Only a few more weeks technically 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 a few more days till our youngest daughter starts back to reading and writing and arithmetic, and our oldest son heads out the farm laneway, turns and waves, and drives down our gravel road, off to Colorado for his wedding, a handful of days here in the last weeks of summer, before we stand on the front porch and wave goodbye, as the minutes slip away, and everything changes again.

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

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 about 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 more for the lake, didn’t take more time to make a memory that would make a bunch of love that would last beyond time, didn’t light one more campfire and roast just a few more melting s’mores.

Before the sun even comes up this weekend, the first one of September, 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 a few more days 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.

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

And before the sun goes down, a bunch of the kids carry corn 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:

14 Simple Memories to Make Anywhere in the Last Few Weeks of Summer

{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!