It's Labor day... the traditional end of the summer season.  I remember a time when it was bbq's and family time.  Those days have sadly faded.  The kids have their own lives, their own families.  Their own things to do.

Hubs and I have spent many hours riding this weekend.  The wind in our faces, the miles drifting past us. Saturday was spent buzzing around locally.  Stopping in little shops, walking through the Soulard market - walking might be a stretch - sitting in the sunshine sipping bloody mary's.

Sunday found us traveling a bit north and east.  The roads in Illinois beckoned us.  I love Calhoun county, the winding roads, the hills, the sheer beauty.  I find it so calming and peaceful.  As we ride we often see old farm houses and barns, beautiful in their emptiness.

Often as we ride past, we wonder.   Our conversations often include questions and propositions.  We often wish the houses could talk.  The stories they could tell. Would they speak of families gathered around large farm tables to celebrate the end of a summer of farming season?  Readying themselves for the upcoming harvest.  Baleing hay, picking apples and putting up the produce for the long winter to come?  Or would they share stories of the floods that are all too common in the that beautiful, bountiful area?

As we rode through the hills, we found many cemetaries.  Large and small, carefully attended.  Families honoring those that went before.

I guess I am feeling a little down at the loss of holidays as a family.  When the kids were small, we were military, we only really had each other.  Extended family was so far away.  A part of my heart always thought we would forever hold on to that.

Time changes things.  I get it.  Looking around outside, there are not groups of family gathered at the houses near us, no friends, no end of year celebrations. The smell of bbq is strangely absent.  So is the laughter of children.  It's odd.  So many things that I considered rites of passage are sadly silent and gone now.

Maybe they are all out camping, at zoos, running trails or gathered around one of the local parks to celebrate.  Society is changing so much, I'm not really sure what is the norm anymore.

The river was really high yesterday.  Small waves, left in the wake of each boat passing by, reached almost to the road.  Branches floated by, some more like large trees. Watching the the tug boat struggle to move the ferry concerned me.  I struggle to understand how people can go out on that river in smaller boats. Especially when it is so high.  I am not so much a water person anyhow, but when I am watching the dash past in little speed boats and jet skis I always say an extra prayer.  Those tree branches were by far bigger and more deadly than their watercraft.

Hubs and I were planning to head out for another ride today after completing our chores.  We spent two days playing, a chance to unwind, so needless to say our chores needed to be tackled.  Hubs worked on the outside cleaning both of our cars, mowing the grass, cleaning the garage (he decided my car needed to be inside again).  Today is a hot one compared to the past few days.

I took care of the inside and washing clothes for the week.  Grocery shopping is finished and dinner is cooking.

We opted out of going for a ride.  Too hot.  The cool breezy temperatures have left us for a bit.  We are not back to heat and humidity.  Maybe later tonight.

For now I am listening to the hiss of the pressure cooker.  Sweet and Sour Ribs, corn on the cob and cole slaw will fill today's menu.  I even picked up a watermelon.  All the flavors of summer to celebrate her official passing.  Sure there are 16 or 17 more days until it's officially over, and the heat advisory that popped up on my phone a bit ago is reminding us that at least here in the mid-west... Summer does not quitely roll over and go away.  Autumn has to fight for it's place! The cool soft breeze yesterday, with the swirls of leaves falling, was a tease.

It's not time...

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