Homemade Rituals: How Do You Say Goodbye to Summer?

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Ever since we moved to Seattle, my husband and I have created last rites for summer. With endless months of gray and drizzle ahead, we make the most out of every last second of sunshine. Fall is coming and our calendar is crammed with activities that take advantage of the waning days of the season.

At the top of our end-of-summer list is exploring the Great Outdoors. Here in the Pacific Northwest, that's easy to do. We just returned from an invigorating week of hiking, horseback riding, and splashing around in the river with our dog. We even got to watch a big black bear noshing on berries in a meadow above an azure lake. Nothing beats climbing to the peak of a mountain and taking in epic views as far as the eye can see, bare arms and legs warmed by the sun. I wish I could bottle the feeling.

Henry David Thoreau wrote: "All good things are wild and free." Wilderness is a lot more challenging in fall and winter. And being stuck inside with the furnace rumbling doesn't exactly scream freedom.

My other ritual is freezing and putting up as much delicious summer fruit as possible. I do this all summer but, once I see the grocery bins start to fill up with apples and pears, I kick into high gear. The peaches are like sirens — so alluring with their heady scent that I'm willing to turn my kitchen into one thick layer of sticky. In a few months, when we're chilled to the bone and haven't seen the sun in weeks, my cobblers and pies will taste like summer.

What about you? How do you send off this glorious season?

(Image: AnnaMaria Stephens)

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