August 26th – and we head into September.
Labor Day used to mean that school started the next day. Leaves would begin to turn. You might go shopping for winter clothes – definitely new Oxfords (shoes for you under 50) and one new outfit for school. Dad would consider when to seed the garden or replace the window screens to winterize. The dreaded July and August heat of an Oklahoma summer without air conditioning was finally over. Wheat was cut and you could see for miles. Winter crops were planted and would sprout after our first frost.
But I live in Arizona now and school started between two and six weeks ago. It’s 105 degrees – 80 when you get up – and we look forward to October 31st when temps typically plummet.
Fall clothes appeared with Nordstrom’s anniversary sale and Walmart’s back to school ads but trying on a sweater or wool coat is near impossible after you’ve just stepped in from burning asphalt. So we Arizonans continue in shorts and T’s and sleeveless dresses for two more months and ‘X’ off the days on the calendar toward November.
With climate change it’s just a bit different this year. I was recently in OR and MN and headed to OK soon, and they are having warmer temps and expecting a delayed fall. I’m having a hard time sympathizing with them I’m afraid.
For now I admire my new spruce green sweater and hounds tooth wool blazer each time I go to the closet for a clean short-sleeve top and tell myself – 8 more weeks … maybe 9 … hopefully not 10.
P.S. School is in session. Kids and teachers need our help. Ask if you can pay for one child’s lunch this year, donate some books to the library, or volunteer in a classroom. The highlight of my week is walking into the third grade class where I help with reading and I hear, “Ms. W … can I be first?”