Well, here we are on the last Friday of Summer. Of course, that’s not exactly true, but it will have to do for a nation that can’t tell the difference between truth and lies.
Labor Day has always been considered the end of the summer, much as Memorial Day is its’ beginning. Neither sentiment is supported by the Julian calendar or the Farmers Almanac, for that matter. But Labor Day unmistakably is the end of summer.
Of course, here in Florida, summer doesn’t end until Christmas Eve and arrives on St Patrick’s Day.
The days in between those sacred holidays are pure joy in Florida. We can wear jeans and socks and sometimes you even have to put the heat on.
One morning last year, I woke up, and the house temperature was 66 degrees! Oh, bliss!
Still, the end of summer awakens memories of past summers and Labor Days of yesteryear.
Traditionally, we would always go to Ponquogue Beach in the Hamptons, Hampton Bays to be precise, and enjoy one more day at the beach with family and friends. Eileen would make The Big Sandwich, and frisbees and footballs, as well as bubbles, would pierce the air under a bright blue sky.
The sky was so blue that it almost hurt your eyes to look at it.
Finally, the ocean water temperature reached a level of comfort, allowing extended boogie boarding for the kids. Unlike me, they were not filled with the angst of another summer coming to an end. They just enjoyed flying through the waves with no thought about the approaching first day of school.
We always did our best to extend the day and soak up the last of the summer rays that would be remembered on those approaching cold and rainy days of November.
We were sure to stay at least until 5 PM because that is when the lifeguards signaled the end of their watch for the year. At that moment, before the shrill of their whistles evaporated in the air, the entire party of beachgoers would stand and applaud their service provided all summer long.
Somehow that last gesture of ours was as much for our benefit as theirs.
Gratitude does have that effect on you.
It’s a bit ironic that a day devoted to labor and those that provide it delights more in the days free of work.
We may think that working is a noble experience that is good for the soul, but the truth is that one day at the beach, hands down, beats any day stuck in front of a computer.
Work, in fact, is the curse of the beach-going class.
Happy Days In Hampton Bays.