The End of Summer?


Although I don’t have kids of my own, this time of year kind of feels like the end of summer for me. I have teacher friends going back to work. I see kids at bus stops and school buses on my way to work. And with Facebook these days, I see the first-day-of-school pics of all of my friends’ kids.

As a child, I loved this time of year! The excitement for what the year had in store, the smell of new erasers, the opportunity to wear new clothes. I’ll readily confess that I’d sometimes wear my new fall clothes just because there were new… Even if that last week of August was too hot for a long-sleeved shirt. 😉

However, as an adult today, I’m enjoying every bit of summer and trying to make it last as long as possible. This past extra loooooong winter we had this year really did me in. But it made me really appreciate summer this year. I do love fall, too. But I think, for the first time in my life, I’m trying to eat up and savor every slice of summer that I can.

With that, I’d like to round-up the last of my summer Michigan adventures. Maybe feeling like a kid again this trip made me more grateful for summer than ever. It brought out the simple happiness inside me. If only I could freeze time to capture that feeling forever…


Speaking of frozen in time…

Sometimes, when we go to Gladwin, I feel like we are frozen in time… perhaps the 80s.

For example, $1.50 beers…

We stopped at that bowling alley not to bowl, but for a pre-dinner beer. We didn’t know it, but it was Happy Hour. The bill came to $3. Seriously. I even ordered a Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. My choices were not limited Budweiser and Miller Light! When’s the last time you got a deal like that?

Candy Cigarettes

80'sI didn’t even know they made these any more!

Technology {or lack thereof}…

Here, we rarely see people playing around on their smartphones in public. The employees at the local Country Corner Bulk Foods couldn’t be on the phone while running a credit card because the machine shared the same phone line. And I noticed that they use a spiral notebook to keep their inventory. Many restaurants don’t have an online presence or post their menus online.

Which reminds me, it’s time to post the menus of this little coffee shop:

NE3I seriously just noticed that this place is called Northern Expresso. All this time, I thought it was Northern Espresso. That’s even how I posted about it last year

Anyway, I don’t know why I always have trouble deciding what to order here. And as I type this right now, I’m wondering why I don’t get my usual Americano. Did I order that once several years ago and find that I didn’t like the way they made it? I keep trying new, fun espresso drinks and they are usually too sweet for me. That’s even when I add an extra shot of espresso.

The trouble is in the decision-making. Before I know it, I’m at the front of the line and they are waiting for my order. On our last visit, I found a stack of these to-go paper menus on the counter:

NE Menu 1I’m keeping it in my car. Next time, I can peruse all of these options and decide in advance:

NE Menu 2My guess is that I should have a few ideas in mind, just in case they are out of something.

I mean, look at all of the flavors!

Northern Espresso menu

And of course, here is the menu listed in the Gladwin Buyers Guide:

(Click once to enlarge and then click once again to zoom in.)


Still, there’s something refreshing about leaving all of that technology behind – simpler times. That’s sometimes why Rob and I take an unplugged day on a weekend. We come out of it happier and refreshed. I know we will continue to do that whether it’s summer or not. Yes, some dreary days are meant for watching movies under the covers. But a good book will do nicely, too.

Still, one thing’s for sure. I’m stretching summer as long as I can. I am going to make a point of going outside and doing something every nice day that we have left this year. As fall arrives, I surely will miss walking every Saturday to the Farmers Market. It’s something I like to do on vacation, too:


Gladwin, Michigan Farmers Market

But once fall has set in, I’ll open the windows, get under the down comforter, and breathe in that cool, brisk autumn air. I will dig out the things that I find most comfy {that one’s for you, Rob!} to enjoy sweatshirt weather. I’ll get geared up for Football Season. Then, I’ll put out all of my favorite colorful scarves to try to find something position to settle in as the colder weather approaches. But for now, let me bask in the sun or run in the rain. I’m taking it all in…

What marks the end of summer for you?

Don’t forget to comment on this past Wine Wednesday post to enter to win a Wine Bible!

Giveaway closes on Tues 9/10/13 at 12:01am CST.



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