When savoring the warmth of a mid-summer afternoon, the last thing you want to think about is the end of the season.
But since it is inevitable, take steps now to ensure that you can conjure up that sweet summer feeling all year long. No tip or trick can fully replicate a sun-drenched summer day, but here are some ideas to help you keep hold of the essence of the season.
1 Gather interesting pebbles from the shoreline, and then scatter them atop soil in a small pot of chrysanthemums, primrose or gloxinia from your local florist. These will liven up your home with life and texture all year long. Don’t forget to put the stones back on the beach next spring!
2 One mid-summer’s eve, set up a recording device on the porch to capture night sounds — bullfrogs, crickets, fish splashing as they feed. Edit your treasures into a compilation. If you don’t have a recording device, you can purchase pre-recorded CDs featuring the sounds of loons, insects, birds and frogs.
3 Freeze some of those summer trout or walleye fillets for a mid-winter fish fry. Not only will it be delicious, but the feast will provide you yet another opportunity to boast about your angling skills or recall an eventful fishing foray.
4 Another great treat for winter is freezer jam that you can make now with wild berries often found in abundance along roadsides or trails. Protect yourself from mosquitoes, ticks and thorns, then reap a bounty of fresh blueberries or blackberries.
5 Collect leaves from around your cabin, press them to remove moisture, then mat and frame a single perfect leaf or several for a series. Keep them for yourself or give them to a cabin-loving friend or family member.
6 Create a cabin scrapbook as the summer goes on. Encourage each family member to produce his or her own pages, complete with photographs, drawings, artifacts and narrative. Bind all the pages together and enjoy discovering each person’s special summer memories.
7 Take great summer photographs and have a calendar made — with a twist. Instead of featuring summer pictures in just June, July and August, use them to illustrate the winter months too. It’s a perfect reminder of the warmth and fun to come.
8 Take one favorite summer item from the cabin back home to display. It could be a lure, a canoe paddle or cane pole — anything that makes you think of summer when it catches your eye. Return it come spring and “requisition” a different piece next fall, thus creating a rotating “cabin” collection.
9 Before the season ends, collect pinecones, twigs, small shells or dried flowers to use as craft embellishments. Hot glue these small bits of nature to a wreath, hair band or picture frame to create a one-of-a-kind reminder of summer life.
10 If you’re computer savvy, spend a few hours mixing summer-themed video clips and/or still photographs together with your favorite music for a cinema project to share with your cabin group or present as a Christmas gift.
11 Record favorite summer recipes in a “cabin cookbook” to be shared and updated through the seasons. Add photographs and dates of memorable moments that are linked to each dish.
12 If multiple families use your cabin, create an Internet blog to share summer stories and photographs.This collaborative online technology would be especially fun and fitting for families separated geographically.
With these tips, you’ll stash away a bit of the sunny season for when you really need it most — winter.