The Heat Goes On

Focus On Summer's End

September 05, 2004|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,Sun Staff

It's a seasonal conspiracy. Every year, summer is nipped in the bud by Labor Day sales and back-to-school ads. Even though autumn does not officially begin until Sept. 22, those lazy, hazy days are cut short by life as usual. It may still be sweltering, but pools close, alarms ring and homework happens.

You don't have to give in, though. Summer is a state of mind. Well after the first frost, it's still possible to bask in that state. The livin' can stay easy all year round with little more effort than it takes to hoist that last glass of lemonade by the pool.

* Make strawberry ice cream.

* Create sachets with dried herbs and flowers from the garden.

* Read a beach book. Try The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, if you haven't already. Or go for a classic, such as Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, or Peyton Place by Grace Metalious.

* Purchase fragrances redolent of summer. Demeter offers cologne sprays (and candles) in the scents Grass, Dirt and Tomato.

* Cultivate a pot of basil in the kitchen. Give it four to six hours of direct sunlight. When you get lonesome for summer, snip a leaf and take a deep breath.

* Haunt flea markets and yard sales for summery furniture, yard art, kitchenware, old postcards from warm-weather resorts.

* Wear shorts as long as you can. End-of-summer denial can take you at least through October. And don't stop wearing white.

* Hold a Monopoly tournament, preferably on the floor, with lots of snacks.

* Start a project with next summer in mind. Dig a new garden bed, build a fishpond or take a pottery class so you can make your own yard art.

* Barbecue all year round. What's stopping you?

* Watch a baseball film, such as The Natural, Bull Durham, A League of Their Own, or the video about the Orioles' 1989 "Why Not?" season.

* Use a screen saver or desktop wallpaper with a summer theme.

* Plan next summer's vacation.

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