Sunday, September 4, 2011

Summer's End

Yes, I know summer is not really over until September 23rd, the day of the autumnal equinox, but in my book summer ends when the town pool closes. Summer, on my personal calendar, also officially starts at the town pool—when it opens on Memorial Day, and comes to its zenith at the 4th of July fireworks, which can be seen perfectly from my pool chair underneath the willow trees.
            The reason I have these self-imposed restrictions on the dates of summer, is because of my kids. Until I became a mother, I didn’t really experience the seasons in quite the way I do now. But with little children, Memorial Day meant a parade (and, since all three of my boys played instruments it later meant that they all marched with the band), and Fourth of July meant fireflies, fireworks, and glow-in-the-dark necklaces. Labor Day was always the official last day before the closing of the pool and thus the official end of summer. Now that my kids are grown I still abide by these parameters.
            Until now. Thanks to Hurricane Irene, our town pool was flooded a week ago and won’t re-open until next year. This has put an unwelcome twist on my end-of-summer timetable (of course, Irene did much more extensive damage than town pool closings; many people in my state and others are still dealing with the havoc).
            But back to the pool for now, which this year opened several weeks after Memorial Day due to an electrical fire on the grounds, and is now closing a week early, thus totally tipping over my internal seasonal apple cart. I could moan and cry about this, but I’m not going to (after all, boo-hooing about a pool closing is pretty lame when some folks' homes are ruined).  Instead, I’ve invited my "pool" friends (who are actually year-round friends) over for our annual end-of-summer pool party (sans pool), and I’ve decided, this year, to adjust my summer clock and head for the beach next week (I don’t like crowded, hot beaches in the summer, anyway, so September is a better time to go). 
            Anyway,  apple picking, leaf gazing, deciding what to be for Halloween, and working in the yard without getting bitten by thousands of mosquitoes is just around the corner.  In fact, I’m so looking forward to Autumn that maybe I won’t even feel a bit depressed when I wake up on Labor Day and realize there’s no good reason to put on my bathing suit.
            I view this as yet another opportunity to let go of plans and expectations and make the most of what I consider to be the last day of summer. And even though our celebration won't be pool-side this year, we can still get together and toast the happy fact that Irene is no longer with us.

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