I’m not ready for sweater weather!
And I’m not putting away my white shoes any time soon.
With Labor Day looming, my longing for a never-ending summer grows fiercer, becoming protective of the precious time left in this most favorite of seasons. Soaking up the sun on my idyllic North Shore Long Island beach, I remain oblivious to the calendar and the call of commerce.
Our consumer culture doesn’t make it easy.
Despite the blistering heat wave, suddenly in the last few weeks shops are decked out in plastic faux fall foliage. My Huntington supermarket is featuring apple cider instead of Long Island’s summer bounty. One local Costco even had an artificial Christmas tree on display. It sends a chill up my summer spine.
Spooky Halloween greeting cards annoy me but I am anything but grateful to be confronted by rows of cheery Thanksgiving Day cards. Is there any possible need to see a pilgrim in August? Really?
And just like that… it’s fall.
Except it’s not.
It’s faux fall. Summer officially ends September 22, folks, nearly a full month away. Yet store shelves are stocked with autumnal splendor, meant to invoke cozy flannels, bonfires, pumpkin patches, and chilly nights.
I don’t have any need to pick out a Hallmark Halloween card or buy a bag of trick-or-treat candy corn while I’m still sporting a Speedo bathing suit. Cheap plastic goblins, ghosts, and scary witches made in China don’t inspire.
And don’t even get me started on the sudden plethora of that king of all fall flavors, pumpkin spice appearing in everything from Oreos to breakfast cereals, to cups of Greek yogurt.
Who knew an “Everything Bagel” now includes -along with sesame seeds, garlic, and poppy seeds- an aromatic blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger meant to evoke a fall day in Vermont? If you ask me, that king of all fall flavors has taken an autocratic stance.
I am not ready or willing to fling myself into fall. Pumpkin Spice? I still prefer the intoxicating aroma of coconut and pina colada-scented sunscreen.
I will never need a quiz on Buzzfeed to tell me what season I am or a color analyst to unlock my inner season palette. Nor do I need 23andMe to know that a deep-seated fondness for summertime runs in my family DNA.
My beach-loving genes go back generations of summer sun-loving folks.
Though I can’t say for certain that any of my Eastern European great grandparents ever schlepped from their shtetls in the steamy summertime to frolic in the sand and the Black Sea surf along the beaches of Odesa.
I do know that once they got to America in the 1880s they heartily embraced the white sandy ocean beaches of Long Island and summered in the bucolic Adirondacks dotted with beautiful lakes.
Later their progeny would be in possession of prime beach club real estate, owning much-coveted corner cabanas in the multiple beach clubs that developed on the narrow spit of the south shore of Long Island.
A passion for summer that was passed down to me.
Conceived as I was on a sweltering night in June of 1954 in a Far Rockaway garden apartment cooled by the briny ocean breeze just a few blocks away, I am certain my beach-loving pregnant mother exposed me to the sand and surf that summer.
Even from inside her womb, I certainly soaked up the primal salty ocean mist and sound of the breaking waves as I floated blissfully in the warm amniotic fluid.
A beach bum was born.
So for now, my woolens remain sequestered away in the cedar closets.
Phooey to faux fall.
I’m not ready to pack summer up in mothballs just yet.
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2022 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.