Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Goodbye to Summer

Even though we haven't technically transitioned into the fall season, and even though it's a hot 95 degrees outside right now, summer, in my mind, is over. September 1st begins what I call the "Berrrr" months (September, October, November, and December). Durning these 4 months, we, at least here in the Mid-Atlantic, spiral downward into the cold, dark winter...brrrr....The days are already noticably shorter, and the air somehow smells and feels different, muskier. In a few weeks, there will be a crisp bite to the breeze, even on a warm day.

The mindset around this time of year is getting back to school, getting back to business, getting back to what we were doing before vacationing, lounging by the pool or beach, eating boardwalk fries soaked in apple cider vinegar, snapping blue crabs and licking the Old Bay off your fingers. We start to think back fondly on the barbeques and picnics and fireworks, on a summer well spent.

Around here, it's still hot, even into October some years. And looking back I remember sweating in my school uniform (because back the schools, at least the schools I went to, didn't always have air conditioning) as I organized my newly assigned locker. But it wasn't that spring-into-summer sweat. That kind of sweat felt good. Emerging from a cold, dreary winter, I always welcomed the increasingly warm days leading up to June and the end of the school year. But fall sweat felt more like the stress of heavy backpacks and getting used to homework again. Fall sweat was worrying about going or not going to Homecoming; it was about fitting in yet standing out enough to get noticed (in  a good way) amongst 1,000 other children/teenagers all crammed into one building.

I always feel melancholy this time of year. My fondest memories are of summer days spent with my family in Florida or Ocean City and, lately, of days spent at Wisconsin Dells playing miniature golf at Pirate's Cove with Brian. It's not that I, for some reason, believe summer will never come around again (God willing there's always next year). But until it does, there's no escaping the winter to come (unless I finally do move to Florida, again God willing). There's no escaping the too-short days and snow and cold biting rain---the inevitability of it. Obviously, I'm not a cold-weather girl. Never have been. And I'm sure some of you love the cold as much as I love heat, so for you the fall is a welcome relief from oppressive heat and humidity. But for me, it's waiting time. It's the time of year when I wait for the first buds of spring and the time to "spring forward" our clocks and watches.

It's not that I spend the fall and winter unproductively or in a state of utter gloom. I do have that Disney Princess Half-Marathon in February and a lot of other activities related to the holidays and (of course) the busy fall travel season here at work. I don't dig a hole and jump in. Oh no. I just love the summertime and will miss it. When the the last leaf finally falls from the tree and when it's dark and cold at 5 pm, I will long for summer and the sun on my face and back. I will long for shorts-and-tank-top days and watermelon and juicy sweet peaches from the farmer's market. I will wait for it, for any sign of it. I will count the days until it gets here, even as I shovel snow from the driveway bundled in my down parka and mittens.

Goodbye summer. See you in 2011.



Mark on September 1, 2010 at 4:28 PM said...

Great minds think alike! I just made a post about summer too :)

Strange, September 1st comes along and we're both like "It's over, it's over!" :p

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