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Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer's Swan Song

August has arrived. Hard to believe this year is more than half over. Harvest time is fast approaching. Tomatoes are ripening on the vine, corn has tasseled out. Cherries, blueberries, and peaches are almost done. Soon apples will be ready for picking. The Farmers' Markets are going strong.


Beaches are still crowded with sun worshipers, kite flyers, paddle-boarders, and swimmers, Campgrounds at the state parks are jam packed. Friday and Sunday nights find the highways bumper to bumper.


The Sunday newspaper is filled with back-to-school ads. In some parts of the country, school will start this month. Not in Michigan. By law, they are not allowed to start before Labor Day. Tourism is such a big industry that the state congress declared it must not be shortened because of education.

I was a teacher back in the olden days (before my children were born). We never started school before Labor Day. We also didn't end until Father's Day. Michigan summers do not follow a calendar. Summer begins well before June 21st and could end in October. Schools here are not air-conditioned. Pity the children--and teachers--who must work in 80+ degrees.

August is vacation time for many families. Get in one more camping trip or weekend at the cottage or whirlwind cross-country sightseeing trip--aka by my kids as the "encyclopedia" vacation. To their dismay, I would research the area we were to visit and share my findings in the car. After all, I had a captive audience. An audience who would rather read Sweet Valley High or Stephen King in the backseat than listen to Mom expound on the highlights of the region. They still haven't forgotten our visit to the Corn Palace in South Dakota or Devil's Tower in Wyoming. Or my rapture over the dining room at Mount Rushmore where Eva Marie Saint "killed" Cary Grant in North by Northwest.

They would rather have gone to 6 Flags. In fact, our trip would have been much shorter if we'd taken them to Cedar Point.

Now, Hubs and I wait until after Labor Day to vacation. Who needs crowds and hordes of tired whiny kids ruining a historic sight?

How did you spend August when you were young? What about now?


14 comments:

  1. August ~ Back to School, which for me means Back to Work. :/ NOT my favorite time of the year. I just remind myself how lucky I am to have my summers off from my day job. My dad was a lot like Chevy Chase on Vacation. He would take us to see, no kidding, the world's 2nd largest ball of string. We'd often drive an hour out of our way to read a plaque describing a historic event that took place in that location. Still, you get to see a lot of unusual things when you do that and I wouldn't trade in a second with my dad for anything in the world. He's gone now, but I will always remember the family vacations after my parents were divorced that Dad took me and my three siblings on vacation--and we weren't the most well-behaved children.

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    1. Lovely memories, MJ. I made Hubs pull off the road so I could pose the kids in front of the 45th Parallel sign (half-way between the equator and the North Pole). I thought that was exciting. All I got was "Aw, Mo-om." LOL

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  2. The last days of summer vacation.

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  3. In SoCal, schools used to not start until after Labor Day, but now some start as early as mid-August. Some of our older schools don't have A/C either. Back in the day, I did as little as possible in August.

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    1. Me, too, Diane. They don't call it the "dog days" of summer for nothing.

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  4. I taught for 30 years and always relished the summer "off" where I read dozens of books for my secondary English curricula. Now retired, I still read dozens of books but only those I WANT to read! Nice blog!

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    1. Thanks, Susan. That's how spent my summers, too, when I taught. Reading and reading. Then the kids came along. LOL

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  5. Don't remind me the year is more than half over. Ugh. Slow down, please!

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    1. My sentiments, too, Patricia. LIFE is going by too fast.

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  6. New Jersey summers sound a lot like Michigan! We spent our summers fighting traffic from the north and west (New York and Philly) to spend our days at the beach. Our summers went from mid- to late June to just after Labor Day. It seemed endless back then. I think that's what I miss most! Thanks for reminding me of those days. :-)

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    1. The traffic! A major thoroughfare is under construction this summer and guess what the traffic uses as an alternate? The main street next to our subdivision. It takes forever to get out. Endless summers. I miss those.

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  7. New Jersey summers sound a lot like Michigan! We spent our summers fighting traffic from the north and west (New York and Philly) to spend our days at the beach. Our summers went from mid- to late June to just after Labor Day. It seemed endless back then. I think that's what I miss most! Thanks for reminding me of those days. :-)

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  8. August always bums me out, just a little. I hate saying good bye to summer. I miss the days of going back to school in September. That just seems more natural.

    I love museums and I too like to do my research ahead of the visit. I usually save the info to use as "tour guide" once we're there. It has rubbed off on at least two of my kids. They are avid placard readers. The other two, not so much.

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