The city bus went by my corner with its usual rattle and rumble. The only difference: the advertisement blazed across the side: “MINNESOTA STATE FAIR: August 24 - Labor Day, 2017”. This my friends, is what we call a joyful announcement; and a warning. The end of summer is quickly approaching, and we’d better get busy.
If you, dear reader, do not live in Minnesota, there are two things you should know about its residents.
First, we love our State Fair. We anticipate the fair with childlike glee, buying tickets to performances, planning our route, and choosing our favorite foods ahead of time. It is a city of dreams. A place all unto itself. We simply adore it.
And what we Minnesotans do more than anything is talk about the fair. I guarantee that the next time I get my hair cut, or check out at Target, or enter casual conversation with just about anybody, they will ask, “So, have you been to the Fair?” Which is actually a good thing, because it gives us a myriad of possibilities for conversation. And if you are one of those who actually does not like the fair, and does not go to the fair, you just better fake it.
Second: summer in Minnesota is short. Very short. I hear people say that fall is their favorite season, and I wonder, “How do you know?”, because honestly, one day we are at the lake fishing, and the next day we are shoveling snow. The time in between, labeled “fall”, is very short indeed. And because the summer is so fleeting, we Minnesotans attack it with a vengeance. Hiking, fishing, camping, eating outside, walking the dog around the lake, you name it. If the temperature is above 70 degrees, we are out there doing it.
Which brings me back to the bus and the advertisement. I can think of nothing else that brings up such concurrent feelings of joy and dread as this billboard splashed across its side. I and my fellow Minnesotans are like little kids in our excitement over the fair. Yet, at the same time, the old feeling of dread enters in. Because, honestly, after Labor Day it is all downhill. For nine months.
So, while we are busy choosing our deep-fried menus, we are also frantically busy getting in that last trip to the campground. Or the last barbeque. Or the last jacket-free walk along the river. Or, if you are like me, you are panicking. “Wait? The Fair is coming? I haven’t even gotten my bike out yet! I haven’t eaten at the restaurant’s new outdoor patio! I didn’t take that trip to see the world’s largest ball of twine!”
Yes, folks, summer is coming to an end. And the bus is passing by just to remind us. We’d better get busy.
So, because I wish to live these next nine months free of remorse, I plan to get busy enjoying summer while I can. Which is my way of saying that I am taking the next two weeks off from my “Life as It Is” blog. I will return with my Wednesday features after Labor Day, when summer is officially over.
Enjoy summer while you can, and I’ll see you in the fall!