There aren’t too many days in the year that I feel nostalgic. My birthday does nothing for me, not after almost 50 of them. New Year’s Day is a good day to reflect, I suppose, but, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, it’s a bit over-hyped. Every July 1st I remember my brother Jeffrey, who died at the age of 5 in 1977, on January 9th, another day I stop to reflect.
But there’s something about the last evening before Labor Day that causes me to turn on some old songs and sit on my deck and really dwell on where I’ve been and where I’m going. It is, after all, the unofficial end of summer. The calendar says we have three more weeks. But ask any school-aged kid and they’ll tell you.
As I write this, hot-air balloons are passing overhead. We have quite a few around here. Most sell rides that last about half an hour. Sometimes they’re low enough that we can talk to the people in the basket. We actually attend church with one of the balloon owners.
A cool breeze is blowing across my bare legs and my dog is grooming himself on the deck. Guns ‘n Roses is playing from my little bluetooth speaker, connected to my Napster app on my iPhone. Excuse me for saying this, but you kids don’t know how good you’ve got it. Back in the day, we tuned in to whatever local radio station was playing the Hot Hundred countdown or whatever, tolerating the commercials after every three songs.
But summer, and summer’s end, will always be the same.
Most of my readers are of school-age, so I say to you that this is not a disaster. Summer must end or new summers can never be. When you grudgingly climb aboard that school bus in a couple days or gaze around your classroom, wondering what horrors await, remember to embrace these memories you’ve created in June, July, and August. It will all come to an end. Sooner than you expect. And one day you’ll be an almost fifty year old man or woman sitting on your deck with your dog and old music, wondering how you got here so quickly.
See you in the fall.