season to start that these last hot days of summer have been agony. I want so badly to put my summer clothes away and pull out my sweaters, jeans and wool socks. I’m trying to enjoy the moment and appreciate the end of summer – I don’t want to be bored with my fall clothes before the leaves have finished falling – but I’m itching to begin the seasonal transition.
After enduring a nearly week long heat wave without air conditioning, I can finally deviate from the breezy top and shorts summer uniform and start wearing nice tops, sleeves and longer skirts again. It’s still a little too hot in the afternoon to break out the flannel but this chambray summer top gives me some of the September texture I’ve been craving and the bright red skirt brings in some fall colour. My favourite white sandals get their last hurrah while the sun is still high and the leaves are green.
Skirt old & altered
Ring Blue Ridge Notions
All photos by me.