For those people who adore summer and all things summer – from lemonade stands everywhere to outdoor music filling the air (Yes, this is a Shirley Temple reference.), there’s good news. Summer’s is officially still upon us, and there are ways to extend the joys of the most carefree sunny season of the year into its latter phase.
Though the majority of people consider Labor Day as summer’s last day, it’s not. It’s really not. According to the Farmers Almanac and every academic astronomy website, the summer of 2015’s last day is not until Tuesday, Sept. 22. Each year, the last day of summer, signals the first day of the fall equinox – the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator, which is the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator running from north to south. All last days of summer fall on September 22, 23 or 24.
Even though this year’s summer ends “early” on the 22nd, there’s still a lot of summer to be had.
First, people can stay in summer’s casual carefree mode by NOT doing some things. What you see can dictate how you feel, say psychologists, so avoid the onslaught of autumn decorations at every store and shop. Just don’t look – keep looking around in nature – summer is still reflected in the Queen Anne’s Lace and other wild flowers growing along the roadways and trails. Look up and out. Butterflies are still gathering succulent nectar from bushes and late bloomers. Take a hike outdoors or visit city and town gardens and arboretums, which contain a bounty of flora to enjoy.
Experts on wellness say to “breathe in” the summer’s warm air that contains the lush fragrances of summer’s late or lingering flowers such as butterfly bushes.
Keep your home decorated with reflections of the season – summer-flowered wreaths, seashell collections and memorabilia of childhood summer-fun treasures, such as toy red wagons or photograph collections.
Southern Living magazine recommends putting pops of summer color throughout your home – pillows, glasswork or other home decor items that reflect the lightness and brilliance of summertime, when the livin’ is easy. Greek sand whites and Mediterranean blues have been a popular way to keep summer alive indoors, editors said.
Summer isn’t summer without gardens’ bounty and barbeques. Who said Labor Day was the last time to crank up the barbie and grill? It works just fine any time and keeps the smokey, summer infused fare coming to the table to enjoy, say Food Network editors.
To continue to enjoy the last days of summer, travel experts say to schedule a late-summer beach, cabin or historical tour excursion when both crowds and costs are less.
West Virginia resident Penny Brick said she always plans her summer vacation in September.
“I like to go and enjoy the beach or D.C. when children are already back in school,” she explained. “The lines are short and the more quiet environments are more relaxing.”
And keep listening to the mellow, lazy melodies of summer songs. What better way to keep summer close? Hundreds of summer songs have been written and can be found at billboard.com.
Last but not least … keep those colorful flip flops on while you enjoy a favorite childhood summer treat – ice cream cones, drinking water from the hose or going swimming in your favorite swimming hole.
Even after this year’s summer sun has truly, officially set for the last time, don’t mourn its passing. If a movie and practice of “Christmas in July” exists, surely there could also be a “July in Christmas” state of mind.