Look, I know today is September 1st, and the world is aflutter that pumpkin spice lattes are coming and that college football is back. That’s great and all, but I’m holding fast to my last 22 days of summer. The official first day of fall is September 23, and I’m sticking to it. Living in Georgia helps with that, because the weather may not shift until who-knows-when…October, if we’re lucky. When it’s hot and sticky outside it’s easier to pretend that fall hasn’t come.

Labor Day used to be more of a delineator, the date after which kids would go back to school. But that seems to be happening earlier and earlier every year. One county in metro Atlanta went back at the end of JULY this year! Even when you’re not in school anymore and don’t have kids, that rhythm still somehow permeates life. It feels like something should change when the kids go back to school. But other than the traffic patterns, nothing has to for me.

People ask me, “How’s your summer been?” and I realize that summer doesn’t mean that much to me anymore. There’s no reason that I have to take my vacation during those few months, or that I have to only lay out by the pool in June. My work schedule stays the same and I can claim summer whenever I want. But what that also means is that it’s easier for summer to pass me by, since there’s nothing forcing me to make it different. When I started seeing the back-to-school sales I thought, “WAIT! I’ve barely gotten into the summer mindset! How can it be over?!”

So I’m trying to soak it all up.

More hikes and a few more backpacking trips.

Another day lazing by the pool.

Seasonal beers and fruity cocktails.

A pedicure to last through the flip flop dog days.

Time with friends (which feels like a summer thing).

Reading beachy books or whatever I want because my time is my own (though, let’s be real, when do I NOT do that?)

I’ll celebrate fall when the time comes. I’ve been thinking lately about how nice my walk to work from MARTA will be when it’s crisp and cool rather than 95 degrees and 95% humidity, and thinking about cowboy boots with skinny jeans and scarves and football. But we have 22 more days for me to call it summer, and I won’t let go just yet!

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman