I noticed it just a few days ago. I was sitting on the back porch reading the newspaper and soaking in a little late afternoon sun. All of a sudden the blissful warmth faded out. I looked up and saw the sun going down behind the birch trees at the top of the hill. A quick glance over at the clock showed it was only 5:30. How is this possible? Isn't still summer?
Yes. In fact, it still is summer, but it's also New England. And we know what that means. This is been a truly odd summer, starting very late with weeks and weeks of continuous rain. That was followed by scorching heat and ultra high humidity. And then… fall. I really can't complain about the current weather. It's been warm and dry during the day with tons of sunshine. The nights have been very very cool, absolutely perfect for sleeping. Still, I'm somewhat amazed that fall is right around the corner. In fact, we've already seen a few leaves turn. Well OK, TheWife™ has seen a few leaves turn — I'm so colorblind that the foliage has to be almost neon before I can see it.
More than any other year so far, this one has seemed very compressed. When I was sitting on the back porch looking up at the hill, the trees that had been snapped in half by last year's ice storm were in full view, which brought back memories of not only the ice storm, but of all the events preceding and following. Honestly, I look forward to the day when the change of seasons will not always bring reminders of sad events past. Right now, fall's approach marks the anniversary of my dad's entry into the hospital with pneumonia… followed by his decline. I have no direct control over this, but I'd really like the season back as my own. It's always been my favorite time of year and it would be nice to not have it be diminished by my own thoughts.
As usual, our traditional end of summer involves a concert: Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes are coming to Hampton Beach again. We have a new member of the family this year as Stepson #1 got married. John's bride Kelsey will be coming with us to see what we've been blabbing about all these years. I'm really hoping that Kelsey enjoys the music so she won't be too embarrassed when she sees us doing silly things like flailing our hands up in the air.
So here it is, Labor Day weekend. Forget what it says on the calendar about summer ending on September 21st. Summer officially ends not at the end of the Southside Johnny show, but right after the last note of "Hearts of Stone." It will surely bring a tear to my eye but hey, it wouldn't be the first time.