Beaching out on the last breath of summer

Last week we had unseasonably warm weather. I thought I was ready for full-on fall, with its chilliness and wind and rain, with the boots and cardigans and scarves that I love wearing–but those warm days made me wish that I could hang on just a little longer to the sun, the gentle breeze, the walks on the beach, the smell of cut grass.

On that Saturday my husband was out of town, helping his parents clean the roof and other miscellaneous house-parts for a house showing (anyone looking for a home in quiet Northern Indiana? anyone?). I mistakenly thought I had to rehearse for that Acoustic Blend event, so I stayed behind and ended up having a day of solitude. I rarely have a whole day to myself, and guys–it was lovely. It was lovely beyond belief.

It reminded me that I am, at the heart of things, an introvert. Being alone, esconced in silence, revitalizes me. From the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed, I barely spoke. I followed my own rhythm. I made coffee and read a book. I talked to God about things as they came up; I listened for his answers.

I organized my closet (more about that soon). I took some coffee and a sarong down to our neighborhood beach and sat on the sand, looking out at the lake.

I lay on my stomach and read my book, wearing shorts for probably the last time of the year.

I listened to the shouts of children running, having one last beach day, splashing into the water with all their clothes on, building one final sand castle.

The ice cream man pushed his cart along the sand, ringing his bell.

A solitary woman danced, shaking her hips and swaying her arms with tai-chi-like motions, moving from spot to spot as I watched so that she was always in the sunlight, enveloped in her own little world.


Couples ambled by, hand in hand. Joggers moved past, their feet thumping the damp sand.

Groups of partiers rallied for one last day on their boats, soaking up the warmth, their whooping and laughter carrying across the water like confetti in the breeze.

Is there anything as peaceful as sipping a hot beverage outside on a cool day, and letting its warmth travel through your palms and into the rest your body?

Guys, I’m so happy. This was one of those days that you think with wonder: “This is my life. And I love it.”

Once my mug of coffee was drained, I wandered around the neighborhood, taking pictures with my little (and frequently forgotten) point-and-shoot camera.

To finish off the day I constructed a pile of pillows on the futon, watched Sleepless in Seattle with a big bowl of popcorn by my side, and finally fell asleep reading.

It was a perfect day.

When is that last time you had an entire day alone? Do you need that time to yourself to recharge?

27 thoughts on “Beaching out on the last breath of summer

  1. Eleanor

    We called it Indian Summer when I lived in Winnetka. I miss the wandering along the sand when it was only warm-not burning hot-on the toes. Happy memories.

    1. Jenna Post author

      That totally happens to me too! Not this particular time, but especially if I watch a movie and go to bed right after, the silence really seems to be thundering, and each little noise gives me visions of someone breaking into the apartment. I’m working on it through prayer . . . =)

  2. Anon

    It sounds perfect Jenna.

    I have to tell you something – I read a LOT of blogs – famous, middle of the road, wanna bees, and my pals – but I really, really wish someone would discover you and give you a book/picture deal [I mean a book with stories and pictures. Or something like that] I know so many bloggers want that kind of thing – but you are so engaging, and your pictures are so lovely – I just think your talent would go a long way to bringing happiness to a lot of people.

    I comment once & a while – but today I am going to be sort of anon – I don’t do “gushing” well. heehee But please know I truly mean what I say. 😀

    1. Jenna Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate it (and I could gush about how much–but I don’t do gushing well either =).

  3. cecilia g

    Those shots of the inner city, with all the dark brick are just fantastic. and great musings from a lovely day we all need a little solitude every now and then c

  4. Giselle

    This was lovely. =) I haven’t had a day of doing nothing in a while and I could really use one. I tend to spend my weekends going non stop and before I know it, it’s Monday again and I’m still exhausted. =)

  5. Erica

    Mmmm. Definitely appreciate quiet days. We have much to be thankful for. I’m so glad you had a peaceful day to recharge. Makes me happy. 🙂

  6. Layla

    One of my favorite entries on your blog! I felt relaxed just reading this!! Though I have to ask, was staying behind to “rehearse” really just a way to avoid the in-laws? 😀
    (I’m just kidding)!

    Though admittedly some can be pretty bad, my ex-inlaws were so bad, every now and then, my husband would have ME entertain them if one of them dropped by while he stayed in the bedroom “sleeping” LOL… and they were HIS family!!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Oh, that’s too bad about your ex-in-laws! Thank God my in-laws are WONDERFUL and spending time with them is no burden. The rehearsal was kind of up in the air (lots of musicians involved = complicated logistics) until the last minute, so it was totally legitimate. Promise. =)

      1. Layla

        Aww I’m glad things are good with the in-laws. Also just to clarify for the sake of it, and to me, it’s kind of cute and romantic, you’ll see me post about ex-husband and say I have a boyfriend, but it’s the same person, after we broke up, about a year later we got back together, around the time I started working at IC. Just thought I’d share! :o)

      2. Jenna Post author

        I bet that’s a great story! Glad you’re back together–you should start a blog and share you love story or something.
        (Sorry, I’m always encouraging people to start blogs–it’s one of my many annoying habits =).

  7. Wendy

    It is getting colder here rather quickly, so this is a good reminder to hold on to the little bit of summer that is left.

  8. jessie

    OOOOhhhh how lovely that all sounds. I can’t wait for such a day to come my way…it has been entirely too long. Cheers!

  9. Veronica Miller

    ARG! It happened again, no email notification even though I resubscribed. I will try again! Girl, that first picture with the sun rainbow balls (is there an actual word for those things?) in the lower right is breathtaking! I do like time alone, too, but I always prefer to have my husband nearby even if we aren’t actually spending time together. I’m really needy or something! lol Your day sounds just lovely. I’m happy you’re happy.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Oh no! How frustrating . . . did you ever confirm using the link in your email? Maybe that’s it–when I subscribed to see how it worked, there’s a sentence that says: “You will need to click a link listed in this message to activate your subscription. If you dont see a confirmation e-mail in a reasonable amount of time please check your bulk/spam folder.” Maybe that’s the glitch?

      1. Veronica Miller

        Yes, I confirmed it, but I guess there wasn’t a problem after all b/c I got the notification at 3:40 AM today! So I guess now I’ll be getting them the day after you write them. Do you know if there’s a way to change it to get them as soon as they’re posted?

  10. Karma

    I took pictures of my toes in that last, incredible, unseasonably warm weekend we had too (I’m in New England – it was Columbus Day weekend here; same weekend, right?)
    Fall is definitely here in force now. I now what you mean about having a day to yourself being delectable! It happens so rarely for me these days as a mother of teens; I would truly relish one.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Yes! Same weekend. What a difference from Wednesday night, when the weather was windy (24 foot waves on Lake Michigan!) and miserable . . .
      Hope you can find time for yourself despite all your responsibilities–it know it helps my overall sanity!

  11. Megan

    This day sounds wonderful! I could almost feel the sand in between my toes and taste the coffee as I was reading your description. I rarely get alone time anymore. I’ve only been alone twice since Kyle was born. The first time was a couple weeks ago when Andrew dropped him off at my parent’s house so that we could get a lot of cleaning work done at home. It’s hard to get a lot of work done with a baby, you can only do a little bit at a time. Anyway, between them leaving and Andrew coming back without Kyle to do some work, I had about an hour to myself. And even though I was doing things like cleaning the bathrooms, it was a wonderful! I enjoyed a quiet house all to myself. But I was glad to see Andrew when he came home after that hour, and I did miss Kyle by the time we picked him up a couple hours later. Just that one hour made all the difference for me. I’d probably feel lonely if I had a whole day to myself 🙂

    1. Jenna Post author

      Wow Megan! I can’t even conceive of not having more than an hour or two of alone time in MONTHS. Yikes! I think I’d go crazy . . . But I’m so glad you’re eating it up! Kyle is such a cutie. I can’t wait to hear more stories of your new life as a mom.


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