When I was a child in Tennessee, summer started by Memorial Day and ended around the third week of August when we went back to school. My elementary school was not air conditioned, and we sweltered in class until at least the middle of September. In those bad old days girls were not allowed to wear pants or shorts to school. Some clever retailer invented “dark cotton” dresses, knee-length dresses in plaids and fall colors but made of lightweight cotton so you didn’t faint in the heat. Those dresses did duty until well into October with a light sweater if needed. Often it wasn’t, and even Halloween was still warm weather. Patent leather shoes and white anklets completed a girl’s school wardrobe, which we went shopping for in the dog days of August.
Summer here doesn’t seem to end until mid-September. The kids are back to school after Labor Day, but the outdoor grill at the boat club on the Hudson hangs on for a few more weekends, weather permitting. Yet all the free outdoor concerts and Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival are done by Labor Day weekend. And I can see the days getting shorter as we move toward the autumnal equinox.
Where did the summer go? Mine seems shorter than usual to me because I started a new job and did not take a vacation. That said, I did do some of my favorite summer things: went to the Jazz Forum Arts concerts at Lyndhurst a few times (two more opportunities, weather permitting); had picnics at those concerts with friends, and a lavish French-style picnic with a group of gourmet friends; went to Hudson Valley Shakespeare twice; and saw Justin Peck’s Dance Americana at Kykuit, a truly magical evening. I also saw a dance performance at the Lincoln Center Festival with a new friend from the new job. And there were a few dinners and get-togethers with friends, as well as time to collapse on the couch and read a good book (ok, not much time for that!)
I’m going to meet up with my sisters on Labor Day weekend, so the summer will end with a family note. I’m determined to enjoy these last few weeks, especially when the heat wave breaks. I hope you are all enjoying the summer and will have a smooth transition into the fall.