Might as well admit it. It's over.
The signs are unmistakable; the outcome entirely certain.
I know, I know: the calendar says we have another solid three-and-a-half weeks before fall arrives.
But the calendar does not know what it is talking about.
The calendar apparently wasn't watching when this newspaper started running back to school ads a few weeks ago.
Back to school means the end of summer. And this week is literally back to school.
When the kids come home from school Thursday night, ask them if it's still summer. They know it is not.
And so do we, our internal clocks set long ago by the yearly ritual of buying school clothes, lamenting earlier bedtimes and packing that first school lunch. The alarm on that internal clock was set to go off at the end of summer, and unfortunately we cannot hit snooze to make it last a little longer.
The calendar must not have been listening, either, or it would have heard the high school bands practicing in the evenings lately. Trust me, the tune they were playing was not "Summertime."
Friday night, most of those band members will put on special clothing and march out upon a field of grass that has been coddled by groundskeepers for months. That grass knows it has to go to work when it is no longer summer. Friday night, the grass rings in. Summer's over.
My tomato plant knows, too. The leaves so lush and green in summer are curling and going brown. Oh, the plant is heavy with fruit, but that is simply plant desperation to propagate itself. Summer is over, the plant is telling me.
My walnut trees are telling the same story. It was almost 90 last Friday, but those walnut trees were dropping leaves like crazy. They know we will be wearing hooded sweatshirts and hunting for mittens in no time.
Very difficult to fake out a tree as to what season it is.
The corn is as tall as it's going to get; the soybeans show patches of yellow. Soon the farmers will begin planting wheat. It is called winter wheat for a reason.
The crickets are already in my garage, singing away until I make an effort to evict them, at which time they fall silent. I am pretty sure their song is directed to the field mice who are currently residing outdoors. "Hey boys," they are probably saying, "come on in here and build a nest. Summer's over but Mr. Busek has laid in a bag of dog food for you."
This newspaper is now running ads for weapons and taxidermy. Granted, these products are useful in all seasons, but the more of these ads you see, the less of summer you get.
Summer softball and golf leagues have pretty much had it. It is time for folks to go bowling.
The fireflies have gone dark and, for that matter, the after-dinner sky is getting there.
My flowers are vibrant, but it is just their wonderful last hurrah. My geraniums are the best ever, but they and everything else clamor for deadheading. Like the tomatoes, they are trying to get a bunch of seeds out there so they can live again another year. These flowers are called annuals, but they might as well be called "summers." One summer and gone. And they know it's getting to be that time.
Yes, summer's over.
But don't let it get you down.
Instead, bloom while you can. Be vibrant like the annual flowers.
We'll deadhead you later.