Today is cloudy, cool and breezy, high mid-70’s.
I love this weather!
Yes, folks, fall approaches fast.
Autumn unofficially arrived to our shore community. Labor Day came and went, and like birds migrating south, shoobies – temporary island inhabitants – began flocking elsewhere. Most returned to homes throughout New Jersey and Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C.
The snowbirds will soon load their cars and head south for the winter.
Signs of summer past appear everywhere.
Fewer cars line residential streets as folks close their vacation homes for the winter.
A new gym schedule began. Smaller (yeah!) but fewer classes now.
The grocery store displays less fresh items, especially prepared foods. Those of us still around no longer entertain hordes of shoobies pretending to visit but wanting to spend long days at the beach, absorbing enough sun and fun to hold them over until next Memorial Day weekend. Unwilling to spend a lot of time cooking in summer heat, we fill the refrigerator with prepared foods.
Post-Labor Day the house no longer overflows with friends and relatives, food bills shrink, and the cooler weather is conducive to cooking.
I parked directly in front of the market this morning. No need to drive into the parking lot or cruise around the block hoping a spot opens.
Kids no longer crowd the bagel store, begging parents for brownies, cakes and drinks along with their chocolate chip bagel. Men and women – women especially – seem more serene, less hassled, now that their kids returned to school. They leisurely pour a cup of coffee and order a bagel sandwich, looking forward to enjoying some hassle-free, kid-free time.
Restaurants started cutting hours and days, closing three or four days a week. Some soon close for the winter. Locals do not eat out as frequently as affluent vacationers, and the island’s population shrinks as winter approaches, bottoming out during the dark, gray days of January and February before slowly climbing once again.
Stores advertise end-of-season sales.
A couple of ice cream shops remain open seven days a week, but others open weekends only. By the end of October See you next summer! signs will adorn every ice cream shop window on the island.
Noticeably lighter traffic travels the island’s two main streets. Traffic signals will soon be on flash, as throngs of pedestrians carrying chairs and beach toys no longer stampede across the road on the way to the beach.
Leaves on the trees, only a few days ago a rich, dark green, lighten and turn various hues of red and gold.
My tomato plants begin to sulk, unhappy about the cooler weather and shorter days.
The sun rises later and sets earlier each day, and that saddens me. I love long days of bright light, darkness suggesting cold, loneliness, and depression.
Locals know September is the best month of the year around here. Crowds disappear. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities. Most days are sunny with temperatures in the mid-70s to low 80s. The ocean’s warmth lingers. Empty beaches beckon, a place of sunshiny solitude, except on a weekend when temperatures soar into the 80s and people temporarily return for one last sandy experience of the season.
September needs a song of celebration. Too many songs and literary references use September as a metaphor for the autumn of our years. I think the month deserves more cheerfulness.
I like the following song by Earth, Wind, and Fire, simply titled September, because the music is upbeat. Enjoy!
And check out the latest Best of Boomers posts!