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The perfect time to meld summer, fall
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September is an awkward month.

Students are back in school. In some cases, they have been back in school for over a month. Football Fridays and Saturdays are in full swing. Winter clothes are in the stores.

My younger daughter reported that she wanted to buy a pair of shorts for her grammar school-aged child, because it would be too hot to wear jeans or pants for at least another month. She went to at least five stores and could find not one pair of shorts. Even the sale racks were bereft of shorts. A friend who is going to have surgery went looking for summer bedroom slippers and could find nothing but furry winter slippers. If you don’t buy early what you need for a season, you might just be out of luck.

Advertisements are showing up on television that extol the glories of the new fall season lineup for each network. I have already seen a display of pumpkins in a store. We now seem to get as big a head start for Halloween as we do for Christmas (two months or more).

Little football and soccer players and cheerleaders are popping up everywhere as recreation and the Y’s fall sports programs for children have begun. I have three granddaughters playing soccer and one running-cross country.

My husband’s garden has given up the ghost.

The squash and eggplant have been long gone, and the tomatoes are finally fading, too. He no longer brings home buckets of tomatoes.

He now brings home a few and mournfully says each time, "These may be the last."

He is still harvesting a few peppers, which he uses to make pepper sauce. He has been experimenting this year with fancy vinegars and a splash of wine in his recipes.

Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, has come and gone.

All of these indicators suggest it should be fall, the wonderful time of year when we finally get a break from the summer’s heat.

But the calendar and the weather say it is not so. The first day of autumn, the autumnal equinox, is not until Sept. 22. And the weather simply is not cooperating. While there may be a hint of a crisp fall day in the cooler early mornings, by midmorning the temperatures have climbed to a spot that definitely declares that summer is still here and not in any hurry to leave.

Besides the heat, there are other indicators that summer has not left yet. The Braves are still playing regular season ball. And they have a chance to play in the postseason.

Despite the fact that no shorts are in the stores, most children are still wearing shorts. It is still too hot for long pants. Children may be playing fall sports, but it is still hot enough to hit the pool or swimming hole.

Television may be touting the fall season, but we are still watching (or not watching) reruns of last season.

September, it seems, is neither summer nor fall. It is on the cusp, to use an astrology term. It’s a little bit of both. So I say enjoy it. You get the best of both worlds.

If you bemoan the end of summer, put on your shorts and get outside and take a walk.

Put on your bathing suit and take a swim. Pick or purchase the last of the summer’s produce and eat the last glorious home-grown tomato sandwich. There is nothing better.

If you are in a hurry for fall, go to the sometimes overly air-conditioned stores and purchase some fall clothes or a pumpkin or Halloween decorations. Wake up early in the morning and put on slacks and walk while the tang and coolness of autumn is in the air. (All I ever smell when I get up is General Mills and whatever cereal they are cooking that day.)

Either way enjoy your September, the month that is neither fall nor summer.



Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at