Many places have started school again. When I was growing up in Colorado, our first day wasn’t until after Labor Day. I liked it that way. Labor Day always seemed like an end-of-the-summer kind of holiday. Once you had the prerequisite hot dogs and hamburgers with potato salad, the summer was officially over. Back in the olden days, wearing white was considered very bad and socially unacceptable after Labor Day. I don’t know what happened if you wore it…I just obeyed the rules and never tried. Thongs, or flip-flops as they are called now were also not allowed after this day.
I don’t recall when our last day of school was. It seems as though it must have been around Memorial Day, again, the official beginning of summer. Then, you could wear white, and thongs, and eat hot dogs and hamburgers to your heart’s content. They had no calories if consumed during the long, hot summer months, along with snow cones and ice cream. Oh! Those were the days!
When we moved to Vermont the winter I turned thirteen, I was appalled to find out that school went until June something! It was usually around the third week, give or take snow days, etc. But the sheer fact that it was June was very depressing to me. I would miss almost a month of what I deemed summer-time fun. As a side note, Burlington, Vermont still has huge piles of snow in their parking lots until mid-June. That alone rather ruined the concept of the summer I knew and loved! It’s difficult to dress in shorts, white shorts and thongs as you navigate your way around the Matterhorn!
Here in Kansas, school has begun for the year. Children make their way to school wearing shorts and sneakers, and even flip-flops. Tiny children waddled through the crosswalk, looking like so many turtles escaping to the sea. Their backpacks filled with supplies for the year ahead. I have pictures of our children looking like these baby turtles. And it makes me sad. I never liked the beginning of the school year, and the separation from our children.
My favorite memories of walking to school are from my years of living in Crown Point, New York. We lived only a few blocks from the beautiful school on Main Street. When autumn comes to the Adirondacks, it’s something to behold. Here is just a hint of the beginning of the spectacular color to come.I’m very happy that our two oldest children had the privilege to attend The Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, New York. They were able to see the amazing colors of autumn, and all the seasons so pronounced in this region.
For me, living in that area of the United States had a Norman Rockwell ambiance. Around every turn, there were beautiful vistas to behold. Tiny villages nestled in the green valleys, with emerald mountains flowing to the blue skies. Even winter didn’t seem quite so desolate with the blanketing of snow. Christmas was just that more festive with the centuries-old buildings, winding roads and tall trees canopying the road. It was as if everyone snuggled down for their long winter’s nap, just as the story says.
Autumn for me will always be in the northeast. That is what I think of, those are the colors I dream of when the days grow shorter and cool. Memories of walking down sidewalks strewn with colorful leaves, more drifting through the damp fog on an early morning walk to school. There is a certain smell of decaying things, that is strangely homey, bringing to mind crisp air and snapping fires.
Another school year is upon us. Autumn has begun it’s delicate flow into the countryside of almost any place in the United States. Even here in Kansas. The days are growing shorter, the nights more cool, and some evenings smell of decaying things. And not in an unpleasant way. Have a wonderful Tuesday!