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It’s almost over … but it’s not too late!

Up in the northern hemisphere, I’m noticing a chill. It is not sweater weather but I can see it from here. Obviously not something I dread, because with sweaters comes cassoulet. (I may have mentioned here before my favorite recipe. It is not traditional, if you care about “authenticity” in food; I do not. I care about delicious and this is.) 

Whether winter is coming or it’s about to heat up, the seasons are changing. And that means now is a very good time to appreciate what we’ve got, and see if there isn’t a little more enjoyment to be had in this moment. 

Which, after all, is the only time we ever get.

What do you want to do with your wild and precious August?

Because I suspect you love a list, that’s where I suggest we all go now. Let’s make a list of everything we want to do while we still can, before everything goes pumpkin spice on us.

Keeping it realistic, here’s mine:

  1. One more day-long beach day. Just because I’m old enough for a lifetime pass doesn’t mean I shouldn’t use that pass like a Zoomer on the night shift. 
  2. Barbie! Clearly a movie for the season. Can’t put it off. 
  3. Morning coffee on the patio. My barista (and life partner) prefers coffee in bed. Soon we won’t have a choice though so I bet he’ll join me outside. 
  4. Speaking of, I’m going to try to get some patio furniture on sale. I cannot let 2024 be the Year of Uncomfortable Patio Furniture for the 20th year in a row. 
  5. At least one Niçoise salad arranged using Martha-like attention to detail. With platter drama. And homemade mayo. And friends. 
  6. Send some money to the people of Lahaina! I’m ashamed of how long I can go before fulfilling a good intention, and this one’s urgent. You know what I’m going to do it right now: 
  7. Okay that’s done! Last item then: Start planning for next year’s vacation. It’s true that we only have this moment, and yet … I always need something to look forward to.

What about you? What’s on your last-chance list for the season? There’s still time to let us know and then go do it. Put your intentions in the comments below.

Image credit: Poster for Delft Salad Oil, Jan Toorop, 1894, Rijksmuseum. Used with permission.

About The Author

Max Daniels is a research-based life coach whose weekly emails make us laugh with recognition and rethink everything we thought we knew. Her new book is Meals at Mealtimes. What a concept!


  • My August goals?

    One achieved, as I canned 13 quarts of Red Haven peaches last week!

    Still on the list:

    A day of absolute relaxation on the deck, without a single qualm about the vegetable garden needing weeding, produce needing picking, or lawn needing mowing.

    Joyful celebration of 3 family birthdays in the month, with appropriate dream meals and gifts for each person (DH celebrated his yesterday with grilled baby lamb chops and key lime/blueberry tart).

    • Lucky you!! I haven’t had one good peach this summer and I love them. Even the neighbor’s peach tree didn’t have peaches due to a winter freeze.

      • Lime and blueberry?! I think I have a fingering weight to match! Sounds wonderful!!!

      • Coffee on the patio right now, and looking forward, a little bit, to at least another month of it.

  • I just realized that we haven’t had a single cookout! D-:=

  • Thank you for the link to donate to the people of Maui.

    • To make it easier to be sure I am really helping effective and reputable people, I always donate to the Red Cross when there is a disaster.

    • One last float on the lake. A little chilly to get all the way wet but the float was perfect.

    • My August goal was to get all the time I can reading on the deck and watching birds and hummingbird moths. I’m doing that. I did weave a little underfoot rug for the cold evenings ahead though, using roving. But still enjoying deck afternoons.

  • Wonderful list, but this is fire season in the northwest now. Glad when we can sit outside again and breath.

    • Same here in Calgary….so much smoke and so many acres lost.

  • Thank you for the inspiration to go out on a fling before this beautiful summer leaves us for the autumn leaves! ️

  • I’ve had a few reminders lately to seize the moment, thank you for getting me to listen!

  • This is GREAT!!!! Blocking off a beach day! And THANK YOU for the Maui link.

  • We’re hoping to go huckleberry picking tomorrow (we’re going, huckleberries are not within our control, but we hope).
    My husband is going to one more baseball game.
    We’re going to a happy hour at a winery with some favorite family members. We’ll sit outside and listen to music and talk to each other.
    I’m starting to sew an Alabama Chanin dress that I’ve let get de-prioritized all summer.

    • PS Thanks for encouraging us to linger in the moment. Time flies!

  • Stain the front deck so the neighbors don’t have to see ugly bare wood (again for the 3rd year) when they look out their window during the coming rainy season.

  • Such a great idea to make this list, Max! Love you!
    Now I gotta go make that donation to Maui that I, too, have been putting off! Thanks for the link.

  • I forgot that I hadn’t made iced tea (from scratch ) in a while. Iced tea speaks to me of summer. My mother always made iced tea from scratch.
    Also we are gathering together for a family birthday dinner for our oldest daughter. She asked for her favorite foods. Her birthday and my niece’s birthday at the end of August feels like the end of summer.

  • Thanks for the gentle reminder to enjoy the summer & help out where we can Max! I got my Barbie tickets for tomorrow night & made a donation to help in beautiful Hawaii. Fire season here in Oregon is no joke either & I really appreciate a trusted link to donate.

  • my usual August list: 1) clean out my craft closet to make room for my fiber festival season purchases 2) donate the extra things to my local library craft sale and 3) do NOT go to the craft sale and buy my stuff back. I’m also hoping to go to at least one county fair and have another swim day with my granddaughter,

  • A bike ride at the beach, after Labor Day but before it’s cold

  • Making a batch of mango chutney and peach chutney. And reveling in our first cool front…we had rain with the tropical storm and yesterday and today it’s been below 100!! Only 94!! Compared to 106 that is a cool front!!! Fall is just around the corner….hiding somewhere in the —ber months! I can soon switch from cottons yarns to my favorite woods!!!

  • I’ll see your coffee on the back porch, and raise you sewing on my The School of Making skirt, every morning of these weirdly crisp late-August days….

  • 1. Bubble Tea
    2. Walking in woods in the morning before it gets hot
    3. Kayaking
    4. Grill salmon on cedar

  • I’m looking forward to our county fair, which marks the end of summer for me. (It ends Labor Day. I have to drop off my entries for the Wool Booth tomorrow, so obviously I am spending my day frantically knitting that last piece so I can block tonight, let it dry overnight, and weave in ends in the morning.) This year my daughter is old enough for the midway rides, so that will be special. I just bought school supplies last night, and need to organize her clothes and put away all the things she’s outgrown. I plan to grill a lot more while the weather is nice. Honestly, though, I’m counting down the days until school starts again. It’s been a rough summer and I need a break.

  • From Houston, I’m eagerly anticipating being able to leave my curtained, air conditioned cave and do all these these things in a few weeks! (HEAT DOME GO HOME)

  • I’m copying your list, it’s perfect.

  • We did a beach day in early August and expect for getting my feet sunburned it was a lovely day. We picked up a pizza nearby, drove onto the beach and had lunch and a lovely chat (where I was knitting) before heading home. Husband and I decided we needed some way to provide shade before we go back. Competing priorities this fall though means we are knee deep in rearranging our living space and need to table any more going out for day trips for a bit to get things done. I am trying to keep an eye on my 23 for 23 list (Happier with Gretchen Rubin) and have actually made reasonable progress on it this year. The only item I seem to struggle with is “getting my WIP pile to 5 or less” – I keep casting on something as soon as I finish something! I am trying though…

  • You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I in finding this topic to be really something that I think I’d by no means understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely extensive for me. I am having a look ahead in your subsequent publish, I will attempt to get the hang of it!

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