How To Finish Summer Well: Cheap, Easy Plan for the Weekend (with Free Printable)

Only a week or two left of summer now.

Only a string of days left of sweet corn and swimming suits and bare toes and zinnia bouquets and light like this in their hair and all the days are adding up to make years.

And only one more week before our oldest daughter heads out for second year of college, a handful of days before she packs up her stack of books and drives away in that little used Toyota RAV4, before we stand on the front porch and wave goodbye and count the minutes till she comes back.

You don’t miss a beat when thankfulness is the beat of your heart.

You only get 18 summers with your kids — or maybe not even.

18. Or less.

Three of our 4 sons have already flown the coop, up and gone, calling another door home. All our time together, it all went by in a blink. Why did I think it somehow wouldn’t?

There are days when I have to blink back the brimming regret of the days we didn’t take off for the lake, didn’t take the time there was to make a memory that would make a bunch of love that would last beyond time, didn’t light a campfire and roast some melting s’mores.

Before the sun even comes up near the end of the week, near the end of August, the clock ticking so loud in my ears — there’s this rolling over in the morning toward the Farmer, this desperate murmur in his ear:

“Only one more week left of summer —- what are we going to do?”

The Farmer doesn’t even open his eyes.

“Be grateful. We are going to be grateful.”

And he draws me so close the words brush my ear, those words of every soul whisperer, and you never miss a beat when thankfulness is the beat of your heart.

And before the sun goes down, a bunch of the kids carry cobs up to the side porch and we sit there in this circle husking and I keep looking round at their sun-kissed faces, that’s all I can think, my hands all full of these husks:

It’s never the wasting of time that hurts so much as the wasting of our intentions. 

There are corn husks and silks all over the porch.  Who cares what the calendar says?

Calendars can con: there are really only as many days left as you actually really choose to live.

In the end, everyone ends up at the end of their lives — but only a few live the whole expanse of their life.

And come evening, after everyone leaves the dinner table, I’m still sitting there —

eating the last of chocolate crumbs right off the plate.


Free Printable of the Seize-the-Last-of-Summer Plan

Just do two a day:

1. Make a fruit pie

2. Eat under stars

3. Walk through the woods, some trees, long grass

4. Dip both feet in water

5. Sing hymns around flame {choice: candles or campfire}

6. Lick drippy ice cream

7. Find a swing and swing high

8. Pick a bouquet of wildflowers : set in sill. Or #BetheG.I.F.T. and give it away.

9. Play one game of anything out on grass {frisbee, baseball, soccer, croquet, volleyball}

10. Eat something fresh {from the garden or the market or your mother’s}

11. Lay down on grass, look up and watch clouds for five minutes

12. Dance. Dance on the beach, on a porch, on your toes, dance on until something in you feels lighter.

13. Open a window. Listen to the world. Slow. Still.

Pray before that open window.

14. Sit with someone you love and watch the sunset. Say it out loud: Thank you.


Click here to Print your Free Seize-the-Last-of-Summer Plan

{Looking forward to seeing your photos on FaceBook or Instagram of your own

#SeizetheLastofSummer #1000gifts}

Maybe in this season, we all just need the gift of Joy… a bit of Hope?

To stand together — FOR each other — knowing that an act of kindness, giving it forward, can be more powerful than any sword in starting movements that move us all toward Love.

The way forward —- is always to give forward.

We all only get one life to love well — and being a gift with you gives reviving joy!