After Labor Day
September begins. It is still summer by the calendar and certainly by the weather — warm late summer days perfect for beachgoing, picnics, fishing, clamming, sailing and walks on woodland trails.
This is the season Islanders look forward to. Traffic jams are gone for another year and some of the ordinary routines have returned — children in school, coffee at the favorite morning haunt without waiting in line, trips to the post office and dry cleaners that are suddenly unhurried.
And the farm stands are fair game again for shopping — free from long lines of summer visitors competing for the best sweet corn and warm pies. Now the fresh-from-the-field goods belong to the Islanders, and they’ve earned it after all those nights when dinner was a bowl of cereal or a plate of cheese and crackers. Fifteen-hour working days will do that to a person.
But no one is complaining; life on the Vineyard has its tradeoffs, that’s all.
And Islanders love to trade August for September.
Meanwhile, summer is the one season around here that always seems to end with a wistful look back over the shoulder at what we didn’t do — didn’t go kayaking enough, never went sailing, didn’t go to Menemsha for fried clams and ice cream and Sunday nights with Ballywho, didn’t cook lobsters on the beach with good friends like we said we would. But there was plenty that we did do — swam, went quahaugging, watched the Olympics (at least a little), took the terrier for long, joyful romps in the cool, quiet summer woods, picked quarts and quarts of blueberries, blackberries and huckleberries. The berries have staged a freezer takeover, waiting to be made into jam on some Saturday when the first northeaster drives everyone indoors for the weekend.
Meanwhile, there is still time to go to Menemsha for fried clams and ice cream.
And plenty of time to savor September.