When I hear those words spoken by the local weather-person on TV in mid August, I know something is up. When I am able to sleep with the windows wide open for several nights in a row and not fall asleep above the covers…I know one thing to be true…summer is just about “finito!”.
I know we are only at the half way point of August, but its starting to not feel the same. There is a certain feeling that comes over me around this time of year. It’s usually driven by the weather.
Do you feel it?
This has been an exceptionally hot summer (I could use an expletive to explain just how hot this summer was, but I am an “enlightened male”, afterall!) I know this because I have spent most of it on the main floor of my house in the den on the sofa because it is the coolest room of the house. I don’t think I can recall a record number of continuous days when the heat was off the charts.
Aside from certain milestones that signify Labor Day is fast approaching (including advertisements for the Exhibition and all those extremely annoying back to school ads on television, bus shelters and the radio), the vibe I feel is that summer is simmering down and the “reality of returning to reality” is fast approaching.
Late August always signifies another change…just like the seasons changing, our lives and routines are returning to the way they were before we all took that collective sigh back in June as our summer holidays officially began.
Our minds begin to think about returning to “full steam” at work; no excuses for work not getting done because someone is away on summer holiday. The pace will no doubt intensify after Labor Day. People’s good moods will slowly fade as the warm feelings of summer vacation will start to fade and there will be less talk about the great game of golf someone played or the awesome road trip they just came back from and more talk about annual budgets or more heated dialog about dealing with this nasty recession that just doesn’t want to go away anytime soon.
Cottagers will start thinking about cleaning up and preparing to close the cottage for the season. The relative quiet of the city will begin to change as more and more people return from wherever they went and traffic will return to the insane level it was before the start of summer.
Our children will reach out to their school buddies who they haven’t seen all summer. They will share stories about camping experiences or trips they went on, summer concerts they saw or maybe new boyfriend or girlfriends they made. They will start complaining about not wanting to go back to school and give us parents lots of grief when we try to get them back on a better sleep schedule.
Shopping malls and retail stores will get busier as the massive back-to-school shopping bonanza will take flight. Hair salons will be busy with kids getting their hair cut for back-to-school. Teachers will be returning to classrooms and preparing for the start of the next school year. Janitorial staff will be polishing floors and replacing light bulbs, making sure that their school is ready to welcome and receive the wave of kids returning to it right after Labor Day.
If I am making it seem like I am sad that summer is over…you damn right I’m sad!! I have always loved the pace of summer. Everyone seems to be happier and more laid back during the summer. The whole city is mellower. People are enjoying being outdoors…socializing more, exercising…living life!
I will miss not wearing shorts every day (this doesn’t mean I walk around in just my underwear every other time of the year!). I will miss not wearing socks for almost the entire summer (except for business meetings, power-walks with my wife or bike rides throughout the city). I will miss not wearing the cool new straw hat that I picked up this year; a hat that took me 45 years to find because of my big-fat head!! I will miss the taste of a deliciously cold beer as it easily quenches my thirst on an extremely hot day (well, usually two do the trick). I will miss the feeling of baking in the sunshine as I sat on my Muskoka chair reading the Saturday morning paper with my wife in the matching chair beside me.
I will miss the smell of sunscreen as my kids slather it on their bodies and face before heading off to camp. I will miss the amazing locally grown fruits and vegetables that are only available at this time of year. There is nothing like biting into a locally grown fresh peach. I will miss the feeling of walking into my house after being outside in the heat and feeling that rush of cold air as it cools my skin.
Need I say more? Summer is more than just a season. To me, it’s a way of living. Life just seems easier to deal with when the sun is shining and everyone around me is smiling and happy.
Pass the tissues…here comes winter!