It was about a week ago when I realized that summer was over and I’d missed it.

I learned this from the newspaper. My wife was reading the “Do This” column in last week’s MaineToday Magazine, and she let me know about the extensive summer “bucket list” that had been assembled by Shannon Bryan.

We had done absolutely nothing on the list, she told me, and we were out of time. She wasn’t kidding.

See an outdoor concert? No. Pick your own blueberries? No. Eat lobster in a lobster shack? No.

Hike a mountain, build a sand castle, go to a Sea Dogs’ game? No, no, no.

Eat dinner at a farm, climb aboard a sailboat, catch a movie at a drive-in, ride a bike around Peaks Island, eat fries on The Pier at Old Orchard Beach? No, no, no, no and no.

We even didn’t do a lot of stuff that wasn’t on the list: No Shakespeare in the park, no canoe trip, no listening to late-night West Coast baseball games on an AM radio.

We never even went to the beach.

There are already apples at the farmers market and football on TV, and my daughters are going back to college. Summer is over. How did I miss it?

You don’t need a newspaper to know that summer in Maine is precious and short.

Just eight weeks that are jammed between the Fourth of July and Labor Day. It’s what we look forward to all winter and all cold, rainy spring. Every summer day should be treasured, but, like saying goodbye to the people you love as if it’s the last time, that’s impracticable.

When I was a kid, I had a three-month summer vacation with one long, empty day following another. I never felt any obligation to “do anything” to make sure I didn’t miss summer: You couldn’t miss it. It was enormous. Now summer is something I fit in before and after work and on weekends. Five days off in the beginning of August, and then it’s gone.

Days like that should be spent wisely.

That’s why the “bucket list” was so disturbing. How did I spend my summer days?

It wasn’t all work:

Just walking around without a heavy coat and boots was a treat. So was drinking coffee in my pajamas while sitting on the front stoop.

We had a barbecue on the Fourth of July, and when the guests all ran down the hill to see the fireworks, I hung out with my wife and daughters, listening to the crackles and booms and watching the flashes in the sky.

The four of us were together for four days in August, at a friend’s camp in Raymond. We swam in a pond, ate dinner on a screened porch and told stories – familiar ones from me and new ones from the girls.

Our younger daughter was home all summer between her freshman and sophomore years of college. She started by spending a few weeks in bed, claiming that she was “looking for a job.”

And then she shocked us by actually finding one at a neighborhood grocery store. She became a model employee and is going back to school with money in the bank. Go figure.

She kept me up to date on late breaking news, like the rap beef between Meek Mill and Drake – you know, the one that culminated in some furious tweets and an exchange of diss tracks? We agree that Drake prevailed without question.

She left Tuesday, and unless my life takes an unexpected turn, I will never live in a household with a teenager again.

There were some great days over the years and some less-than-great ones, but now it’s over and I’ll be getting my pop culture news from The New York Times. How sad.

Her sister is home for two weeks before starting her senior year of college. We’ll be saying goodbye to her soon, too. We seem to be saying goodbye a lot.

So, even with five days of August left, I can’t get used to the idea that I let summer get away from me.

Would I feel this gloomy if I had gone for a bike ride on Peaks or eaten a meal on a farm? Probably.

That’s how summer is here: It’s precious and short.

No matter how much you do, there’s never going to be enough.