[The Lake Colby Beach in Saranac Lake, NY. Photo is mine.]
This is an odd time of the year. The autumn colors are past peak (yes, there are a few places where the reds are blinding and the yellows can bring tears to your eyes)…but the peak foliage in its intensity is essentially gone until next October, or late September (depending on the summer rains).
It’s a sad time. The public beaches have hauled in the lifeguard chairs and the floating docks. No mothers wander about looking for toddlers, no cheerleader is working on her tan line. No quarterback is working on a Malibu bronze complexion. That’s all okay…it’ll all fade in three weeks time (unless they still use a bottle tan mixture like they did in the ’60’s.)
Still hikers take to the trails since most of the bugs are gone. The kayaks are being put up in boathouses for the long winter. Year-rounders are stacking wood for the stoves in their cabins.
The skiers are busy waxing and sharping their edges at the local ski shops.
Sam Adams has come out with the Octoberfest brew.
Local micro-breweries are putting up the taps of the newest Pumpkin flavored IPA.
But the beaches are gone. Sure one can go and wrap up in fleece and try to read a book…but’s its changed.
I have a distinct memory of jumping out of our family car in the parking lot of Golden Beach…sometime in the early 1950’s. We had a campsite, but none of my brothers wanted to put off the swimming. My feet, the tender feet of a child burned as I ran toward the water. I couldn’t make it. I ran back and jumped in the waiting arms of my father. He carried me, tenderly across the burning sands and gently put me down in the cool waters of Raquette Lake.
Summer is gone again. The first snowflakes are a few weeks away.
And, then the WINTER sets in. Sometimes until mid-May. I grew up in downstate NY, near the Finger Lakes. We had four distinct seasons. Up here in the North Country it’s more likely three seasons.
I live on Ibuprofen because of my back pain.
So, we are off to Portugal in mid-December for 2 1/2 months of warmth. It’s not Florida, but it’s cheaper.
I wonder what things will be like in five or seven years.
Will it matter?