My office calendar tells me I’m wrong, but I know in my heart that summer is over.
Officially summer runs from June 21 to Sept. 23. That just doesn’t feel right, especially not lately.
The cliche is that summer runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day and last week really drove that point home. Summer is over.
Last week I returned from Labor Day and got back to work. It seems like everyone else did, too.
Earlier in the week I sat at my desk filling out my September calendar. It’s something I try to do at the start of each month. It’s a guide to see just how busy I’m going to be.
Summer is busy, but it’s a different kind of busy. As I filled out September I quickly noticed just how things were happening on the weekends and not during the week. To me, that’s one of the first signs of summer being over.
Every weekend this month has at least one thing on. There’s a pickleball tournament, the library grand opening and the 50th anniversary celebration at ECC. And that’s just this weekend. The rest of the month is just as jam-packed — at least on the weekends. During the week, things are becoming a lot quieter.
On Thursday I did my routine drive around Union. At least once a week I drive around to a few spots — ostensibly I’m looking for pictures, but mostly I’m just looking to make sure nothing has changed that I should know about.
I’ve been doing this drive since I started and, of course, all summer long. It was surprising how empty the city of Union felt Thursday compared to just a month before.
I drove past the city park and noticed how empty it was. No one was walking around and there were no kids playing. The pavilions were vacant.
Across the street, the parking lot at the Splash-N-Swimplex was nearly empty. No one was fishing at the city lake. There wasn’t a single person, or dog, walking around the lake. Sidewalks were empty. Traffic was slow going. It just felt quiet.
There’s a reason for all of this, of course. The Splash-N-Swimplex closed in August so it would be super weird if the parking lot was full. That makes sense.
The lack of kids also made sense. School resumed in late August so I didn’t expect to see a bevy of truant children milling about. Still, the quietness was stark to the noises of summer.
What was actually surprising was the number of adults who weren’t out. When I drove around this summer, I’d see just as many adults fishing, exercising and all that fun stuff. All that seems to have come to an end.
I told this story to a friend and they reminded me that Labor Day is almost the end of the vacation season. Taking time off in the summer is standard practice. After surviving the winter, people want to use the nice weather to take a break.
By doing this, you either burn up all your vacation time or save a few for the end-of-the-year holidays.
Sure you might take a handful of days off in the fall, but the big full-blown vacations are a summer thing.
Tell me — do you know anyone who takes a September vacation? It just feels off.
That means that the offices and businesses around Union are full again. The flip side is the parks are empty. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a sign that the calendar is wrong.
Fall doesn’t start later this month. Fall is already here.