How to Say Goodbye to Summer and Hello to "Fall-mer"

While shopping for back to school supplies, I noticed a strange and unsettling phenomenon—the aisles that were once supersaturated with flotation devices, Tervis tumblers decorated with vibrant green palm fronds and other summer staples had all dried up. Suddenly, plastic pumpkins, cinnamon spice scented candles and new tumblers with images of orange and brown leaves filled the racks. All these clues pointed to one grim conclusion—despite the fact that the autumnal equinox is not until late September, fall has taken root.

Well, at least commercially. After surveying local Hilton Head moms, I discovered I was not alone when it came to lamenting the loss of fun in the sun paraphernalia and a reluctance to embrace fall festivities just yet. It appears we moms like the idea of getting back to a schedule (even if it means packing lunches and ping ponging around town to extracurricular activities) but still wish we could bring back summer break. Or at the very least elements of it—like the easiness of "beaching it" Hilton Head-style.

Ruth Love at Tower Beach, Hilton Head.

Ruth Love at Tower Beach, Hilton Head.

In an effort to find the sunny side of things, I began brainstorming how my family could still enjoy the best of both worlds. With the help of my trusty helpers—Ransom (8), Ruth Love (6) and Camellia (4)—we devised a list of the top 5 ways to celebrate "fall-mer."

  1. Take an evening boat jaunt. We have the luxury of living in Point Comfort. This means putting a boat in the water is a 5-minute endeavor, and that includes saying hello to all our awesome neighbors. Provisioned with snacks and adult and kid-friendly libations, there is nothing more beautiful than watching the reflection of the sun set on the water.
  2. Get out the sprinklers for a quick post-homework time celebration. Our garden is not only blooming, it's booming. My girls love celebrating finishing their homework with a quick sprinkler-induced fiesta as I weed and give the garden one last late-afternoon sip of water.
  3. Bike ride to weekend brunch.  Now that breakfast is once again a whirlwind, we savor an over-easy weekend brunch at hot spots like Sunrise Cafe, Captain Woody's, the South Carolina Yacht Club and Plantation Deli. Adding the bike element reunites us with summer and gives us a light workout.
  4. Cook like it's still summer.  Hilton Head's temperate climate allows for us to have fresh summer season veggies a stretch longer than most places. What better way to honor this than to go by the Bluffton Farmers Market on Thursdays and pick up some Lowcountry bounty?
  5. Make a collage. (Disclaimer: I am not one of those Pinterest moms who crafts in total Pottery Barn for Kids style.) I have found few art projects are as simple as collaging. All you need are scissors, old magazines and a piece of paper or blank canvas. My girls love making "fall-mer" collages, which are essentially montages of sun, school supply and ice cream images.