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by Esther J. Perne
The crossroads of August are a welcome and a summons. The late, great, and lasting days of summer beckon; the early, awesome and inviting days of autumn call.
It's the time of the season when people take inventory: what activities have been accomplished, what ones remain to be enjoyed, how quickly time has flown (for some), what a long, leisurely stretch the season has been (for others) and what a gift is left, i.e. there's still time to enjoy summer and it's not too late for those who haven't.
There's still time to dress down, kick around, keep a good distance from fellow summerers with all the individual and single sports that are the trademark of the area and eat ice cream without a shiver.
There's still time to bike and hike and golf and fish and cruise or paddle power a watercraft, to walk and to join a properly-distanced workout group. There's still a little time to plant a few veggie seeds and watch the miracle of growth and a lot of time to enjoy the harvest season at farmers' markets and farm stands.
True, days are becoming shorter and it might be necessary to shift the sunset viewing position a bit southward, but there are trade-offs. The longer evenings are warm and peaceful and pleasant for sitting, relaxing, lingering. The lessening of humidity lends the illusion of energy for more exercise and of slimness for more desserts. The bugs that bite seem far fewer, or have we just reached a truce? There's even the occasional demand for a light sweater or sweatshirt when enjoying all the amazing outdoor eating options that have surfaced throughout the area and, necessary or not, it would be great if they were here to stay.
This time in this year when we have all learned well how not to have a social life, miraculously there are actual outings and events that can be attended and should be while they can be and before summer ends.
There are drive-in movie theaters in nearby Skowhegan and Farmington. There is live summer theater at Lakewood on Lake Wesserunsett in Madison. There are golf tournaments at Waterville and Augusta Country Clubs not to mention the golf itself at courses such as Belgrade Lakes, Natanis, and Lakewood. And there are some maintaining-the-tradition-in-anew- way drive-through festivals.
There are sure to be more events on the calendar if participants follow the distancing/masking guidelines proving how successful safe socializing can be. After all, some events were only postponed until fall.
True, it's in August that the seasonal time clock starts ticking or tries to. Departure lists even if departure is days, weeks or months ahead enter the minds of the snowbirds and the seasonals. Maybe it's time to stop stocking the freezer or stockpiling waterfront toys? But those lists fade away easily and anyway there are other lists far more important: feel the still warm breezes, follow a trail, lie on a dock and peek through a crack at the lake below, lie on a beach and squint at the treetops above, go out on a boat and let it drift while you dream, take children swimming and listen to the echoes of their laughter.…It's the time of the season when the list can be endless.
Enjoy the rest of the summer, and keep on sailing through the season.