Today, I've learned that summer does not end on a particular day. It ends, rather, with an event: the return of our RV to its winter storage place. Today is the day that Dave and his parents, who are visiting us this week, will put our RV in storage.
It's rather astounding to look back at the summer of 2006 and consider all the things our family did.
Joshua - the highlight of his summer was his two-week trip to Europe. He was busy while he was there, exhausted and exuberant when he got home. The second highlight for him was a week of marching band camp in Orkney Springs, VA.
Jonathan - the highlight of his summer was attending Territorial Music Institutes in Oklahoma and making first chair solo cornet in the TMI Band. Way to go! I think he would say that his second highlight was his vacation week, which he spent as a faculty member at our divisional music conservatory. He works with kids all year, and then when he gets vacation time, he goes to camp and works with another bunch of kids! He must be a Sears!
Dave and me - the highlights of our summer were our vacation times. Even though we've done it several times now, I'm still getting used to the idea of not taking the kids on vacation with us anymore. Dave has made that adjustment more readily than I. Nevertheless, the opportunities to spend quality couple time together were wonderful, especially since Dave has had to make LOTS of business trips in the past six months. During our stays in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia we alternated between relaxing and discovering our passion for whitewater rafting. The whitewater rafting thing is kind of funny. I've watched snowboarders, extreme mountain bikers, ski-jumpers, bungie jumpers, parachutists, etc., and thought: that stuff is far too risky for me! And yet, I love rafting, which is also considered an extreme sport. Dave and I have been gathering information recently about rafting in Colorado, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. We'll see where we go next! I also want to get into kayaking.
Sears Family as a whole - we went camping together over the July 4th and Labor Day holidays. The latter included taking in a double-header in Hagerstown, which was reminiscent of the summers in which we did baseball tour vacations.
Back in the days before we grew thoroughly disgusted with Major League Baseball, we planned some vacations around particular stadiums and teams we wanted to see. Or, if we happened to be in an area, we'd make sure to get to the stadium to see a game. Our family has been to quite a number of Major League stadiums, including the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City (my favorite), Coors Field in Denver, Yankee Stadium in New York, Fenway Park in Boston, Toronto's Skydome, Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park, both in Chicago, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Detroit's old Tigers Stadium, RFK Stadium in Washington, DC and some others. I won't even start listing the minor league stadiums, as there are far too many of them to count.
Anyway, now that the RV is in mothballs and summer is officially over, I'll shift gears and get into a fall frame of mind. So, here's where I say farewell to the summer and hello to autumn. Bring on those crisp fall days and brilliant colors!