RHYS BOWEN: It has just hit me that it is officially the end of summer today. Every year it's the same. I look back and ask myself where it went. What happened to those picnics I planned beside the ocean or in a leafy glade? What happened to long afternoons sitting in the shade sipping lemonade and reading? I know I can't really complain. I did spent six weeks in England and Greece and France. Then I was on a book tour, all over the country.
And now autumn is upon us. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. And approaching winter. I've never been a fan of winter. I suppose I look upon it in a Robert Frost type of way--the harvest being brought in, conscious that the days really are growing fewer for me and my friends.
So tell me, Reds and Readers: do you look forward to fall? Do you enjoy it? And please answer the age old question that worries me every year. Am I allowed to wear white after Labor Day.
HALLIE EPHRON: I keep thinking it's going to be fall and then we get the weather report - another hazy humid 90+ degree day. Can't wait for the air to turn cool and crisp. The problem with fall is that it's too short. Before you know it it's sleeting and then snowing and if we have another winter like last winter, I'll get a lot of writing done because I'm not leaving the house.
LUCY BURDETTE: I totally get your sadness about passing of time, Rhys. Although, like Hallie, I do love fall. What's made a huge difference for us is that we migrate to Key West when it gets cool--we just don't do winter any more, not in New England anyway. Didn't one of our guests last week talk about how he used to hate going back to school? It was my favorite time of year--new clothes, new teachers, new books--I loved it. I think that nostalgia helps with each approaching Labor Day!
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: It's all I can do to stop myself from buying huge packs of lined notebook paper and a new --what did we call them? Binder? With little hole punch reinforcements that you lick, and TABS. Love tabs. I just cannot get over how quickly the seasons go by, though. Summer simply did not exist this year. I guess we're all used to that rhythm of back-to-school, and there's a feeling of passages when it arrives, even if we're doing exactly the same thing. With sweaters.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I love all the seasons, passing in turn. As much as I might sigh for a visit to Lucy's Key West in February, I wouldn't want to live anywhere without a full four seasons. Fall is back-to-school, with all the energy and change that that engenders. It's also less yard work, letting the garden die down, and-after a few frosts-not having to worry about ticks when I'm out walking the dogs!
The end of summer always, always feels like it's too soon, and that things have been left undone. I try to treat it like that last half hour before the guests arrive: what hasn't been done, won't be none, so you might as well move on and concentrate on all the fun ahead!
And Rhys, I stand firm on the no white after Labor Day rule, with the exception of tennis shoes, which always got a pass. Sure you COULD wear white shoes or white jeans in September, but what's the point of changing seasons if you can't change how you dress? I love the idea of things in season, temporal pleasures that come and go. So there are no more white shoes...but here comes pumpkin-spiced latte!
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: I wish I could feel wistful about the end of summer, but, quite frankly, I'm ready for this one to be done. Missed one family trip because of a sick senior cat. The kiddo got the flu, which turned into pneumonia and we had to cancel another vacation and his camps. Then we were planning on a last hurrah makeup trip — and I went into my second round of pneumonia. I've also been trying to finish THE QUEEN'S CONSPIRATOR due in (yikes!) less than two weeks, and also gear up for the launch of MRS. ROOSEVELT'S CONFIDANTE on October 27 — all with a kiddo at home, who'd usually be in camp or outside playing.
You'd better believe we're all going to be toasting the end of the summer of '15 and raising a glass to fall and new beginnings!
P.S. White? What is this color of which you speak? Seriously, New Yorkers don't wear a lot of white, even in summer....
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Rhys, if you would prefer not to lament the passing of summer, please come spend August in Texas. We are always desperate for that first nip in the air, for pumpkins and crisp mornings and a hint of woodsmoke. Of course summer does go too quickly, but as usual it's been too hot to do most of those things I daydreamed about last winter anyway...
As for white, I just got a new fall clothing catalog that featured a model wearing white jeans and shirt with a faux suede jacket. I think we can safely be rebels and throw out the "No white after Labor Day" rule!
RHYS: I'm with you, Debs. White when you feel like it. And Susan, I know, I know. I can't tell you how many times I've been to New York and felt like a peacock in the hen house because everyone else is wearing black and I'm in pastels! But this me in a white leather jacket at an upscale boutique when I was on tour with Cara Black. Luckily it was a tad too tight as the price was $2500 and I would have been sooooo tempted!
And Susan, you deserve a long fall break! And Hank, I used to love going back to school too, although we wore uniform so there was never the thrill of new clothes.
So who else looks forward to fall? And who else does NOT like pumpkin spice lattes?