Niagara Gazette — When we took family vacations, they were almost always during the month of August.
With the first signs of summer’s waning, we almost always fled to hot, muggy Florida to spend time with our Southern family, soaking up the joy of the warmest weather before we faced the season-shifting cooler winds, the inevitability of fall’s storms, school and winter’s ire.
For my family, and much of America, August has become the official month of rest, relaxation and reflection; time to take a full bodied deep breath and get ready for what we all know lies directly ahead.
Evolving in part as a result of family’s busy work and school schedules, mid-to-late August signals the proverbial calm before the storm, a definite reprieve prior to the return to the madness.
Of course, the stores always seem to be ready before the rest of us, stocking their shelves with school supplies and the next season’s wares like some sort of a commercial barometer, projecting the next season well before it arrives, way before we are really ready.
It won’t be long before the majestic old maple trees begin to drop their leaves, forming a soft new carpet of orange, red and bright yellows, slowly replacing the soft green plush of summer.
But there is still time to enjoy the shores of Lake Erie’s Beaver Island, Crystal Beach, Olcott Beach, Lake Ontario and dozens of sites like Fort Niagara in Youngstown. Slow country cruises to Wilson, Lewiston and Lockport were among our favorites though the annual trips down south made the biggest impressions on me at a very early age.
They still do.
Things are different down south, not better, just different. Once you cross that imaginary Mason-Dixon Line, not only does the weather seem to change, the whole climate changes, and that goes well beyond the weather, everything changes, but North and South share a common thread when it comes to the month of August.