Just a few very quick random stuff to include in this post, starting off with wishes of bonne chance et bon voyage — that is, for those like me who must rely on Google Translate to interpret French, good luck and safe travels — to une de mes amies sur WordPress, The Finicky Cynic. All summer long, she’s been psyching herself up for her post-graduate life in Europe. This weekend — as I write this, in fact — she makes that long trip from California to France, where she will work a temporary (eight months) teaching position and have enough time to play tourist around Europe (she’s got a bucket list for that).
Since I began following her posts and she mine, F.C. has been such a great read and an inspiration for writing (three words: “June Jour Challenge”). Were it not for her, this ol’ blog of mine wouldn’t have reached 101 posts as quickly as it has (this is post number 101, for the record). She’ll be pretty busy for at least the next week; her family is tagging along with her during that time, and together they’ll be sightseeing around Paris. (Good of them to give her such an extended sendoff.) But you can still catch up on her blogs (one in English, another en français, the latter of which I should seriously catch up on *blush*). Profitez de l’Europe, Cynique, et que tout votre être sûr toutes les expériences et merveilleux.
While F.C. is going to do the Europe thing, we here in the States are enjoying Labor Day weekend. And while F.C.’s employment will, according to her, allow her extra time for European travels and related adventures, Labor Day weekend means we Americans get a last chance for an enjoyable extended trip, or at least some time to enjoy summer’s warmth before autumn arrives and brings shorter days, cooler temperatures, and school for the kids. At least here in Madison this week and weekend, we’ve had some last licks of hot and humid summer weather; temperatures have been in the upper 80s all week, and though the skies are cloudy as I write this, the temps are still pretty warm.
And all this warm and sunny weather can be a good and bad thing. For the immediate good, it means anyone’s plans won’t be doomed by cold weather or storms (although the weatherman is forecasting storms for Labor Day Monday), and there’s a big to-do in Downtown Madison, a food-and-music festival called Taste of Madison. I’ve been to Taste just once before, but it’s a pretty fun time… although if you go, you may want to pack the antacid (lots of varieties of food there). For the bad… the nice weather on Labor Day just reminds us that, as noted above, there won’t be too much of it left to enjoy, nor will there be enough time to enjoy it at all. Plus, all the things you had for your summertime bucket list will need to be completed by Monday… including, say, having a nice, long swim at the local pool. A few blocks up from where I live is a swim club whose outdoor pool is only open from Memorial day weekend until Labor Day weekend. After that, the pool is shuttered, the water is drained, and anyone who wants to use the club will need to play only tennis or basketball; they’ll need to leave the swimsuit at home. (Oh, yeah, this weekend means swimsuit season is over with as well. Bummer.)
So, if you have time to enjoy Labor Day weekend, enjoy it any way you wish. Just don’t forget to appreciate the nice summer weather you’ve experienced the past 3 months; you likely won’t get to enjoy it again until next May.
After Labor Day weekend is, of course, fall fashion weather. Come Tuesday, you’ll have to put away those comfortable sundresses, bright colors, and floral prints and haul out the sweater dresses, comfortable boots, and… leather skirts and jackets (oooooh, la la). Of course, one of the traditional rules of fashion is to never wear white after Labor Day. Oh really? That’s a rule I’ve never figured out. I mean, isn’t wearing some sort of white piece, subtle or otherwise, a great way to stand out? The folks at College Fashionista think so, and this week they posted some nice ideas on wearing white as autumn settles in. Those ideas are at this link. My personal favorites are the men’s suit jacket and the geometric skirt paired with the striped top. Don’t be afraid to wear white after Labor Day; it can still be a great color and transition idea in September and beyond. Go ahead! Break that rule!
For me, September means not only a change in seasons and wardrobes; it’s also a month with a lot of birthdays in my family. Not only does one of my sisters turn another year older in September, 3 of my 4 nieces do as well. And like the dutiful uncle that I am, I always send a birthday card their way, along with money for their piggy bank.
Used to be that I would make the drive up to attend my nieces’ birthday parties if their parents were throwing one in their honor. Of course, I’d also give each of my nieces a little birthday present at that party. They’re getting older now (the youngest turns 11) and their moms have begun to teach them a little bit of birthday modesty, so it’s more often the case that the relations won’t get together and help them blow out the birthday candles. Yeah, it does leave me a little bummed out, but that doesn’t mean they love me any less or me them. At least I’m satisfied that they’ll enjoy the card and money, and I hope that they’ll save up that $20 (yeah, I’m a generous uncle) or use it to buy something nice that they know they need. And if we’re up to it, I can still ring ’em up on their big day and wish them a happy birthday. I’m so proud of my nieces and love them dearly.