Friday, August 14, 2015

Thoughts of Summer

August, near dusk
It's more or less the middle of August.

The sun comes up noticeably later than in June and goes down earlier. Even the swallow who sings outside my window every morning has been somewhat muted as of late.

In the old days it was time to start thinking about the harvest, time to start preparing for winter. Winters can be harsh in New England, the one we had last year was a prime example of an old fashioned New England winter.

The two oldest grandkids have started school already. Granted, they live in California where many things are, shall we say, different, but checking the school district calendars here in Little Rhody I see that there is a general trend to start school the week before Labor Day but a number of schools actually start a week before that. A few start up after Labor Day.

I remember as a kid dreading the "Back to School" advertisements which started up well before it was actually time to head back to school. Sort of like Christmas decorations showing up in stores before the candles in the Jack O' Lanterns have stopped smoldering.

It's all about the money I guess.

I understand, really I do. Folks need to make a living and they need to strike while the iron is hot. People with school age kids need school supplies. If your jingle is catchier, your print ad more colorful, then odds are that you'll make the sale first. In a way they're harvesting our dollars. If you wait too long, you lose the crop.

But still, summer speaks to me of freedom, of being care-free. While it has been many, many years since those summers with no responsibilities and no cares in the world, I remember them with a special ache.

Many of the people who inhabited my summers as a boy are gone now. My grandparents, my uncles, most of my aunts, my Dad...

Those of us who remain are older, in some cases wiser, in some cases not. We are gray now, the infinite approaches whether we want it or not.

But we watch the kids head off to school. Some excited by it, some not. And we wonder...

Just where did the summer go?
Dusk

18 comments:

  1. I often feel the same way Sarge, but we still have more summers to enjoy. And I hear the Fall is beautiful also.

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    Replies
    1. True Joe. I do tend to get all maudlin looking back. But yes, eyes front! Look to the road ahead, not the road behind.

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  2. We're entering the Dog Days here and it's hotter than I like (though lower 90's isn't that bad) so I'm asking not where has summer gone but when will summer go. I'm never satisfied.

    I remember the juxtaposition of joy and loathing when it came time to return to school. I loved all the little gadgets my mom would allow because "edjumacation" when the local merchants fleeced us at back-to-skool time. All those erasers and compasses and paper punches and binders and glue, none of which were ever used and all of which were ceremoniously dumped upon locker/desk clean-out on the last day of school. Good times.

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    Replies
    1. We had what I judge was a "cool" July. Very few days in the 90s. August has been relatively mild so far. I expect to see some hot days in September, which is fairly usual round these parts.

      Ah yes, all those school supplies. I'm trying to think if I ever used a compass or a protractor in grade school. Always had 'em, seldom used 'em.

      Guess the advertising lured us in.

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  3. I won't really miss the summer since I'm a winter person. I love the cold and the snow, I even enjoy shoveling snow.
    The only good things about summer are my fishing trips and believe it or not I do like the yard work. But yes, I'm
    ready for fall which is always enjoyable (and I can still go fishing) and definitely ready for my winter weather.

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    Replies
    1. Other than the shoveling snow part, I too enjoy the winter. Truth be told, I like all our four seasons. Just when you're sick of one, another comes along!

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  4. Have a few memories of carefree summer days. Have a lot more memories of working in the hay fields. Those are not carefree memories.

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    Replies
    1. No, working in a hay field would not be a carefree memory.

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    2. It only takes one day of stacking hay bales, to make one a true believer in round bales. Now, what I want to see is a round baler with a kicker!

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    3. I can see that. Besides which, round bales are kinda cool looking.

      But, how do they fit in the barn? Is that even a thing?

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  5. They've stolen summer here [sic] in California.
    It used to end for schoolkids the second week of September.
    Yeah, it started a little later, but now it is too compressedq.à

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    Replies
    1. I'd say "fat finger error" but I was using a stylus on the tablet😠

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    2. My daughter says the kids get more time off at Thanksgiving and Christmas out there.

      It does seem compressed.

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    3. Stylus on a tablet? Wow, never tried that.

      Fat stylus error?

      Delete
  6. The Days of Summer surely go by faster now then when we were young.

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  7. "Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes."

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)