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Late summer reality check

For those of us who are "glass half empty" people, the arrival of August can send us into a funk of regret, bemoaning lost opportunities.

The summer's almost over, and the lazy days I dreamed of all winter are disappearing like a sailboat on the horizon. I wonder how different things would have been if, like the poet Robert Frost, I had chosen the road "less traveled by." I'm sure this wasn't what he had in mind, but I wish that instead of grocery shopping, I had driven to the seaside, or lounged on my deck with a good book.

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Perhaps all this angst is a measure of how, as an adult, I refuse to give up the idea of summer.

My expectation of three months without responsibilities hasn't changed since I was a child. The longer hours of daylight conspire with the heat to lure me into a false sense that summer days are endless, that I can pack more delight into them.

Again this year I bought a beach pass. I've been to the beach once, on the Fourth of July. I've made one batch of muffins with wild blackberries collected during a rare solo walk near my house, and had to watch as the unpicked fruit dropped from the canes before I had time to pick more.

Can you hear the violins?

Actually, parts of summer are easy to give up. Ninety-plus temperatures and humidity that frizzes my hair. Wilting plants. Rainless skies. Crumpled linen.

I read recently that more Americans are opting to take vacations in September, so there's still hope.

In the meantime, it's comforting to think there are only 291 days until Memorial Day.

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