The Calendar Says It's Summer

If It’s August it must be summer. Right? And yet it seems like fall. The days are cooler. The sun rises a little later and sets a little sooner. The grass on the hills is parched. There is a haze in the air from distant wild fires, which we have thankfully been spared this year. 

But the most telling sign of fall is that school is back in session. Our local elementary school started last week. As I passed by on my usual morning walk I could see anxious kindergarteners and their tearful parents. Older kids on their bikes and scooters. Knots of parents holding coffee mugs.

Where I grew up school didn’t start until after Labor Day. In late August we were trying to cram in the last of our summer activities. A camp out in the backyard with friends. A visit to the shore and boardwalk with the family. One more trip to the ball game with Dad. Getting Mom to help us organize one last lemonade stand.

But it also meant getting ready to go back to school. Mom would make me try on all my dresses. The outgrown ones were packed away, and the others were sent to Nana to have the hems let down. New school shoes, binders and pencils were bought. I looked forward to finding out who my teacher would be and who would be in my class. 

As a child, Summer ended on Labor Day, but Fall (and school) were a new adventure. As an adult with grown children the seasons are not as well marked. But I still think of every Fall as a new adventure.