Get ready to enjoy the longest summer since 2009.
Astronomers might start counting summer’s days at the summer solstice (usually June 21) but I don’t. Summer for a native Minnesotan begins with Memorial Day weekend and ends on Labor Day.
Most years, including last year and next year, there are 101 days between the Saturday before Memorial Day and the Monday of Labor Day. But this year, Memorial Day falls as early as possible (May 25) and Labor Day occurs as late as possible (Sept. 7). That means there are 108 days of summer—a full week more than usual.
The calendar hasn’t been structured this way since 2009. A quick look back reminds me I was spending precious early days of that summer watching Little League baseball, running long distances and grocery shopping. Actually, those are not the worst ways to spend summer days.
Today, we kicked off the long weekend with a picnic at lunch. Thanks to fast food, picnics are easy. In fact, it was the second picnic lunch I enjoyed this week! Both times, we had the playground to ourselves. Sort of sad, really, to think of all the preschoolers playing inside on their handheld electronic toys. The swing set and the slide looked sort of lonely.
And tonight, we shall enjoy a fuel-injected evening at the Friday night races at Sycamore Speedway. While I am less than impressed with horsepower and beer served in Dixie cups, the Friday night stock car races on the dirt track speak of summer to me. So this is, perhaps, the best way to kick off a long summer. The only better way would be to go camping (but to do so would only invite a long day of drizzly rain and we wouldn’t want to do that).
Aaah, summer—that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master hand stands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.
~ Darell Hammond