It’s officially fall. We’ve made up one last batch of hummingbird food, but there aren’t any birds to eat it. The local farm has switched from selling petunias to stocking mums and is having a sale on sauce tomatoes. The crazy school-to-track-to-dance-to-soccer-to-flag football season has started.  But most importantly, I’ve switched my purse.

Not from Prada to Hermes (neither seems resistant to dog slobber and spilled juice, although I do like the latter’s saddle) but from my teeny tiny summer bag to the portable suitcase I carry around the rest of the year. In summer, to minimize my risk of permanently throwing out my back, I pare down and carry just the basics — my debit card, a lip gloss, a handful of Band-Aids (I said I pare down, not tempt fate), and maybe a few Evenfall cards.  It’s not a lot, but it is enough.

But yesterday I took my enormous leather September-to-June  bag down from the closet.  I filled it with the staples — the cards, the cash, the Band-Aids. Then I added everything we need to get through a typical day — the mini-bag with scissors, pens, pencils and tape for doing homework in the car;  a makeup bag so I can go from running to school without scaring small children; a stash of snacks in case someone’s blood sugar starts to fall; breath mints, gum, aspirin, an extra pen and notebook;  hair elastics, dog treats, and depending on the day, 1 pair of clean dry socks. (Never underestimate the power of clean dry socks to turn your day around.)  Just call me Hermione. [youtube=]

But before I say goodbye to summer for good, I thought I”d do a shout-out of my favorite things of the past three months.  Herewith:

  • Favorite Sandwich: Roasted tomato, basil, mozzarella cheese, and roasted onion panini. I could eat this every day. (And did.)
  • Favorite Wine:  Matua Sauvignon Blanc.  Owned by Fosters — who knew?
  • Favorite audiobook:  A tie.  The kids vote for The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom.  I’m partial to The Once and Future King, especially the first book. Best phrase: “WE are the sinners. HE is the blessed.” (Doesn’t look like much written down, but it’s pretty funny when intoned in a Welsh accent by an eight-year-old who has just been bagged for misbehaving.)

How I wish I could fit all of those things, plus this, in my bag:



How was your summer? And are you sad to see it go, or happy that it is fall?

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Liz Michalski


  1. Vaughn Roycroft on September 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    It’s always a bittersweet transition around here. But since I like solitude, it’s pretty delightful to see it clear out, and to be able to walk a completely deserted beach. Nice choices. I like Sauv-Blanc in the summer. We’ve recently been enjoying the switch back to hearty reds, and I made a big pot of cassoulet on Sunday. Last night we sampled one of the fall seasonal beers from a local brewer with the leftovers (which are even better than day-of).

    Happy Autumn, Liz. Don’t throw your back out, Hermione!

    • liz on September 18, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Have you read MFK Fisher, Vaughn? I think of her every time I hear the word cassoulet. I think you’d enjoy her writing.
      We made slow-roasted tomato sauce this past weekend, and I just had my first glass of red wine in a long time last night. (White just wouldn’t have been the same.)

  2. Jan O'Hara on September 17, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Ooh. I try not to eat cheese, but the sound of that sandwich made my mouth water. Also, I love the visual of the eight-year-old.

    If I need to do a big purse and I’m not traveling to places with a dress code, I default to a backpack. It’s got the bandaids, writing implements, paper, lemon packets for my water, and that’s just for beginners.

    We had a very good summer, though it was busy. (Perhaps it was good because it was busy.) Fall promises to continue the trend. Since I love the season and the sun is still out, I’m good for now. But winter? *shudder* That’s another matter.

    • liz on September 18, 2013 at 9:16 am

      The sandwich so makes the cheese worth it, Jan!

      A backpack definitely sounds more practical — sounds as if we carry the same supplies. (But I’ll bet you no longer have matchbox cars in your bag.) And I hear you on winter!

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