Gehry Bandshell, Millennium Park, Summer Jazz Concert

Gehry Bandshell, Millennium Park, Summer Jazz Concert

Summer is winding down. When I lived in a quaint resort town in northern Michigan years ago when raising my children, I would now be feeling the onset of panic, followed by melancholy that right after Christmas would become depression, and by April I would be contemplating life alternatives. I skied, both cross-country and downhill, but it just wasn’t enough. When I moved south to Chicago I gained three to four months of better weather and some “juice” to my life.

Now, though I still hate to see summer wane, I don’t dread winter. There are plays to see, concerts to attend, jazz clubs to huddle in on cold nights, art museums to linger in, and people out and about. I feel less alone and less desolate inside myself.

Willie's Bakery, patio at breakfast, Victoria BC

Willie's Bakery, patio at breakfast, Victoria BC

I’m blogging from Victoria, British Columbia, where we’re visiting our daughter and her family — two of the sweetest little boys, both under three years old, and another baby due in November. DSCF2097I wish my daughter luck and sanity. I hate being so far away, especially since I think my daughter and her husband could use some help once in a while. Thank goodness for Skype and air miles. Having the boys yell, “GG,” and light up when they see me, is the icing on the cake to getting older! When we visit, we stay above Willie’s Bakery in a lovely apartment near the downtown harbor. The gulls screech us awake each morning!

With Ted Kennedy’s death, I’ve been struck by the immense amount of difference that he and his sister, Eunice Shriver, made in people’s lives despite the tragedies they bore. It is humbling to think about.

And the health care debate continues to amaze me. Have we no compassion? Do we think only of ourselves? We’re the only civilized country in the world that does not have some sort of public program. And we’re not even providing tiptop healthcare for people and employers who pay through the nose each month to maintain insurance coverage. It’s shameful. Even those of us who have health insurance through our jobs are just a layoff or perhaps a devastating accident away from financial ruin.

I have to admit that I’ve been enjoying my consulting gig. The current job is over the end of September, and I hope to get a bit of a break so I can get back to my art. I’ve been working on a piece, but there is not the same momentum, the same flow. I don’t feel as if I’m making progress artistically, I’m just dabbling when I have time. Dollars or art…how does one choose?

I know summer doesn’t officially end until late September, but for most of us Labor Day signals the denouement. What are you doing to take advantage of the last days of the summer of 2009?

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