It's always so hard to come to the end of the summer. It means our grandchildren are heading back to school so we will not be able to see them again for a while. The summer is so great, as they all get to come to Florida for a visit; they really enjoy flying by themselves and spending a week with Grandma and Grandpa alone. They get undivided attention and it really provides us quality time with each of them. We normally won't see them again until the holidays.  

But, when we close out summer, we love to take those day trips to all of the scenic and fun places within an hour's drive. The favorite spot for us and the grandchildren at the end of summer is the beach. We head for Daytona or New Smyrna, and only have to pay to park our car on the beach. Now that's a really novel idea-- we were never allowed to do that on the Maryland beaches! If we don't pack a lunch, we buy a hot dog and fries from one of the vendors located on the beach. But it is so convenient to be able to pop the trunk and have a picnic basket in the car, and much cheaper. We bring our own sodas, beach chairs, beach towels, and surfboards. The kids stay in the ocean all day; it's amazing, as we hardly see them! 

We also hit the store sales and laugh about how inexpensive the clothes and housewares are at the summer close-out sales. My Hubby comments that with the 50% off and then an additional 40%, they may as well give them away! I just bought four cotton striped tops for only $6 each and they had retailed for $20. The Capri pants that we wear everyday were on the same sales, so you can really stock up.  

I needed some new sheets for my king size bed and one of our major retailers had 500 thread count, all cotton, wrinkle-free sheets on sale. Their original price was $110 a set and I bought them for $24. That price was so unbelievable that I had to buy two sets! What great Christmas gifts they would make.  

I also buy extras when the sales are so good to hold in reserve for gifts throughout the year. Most of my girlfriends like candles and when I see them on sale, I buy several different scents and store them in my cabinet. If we are invited to dinner, I just take one as a thank-you gift. I also take them back home when I visit with my sons and give a special gift to my daughter-in-laws for making us feel so welcome in their home.  

It's hard to say goodbye to summer, but it's great to look forward to fall and the upcoming holidays to celebrate with family and friends back home.

Linda Reese

Linda is a contributing writer for the Retired & Loving it blog. Linda is retired, married, and enjoying her retirement in a retirement community in Florida. She shares her experiences with others who are facing retirement or already there with posts on living on a fixed income, budgeting, and healthcare issues. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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