By Ken De Laat
Last week while walking through a store the merchandise suddenly shifted as if there had been some type of dimensional transposition when everything is somewhat the same but different. I walked in and passed suntan lotion, sandals, beach toys etc.just minding my own business when catching an all too familiar scent
Even through my Detroit Tigers themed mask (I know, I’m a sucker for lost causes) I knew at first whiff what it was.
As I spun around all manner of summer related merchandise had been unceremoniously relocated to a clearance corner and in their prime location placed in the center aisle materialized a variety of wares in orange, brown and black. Halloween decor dominated, sweaters lay where shorts had been and of course there were all kinds of pumpkin spice items everywhere. From candles to cookies to cereal to yogurt the distinctive aroma of autumn dominated the scene.
I departed the scene, determined to fend off any notion of summer taking its leave so early. I mean seriously wasn’t the 4th just a couple weeks ago? Hasn’t the baseball season just begun?
Well, actually the baseball season truly has just begun and is now nearly halfway over but that’s another story.
August, and with it summer, is coming to a screaming end and I’m just not ready.
And while I have always loved fall this year, as with all things, is a tad different.
In most years September would mean spending a weekend at the Irish Music Fest in Muskegon where the Cedar Creek Cloggers (LSC Lil’s dance group) would perform in the afternoon leaving ample time for enjoying the many festivities surrounding the music including imbibing in enough Guinness to justify the decision made months earlier to secure overnight accommodations within walking distance of Heritage Park.
It might mean taking a cruise over to Remus on a Sunday to catch the tail end of the Wheatland Festival, an extravaganza of eclectic experiences we began attending in 1976 when the crowds were some 12,000 less than in more recent years. There are many memories brought to mind when arriving at the site and though some are fuzzier than others- particularly those forged during younger and significantly, uh, adventurous years- they are indeed fond ones.
Friday night Lights have dominated my autumns for the past couple of decades and enjoying the variety of vittles brought to the press box (Grant always has seriously great grub!) creates an epicurean experience as a go-with for the drama unfolding on the field below. There’s something just so, I don’t know, fallish I guess, about a high school football game.
The season often sees us traveling. We were in PEI last year, did a lengthy and loose road trip the year before and Ireland, long looming as an upcoming autumnal destination was being considered before…
So I considered whether this year’s reluctant ramble into what is truly the state’s most glorious season has been influenced by lamentations of unrealized undertakings, obstructed opportunities, and jilted journeys.
Well, we can’t go to the Irish Fest, Wheatland, nor a high school gridiron event to be sure.
But hey, with a little caution and a tankful of gas we can certainly do some traveling, right?
A return to Georgian Bay?
Nope. Can’t get into Canada.
White Water Rafting in West Virginia?
Hmm. A candidate to be sure but perhaps more of a spring thing.
New York? Hit the city, do some Broadway plays and...
Oh that's right, no shows.
We need a place where there’s lots to do, lots to see, interesting people, possible adventures lurking about and, and…
I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never been to Copper Harbor, never kayaked Pictured Rocks and through the many travels to our bipeninsular partner, never explored the wonders of Marquette.
But all three will undoubtedly bite the bucket list dust this fall.
Knowing we’ll be road tripping kind of makes the whole pumpkin spice thing more tolerable and besides, I’m going to enjoy it along with the Halloween decor for awhile because looming in storage ready to hit the shelves on November 1?
You got it.
And I’m just not ready.
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