Well, here we are again at the end of another summer. This season sure seems to fly by!

This was a very busy and eventful summer with pretty major changes.

The biggest change for me, of course, was my job. First of all, this undercover cashier is no longer working as a cashier. That’s right; after almost three years balancing two jobs I am now down to one. I considered changing the name of this column, but ultimately decided against it “to honor my roots” or something.

I am now also the Courier-Gazette managing editor, which was the impetus for leaving the cashier work. I have many more responsibilities at the newspaper now, and I need the precious days off the weekend provides (when there are no weekend events for me to cover).

What does it mean, exactly, to be the managing editor of a newspaper? It means I now run the day-to-day operations. I decide what goes where in the Courier-Gazette each week, and collaborate with the Camden Herald editor to place items on the Knox County VillageSoup website.

I also get all the phone calls and emails. No, really. I get ALL the phone calls and emails. I have discovered about half my workday is answering phone calls and emails now.

It also means I have far less time to write, as evidenced by the severe lack of Book Babe or Undercover Cashier since this change happened. Honestly, if I finish and publish this column it will be a minor miracle. I have started writing several columns this summer which were never finished.

This summer also saw the grand return of the North Atlantic Blues Festival and the Maine Lobster Festival! I love attending these events, and I missed the Lobster Festival while it was on COVID hiatus. (You may have figured that out from my Lobster Festival editorial.)

Like so many others in the Midcoast, my search for housing continues.

I decided to try my luck this past week and called to inquire about an apartment I saw advertised for a few months. Turns out I did not find the one apartment available that nobody else knew about – the price was very steep and did not include most utilities, including heat.

People in my circle continue to send apartment advertisements, and I continue to compete with at least a hundred others also looking for housing. I no longer bother investigating most apartments I am told about, because they do not lead anywhere. It is frustrating and disheartening, but I try to stay positive.

I remain thankful to have a safe and affordable place to live. Not everyone is so lucky. Eventually I will find the right place.

Summer 2022 has also been filled with music. My community band played the 4th of July and Lobster Festival parades and performed at various venues around the area. In fact, the day I write this, we have a show for Camden Windjammer Festival, followed by another show in two days at the Camden Amphitheater.

I was also able to attend several shows with local musicians – always a huge treat.

While summer winds down and the weather cools off, I hope everyone can look back on this summer with as many fond, fun memories as I can.

And the stores have already started carrying pumpkin spice coffee creamer.

Christine Simmonds is the managing editor of the Courier-Gazette. She has lived in Knox County most of her life.