Farewell Summer

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

When I was growing up, the last day of summer was always officially Labor Day.  That’s the day the swimming pool closed and the first day of school was the Tuesday after.

Now, even though I’m married to a teacher, that schedule no longer applies.  She was back at school even before I departed on The Old Man Bucket List Road Trip (™).  

Today is officially the last day of summer.  Autumn arrives at 2:50 tomorrow morning.

Thanks to my back and/or bladder, there’s a good chance that I’ll be away to say a proper hello.

It also looks to be a rainy one.  Stay safe out there.

In the grand scheme of things, I had a pretty darn good summer.

No, I didn’t spend the days by the pool. In fact the only time I got in any outdoor water play was on July 4 at the water park. Wall to wall people in the wave pool.  Not a grand time.

I began the summer in rehearsals for Sound of the Guns at Firehouse Theatre. If you didn’t see the show, I assure you that you do regret it.  Not because of my performance. But because this was an important piece of theater and music, combined together.  It was an honor to play a small part.

In the midst of the show, my cousin and his wife flew up from Texas to take me to the Doobie Brothers concert in Portsmouth.  Ron and I had not seen each other for some fifty years, but we’ve kept in touch through the magic of Facebook.  We had a great weekend, they saw my show, we had some great meals, and the concert was phenomenal.  All of the original Doobie Brothers were there and their voices and music skills were as good, or better, than they were fifty years ago.

Much of the rest of the summer was spent in preparation.  Not only was I preparing for The Old Man Bucket

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List Road Trip (™), we were getting our son ready to spend five months in Japan for the first half of his junior year in college.

I’d like to think summer could have been more sitting on the beach sipping umbrella drinks, but that didn’t happen.  And that’s okay.  Retirement is coming and we’ll have more time for that.

Summer remains my favorite season, but I’m really becoming more fond of fall.  The changing of the leaves, pumpkins, apple cider, sweater weather, bonfires, and more.

It goes without saying that this is also Spooky Season, which leads to Turkey Season, which leads to Santa Season.

There’s no vacation for the next four months.  No grand road trips.  No sitting around anywhere, or at least not much, sipping fancy drinks.

I used to spend life thinking about getting to the next big thing.  It’s true that I spent much of the year looking forward to the road trip.  But I tried to enjoy things along the way.

That’s what I’m doing now.  There are things on the horizon I’m looking forward to.  But for the moment I need to focus on the day job, on the weekend job as a scare actor, and maybe on yard cleanup.  Although some of that clean up is waiting until the weather changes again and the copperheads go off to hibernate.

While I never really liked going back to school, in some ways I miss the autumns of my youth that included football games, pep rallies, homecoming, hay rides, and tricks or treats.  You get the idea.

Still, autumn is a warm, fuzzy season.  If you live in the south, it’s like summer with pumpkins.

Bring it on.


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