As September fades into October, and as crisp, sunny, Autumn days turn into raw, harbinger’s of Winter, it is time for us to pack the RV and start to drift south. Our four months in New Hampshire and Maine have flown by, filled with fond memories of this “Land of Many Uses.” One by one, our fellow campers are packing up and heading out before the campground closes in mid-October. The common refrain, repeated like a mantra at every goodbye, is “where did the Summer go?”
Maybe it is a function of growing older but Summer seems to be much shorter than it used to be. In my youth, Summer would stretch out before us, a seemingly unending stream of days to be filled before school reopened. Back then we didn’t have our lives organized for us with lots of structured activities. We headed outside after breakfast and went from there, filling the hours and entertaining ourselves until the streetlights came on. I can actually remember looking forward to classes starting, getting some new school clothes, seeing my classmates and having something different to do.
Of course, now that we are retired, our whole life is a Summer vacation. As I sorted through and organized my photographs from this Summer, I can see where the time went. There was hiking, fishing, kayaking, exercising, and blogging. There were trips to Portland and Portsmouth, County Fairs and antique car shows. There were week-long visits from friends and relatives and all the attending sightseeing and camp dinners. There were innumerable books read, web sites surfed and online classes completed. Maybe, as we slide down that slippery slope of aging, it’s not the Summer that is getting shorter. Perhaps it’s the drive to fill our days with all the activities we enjoy, while we are still able to do so, that just makes it seem that way.
We will soon be on our way to Florida. The sunny Nature Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, the Everglades all await us. But we are also already discussing where we will head next. Unlike our younger days, Autumn doesn’t mean the playing stops, it just moves to a new locale.