It's hard to believe that Labor Day is here. In some ways, that means that summer is over. In others, it means it's just beginning.
For summer residents and vacationers, the past two months saw an almost unparalleled stretch of beautiful, sunny, warm days – perfect beach weather – with just a handful of cloudy, rainy days, and few of them causing anything other than a minor annoyance. That, of course, is much to the detriment of our lawns, gardens and water tables, as the current drought conditions attest. And while inland areas sweltered, our unique geography guaranteed a near-constant breeze that kept temperatures, if not humidity, at a tolerable level. If you were on Cape Cod during July and August, you certainly got your money's worth, weather-wise.
Even though Labor Day signals the traditional end to the summer season, there are still three more weeks before the autumnal equinox. While the long-term forecast shows a slight cooling, temperatures are still forecast to be in the mid to high 70s with maybe a few showers. For Cape Codders, and those lucky enough to vacation here in the fall, these are the best of times. Crowds have thinned out (although not as much as they would have a couple of decades ago), traffic is almost manageable, and the weather is fine. Beach stickers are no longer needed, and other restrictions – like walking your dog on the beach – are about to expire. Restaurants are more accessible (sort of, not so much on weekends), and those of us with kids will have more free time after classes resume post-Labor Day.
This is the time of year you can actually hear sighs of relief in the air.
Don't get us wrong. We love the core summer months; we love the hustle and bustle, the frenetic energy, the music and theater, the sense that our small towns have something in common with more cosmopolitan areas of the country. We love our visitors and summer residents, many of whom get the nudge nudge, wink wink of the fall and help contribute to the sense that the summer isn't quite over until, let's see, at least Columbus Day. Many of us came here for the summer and stayed, so the season represents the highlight of the year. But we've also learned through the years to appreciate the off-season; and not just the “shoulder” times in the fall and spring, but the winter as well, when it's just us here, and the true nature of our communities shine through.
So Labor Day has come, long live summer!