The arrival of fall this week has had me daydreaming of NYC. In grad school, I would walk during the autumn months from my tiny studio on the Upper East Side of Manhattan across Central Park, to the Upper West Side for class. I was finding my way in the city at that time, and this ritual let me soak in my new surroundings. The park and its changing colors provided calm from the constant hustle and bustle. This was fall….
Scones. To me they scream, “Come on, sit down, take a break, have some tea.” My school year schedule is back to full warp speed. Coaching, work, orchestra rehearsals, swim meets. These days my favorite ritual to decompress is finding new podcasts and listening while baking. Hearing stories about what makes people tick; their passions, their struggles, their loves, and everything in between, is grounding and inspirational. Human beings are pretty incredible, aren’t they?
So here we are. The end of summer. We celebrated end-of-summer’s eve last night watching our KC Royals play to a sold out stadium. Heath and I sat sandwiched between a couple families with young kids, and not a single detail of the muggy night under the bright lights escaped them. Wide-eyed with their royal blue capes, those kids were entranced by the megatron, stuffing popcorn and peanuts into their mouths as they cheered, and were endlessly trying to start the wave. I, of course, tried to oblige them each and every time. That is summer. The most American of pastimes, and through a child’s eyes, no less. A perfect way to close it out….
School is back in session. It’s exciting, really. Although I love the freedom that summer brings, the new academic year always feels like a fresh start. A reboot. A chance to take what we learned in the previous year and better ourselves in the future one. A chance to try new approaches. Listen better. Laugh harder. All the mistakes, successes, and the in-between: a primer for the new year….
Strawberry shortcake has always symbolized summer for me. As a kid, strawberry shortcake was an exciting departure from the more common cookie or ice cream treat. At the thought of it, I am instantly transported to our family dinner table on a hot summer night. My little sister, sitting across from me chattering away, curls balking against her ponytail, shooting off in directions one didn’t think hair could go naturally. Me, quietly trying to hide (unsuccessfully) the day’s sunburn from my mom on my fair, not-made-for-summer skin. The ice cream truck and its jingle approaches, taunting the neighborhood outside. Normally, upon hearing this I would have shot outside with as many quarters as I could scrounge up, but who cares when there’s strawberry shortcake for dessert!…