Summer is almost over. Each year on the day of the autumnal equinox, which is on or near September 22, summer says its goodbyes to make way for Fall

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Children (and adults) might sigh as they say farewell to long, sun-filled days, relaxing days spent at the sea or lake, warm evenings chasing fireflies with toddlers, freshly grilled dinners cooked and eaten al fresco, laying in a field of grass gazing up at the clouds or combing through the emerald green grass for a lucky, four-leaf clover.

With the end of summer comes seasonal chores to prepare your home for the upcoming fall and winter months, like cutting back overgrown gardens, raking the fallen leaves, getting the fireplace checked, the furnace cleaned, oil tank filled, and gutters cleaned. It’s also the time to air dry any lingering herbs from your garden so you’ll have a supply to use during the fall and winter months. It’s the time to pick the last of the tomatoes and peppers still hanging onto the vines.

The end of summer season also beckons the evening flights birds as they prepare to roost and football games with stadium blankets and a thermos of hot cider to warm the bones when the chill sets in. As the goldfinches swoop down to the feeder for some thistle, it’s hard not to notice their bright canary-yellow color has been replaced with a drab gray.

Late summer wildflowers like ironweed, joe-pye weed, earth-toned fall mums and bright-white Montauk daises with yellow centers all make their yearly appearance as if on cue. Goldenrod and asters add splashes of color. The monarch butterflies have set out for their long journey to Mexico, along with the hummingbirds.

But all is not lost. This is also the time of year to catch up with old friends with small intimate dinner parties. It’s time to take the bread maker and crockpot out of hibernation and get them cranking again. Can’t you almost taste the hot, yeasty cheese bread with melted butter and some home-made onion soup? Ymmm…

New television series start and your favorite TV shows are back. See the 2014 television schedule. Bathing suits are 50 percent off! It’s time to plant fall bulbs for summer-blooming plants like daffodils, crocus, allium, tulips, and irises.

Jimmy Kimmel and David Letterman share what the end of summer means to them – from kids going back to school to learn how to do everything their phone already knows how to do, to George Clooney picking his new Fall girlfriend. Watch videos here.

Like clockwork, the seasons change and the end of summer marks the time to fill the hot tub up and enjoy a warm soak on a cool evening, pick apples and make a cobbler, fill the home with great scents like cinnamon and spice.

These are the things that “end of summer” mean to me — a cycle of life and growth as the days shorten and nights become softer and quieter. What does it mean to you?

Wishing you summery September days!