Maybe it's a generational guidepost, but having never started back to school (with the exception of college), prior to Labor Day, my resistance to surrendering summer into unofficial fall, three weeks early, is palpable.
In July, when pumpkins, with overly jovial influencers, began showing up on my feed, after the first four or so encounters, I either had to temporarily unfollow these ladies or put the accounts on a break. I do not think I speak just for myself when I say that summer is to be savored - mostly for the sweet, precious moments of warm sun, frothy waves, books yet unread, the porch swing-swinging, peach picking, dripping ice cream cones and tender moonlit evenings with shore breezes.
But, for me, it's not just environmental - it's absolutely emotional. While I was always ready to head back to school as a child - anxious to see friends I hadn't played with since June, ready to start a new grade (I loved school and learning, by the way!), it was definitely a transition. It was an "every season to itself" lifestyle. Emotionally, physically and environmentally, we were all ready for a new chapter.
In the last twenty years or so, and certainly with the onset of social media, I feel inundated to live at least one, possibly two, seasons ahead of schedule. Sure, it's nice to get Christmas ideas ahead of November, but I'm not sure I need them in July. I'm just as giddy for gourds and happy for hayrides in autumn as the next person - I happen to love apple cider (maybe more than, dare I utter it: pumpkin spice latte), decorative pumpkins and hay bales, the smell of firewood in the air - but I actually want to enjoy all of these at the appropriate time of year.
Perhaps it does go back to when seasons seem to have run by semesters and shopping for supplies didn't happen until mid to late August or even the first week of September. Change can be difficult, especially when it isn't relatable.
Growing up in Maryland, I recall finding just the right Faire Isle sweater and leather riding boots, and couldn't wait for a cold snap to justify wearing them outside of trying them on in my bedroom! (LOL!). At college football games, the lingering heat of summer, into September and, often, early October, would finally give way to that chill in a single breeze that signaled that the cute, smart outfit that had been waiting in the shadows, could finally be worn.
One thing is certain: that post-Labor Day feel in beach towns is palpable. The air is filled with a melancholy that cannot be described. I've been in the Outer Banks, and along the Delmarva Peninsula prior to Labor Day, and then following Labor Day - and the sense that the show has packed up and moved on without us to another city hangs in the air. The squeels of children splashing in water, the sounds of Sea-Doos hitting the waves on the bay, even the French fries on the boardwalk smell less aromatic, if not entirely absent, signaling that summer, even without a calendar, is over.
The best part of summer is that it lives in our hearts all year long as the season of promises - of swaying hammocks, long stretches of beach and bonfires, shell collecting and bike riding - it's the season that just screams "fun." Summer unfurls the pages of the best books, promises of crab feasts, lobster rolls and low country boils, baseball games and new flip-flops. So, no matter what season we're in, the one season that will bubble up those memories of carefree youth will always be summer.
So, until next year my friends...just remember, Magnolia Blue Southern Coastal Living is about life, here in the coastal south, in all seasons - and we are here for it! Stop by the front porch often, leave me a note on what you'd like to discuss, visit the porch on Facebook and Instagram as we do this together.
Thank goodness we have pumpkins to carve, cider to drink and falling leaves that will pile high to keep our minds busy as we embrace every new day and all it has to offer! Happy un-official fall, y'all!