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Savoring September

Published September 17. 2011 09:01AM

We all have favorite months. While I can find something appealing about every month, (even if I have to work at it) September has always ranked as a favorite time of year.

I hang onto September like a drowning person holds onto a life preserver. The last of anything becomes even more precious to us. When we know something is about to end, it's human nature to cling to it more, relishing what we have. I savor September because it means the last of summer and some of the summer activities I love.

The calendar says summer officially ends September 22. But in reality, for many people, summer ends when the swimming pool closes and kids go back to school.

I always stretched summer as long as possible by scheduling my vacation to warm climates during the first two weeks in September. That meant it "stayed summer" until I arrived home and had to exchange my bathing suit and shorts for sweaters.

Here in Florida, Land of Perpetual Sunshine, one would think I would get over my sadness at seeing summer end. After all, we generally have glorious weather all year. But today the thermometer in my pool reads 79 and the water will soon be too cold for me to swim.

Sunday, when we went kayaking with our club to a remote island, everyone was content to swim a bit then head back in the kayaks. Not me. I didn't want to go.

I was savoring my swim in the warm ocean water. While we can kayak year round, wimps like me won't get in the water after another few weeks.

When vacationers come here during the winter months, many of them swim in the Gulf during January, February and March, proclaiming it warm enough. I suppose it's what you're used to.

I'm used to hot, steamy, humid weather and swimming pools as warm as bath water. So I enjoy September while I can, knowing winter means I'll be out of the water for a few months.

Last week our shell club swam in the Gulf of Mexico after shelling on the beach. As we floated in the warm water, we sang the praises of September, a month brimming in pleasures.

September is "not too anything." It's not too hot, not too cold and not too crowded with "must do's." It's just a wonderful time to enjoy life.

I believe in finding reasons every day to celebrate life. September gives me plenty of reasons…spectacular sunsets and breezy evening walks are definitely worth celebrating.

The older I get, the more "celebrations" I give myself. They are not usually what one would regard as special occasions. I just try to make every day a special occasion.

Being a self-proclaimed "foodie," one way I often celebrate is by making a special recipe. I like to make a big thing out of dinner at home, even when it's just the two of us.

The other day my always-helpful husband was setting the table while I put the finishing touches on a new recipe I made.

"NO, NO, NO!" I proclaimed as I saw he was using our plastic plates. "A colorful meal like this cries for our good dinnerware," I told him. He just gave a little "I-don't-understand-it-but-I'll-humor-her" smile and used our good china.

I don't believe in "saving" good dishes, good wine, or good serving pieces. Saving for whom?

Instead of saving all that good stuff for company, as many people do, I pull it out often and call it a celebration of life.

After dinner, if I indulge in a piece of chocolate, I call that a celebration of life, too.

My theory is that we don't treat ourselves often enough. We don't pamper ourselves as we should. And we don't celebrate the everyday moments that are given to us.

Everyday pleasures, like a beautiful September day or a breezy September night, are cause for celebration.

I celebrate by doing something as simple as walking around the neighborhood with my husband, talking quietly while drinking in the beauty of the season.

Or, I celebrate life by calling a special friend and inviting her to go somewhere with me.

Tonight, we're celebrating life by going dancing with six of our friends.

There's always something worthwhile to celebrate, even if it's only the niceties of the ninth month of the year.

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