Archive for August, 2011

AS THE END OF SUMMER SLOWLY APPROACHES

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

     Although summer officially ends around September 21st,  for most people, Labor Day marks the unofficial end.   That means, of course, that in approximately two weeks, summer’s finale will be here.

     It is, of course, true that my summers now do not even come close to equalling those of the past, especially when I was a little girl.  Yet,  there is nevertheless a sadness that I associate with summer’s passing.  How so?

     Summer, to many of us, represents a wonderful feeling of freedom.   To my family and so many others back in the 50’s, who rented rooms in summer roominghouses in Rockaway Beach or perhaps cabins in the mountains, summertime was a long-awaited and highly anticipated annual paradise away from everything humdrum.  For others, it meant finally bringing to fruition the amazing one-week or possibly two-week vacations that the family had planned for months.  For still others, summertime meant multiple trips to Jones Beach or their country clubs; daily visits to local public pools or private ones; eating out much more than usual; going to  incredible barbecues  or going back to the camp that they loved,  (as well as the friends that they got to see mainly in the summer, except perhaps for mid-year reunions).   Whatever our situation, summer was special, and once it started, no one wanted it to end.   

     When I was little, I remember that the big Labor Day party at the end of the season, although something long awaited and anticipated, at the same time marked the end of two months of non-structured, totally fun-filled activity.  As we children devoured oujr favorite treats and danced to the wonderful strains of soft ballads and “big band” favorites, it was hard to repress the fact that we would soon be returning to our homes in the City and getting ready to start school again.  I remember the sad caravan of cars leaving our rooming house the day after Labor Day.   Fortunately, my family left several days later, but it wasn’t the same once the majority of boarders left.

     Later, when I was a young adult, the end of summer meant returning to college, which had its advantages and disadvantages, regardless of which still meant a great deal of studying and work.  As an adult, since I was a teacher, summer’s finale was a mixed bag.  It meant returning to a  creative job that I loved, but it also meant assuming a  full load of lesson plans, papers to grade and often having to dsicipline disruptive students.   It also meant getting up early every morning, going to bed after the late news and leading a structured life once again.

     Now, retired from my teaching job and writing full-time, I associate many different things with summer’s end.   It doesn’t affect my work because I write equally all year around, but it affects me emotionally.  I don’t really love very hot weather, but I cannot help thinking that, before long, the weather will be getting really cold.  Naturally, I don’t like that either.  Of course, autumn is in between summer and winter, and who doesn’t love the refreshing temperatures of this lovely season?  Again, there are mixed feelings.

     Also, during summer, I do not schedule medical or dental examinations, but all of these resume after summer is over.  Also, although I admit that I don’t use my son’s family pool very often, I feel bad, knowing that it will be closed after Labor Day.  I must find time to go in the pool with my grandchildren before that sad date of summer’s end approaches.

     However, whether we like it or not, summer will be coming to a close soon, regardless of its actual date.   Autumn is waiting in the wings, and as I have said, it is a lovely season, too.  Each season has its own beauty, once we really start to think about it.  Anyway,  if we don’t like winter,  as the old saying goes, “If winter’s here, can spring be far behind?”  And, yes, after spring, guess what’s back again?   Enjoy all the seasons in good health, my friends!

Until my next post,

Cheryl