Sep 5 • 3M

Discussion Thread: How Do You Know Summer is Over?

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Family comedy one disaster at a time.
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Since today is a federal holiday when no one checks their email (for shame), I’m sending out my normal Monday morning email tomorrow, which is Tuesday, if my math is correct. In the meantime, I’m sharing my normal weekly discussion thread with everyone rather than just with paid subscribers. This weeks topic: What’s your own personal sign that the summer is over? Is it the arrival of pumpkin spice everything, a chill in the air, or that weird ghost that haunts your upstairs bathroom? Maybe he’ll at least hand you more toilet paper. For me, it’s when we pull out long sleeve shirts and pants from storage. More details in the audio file above (and in the terrible auto transcription below). See you in the comments.

orange pumpkins under white sky at daytime
Photo by Maddy Baker on Unsplash

AI Transcription of the Audio

My regular newsletter will come out tomorrow, which is Tuesday. In the US, today is Labor Day, a national holiday. And for whatever reason, on that day, people don't check their email. I can't believe my newsletter isn't your highest priority, but whatever. I have accepted my lower place in your life and I will make due.

So instead today, what I'm gonna do is I'm going to send out a post that's normally just for paid subscribers. I typically send these out on Tuesdays, but I'm switching up the order today. And that post today is about how do you know it is the start of fall, or the end of summer, to phrase it a little bit differently.

I know for myself, there is one big milestone. I don't go by the calendar. I know technically summer ends and fall begins on September 23rd. That's garbage. September 23rd is nothing. It's in the middle of the month. It has no significance to anyone. I don't know anywhere in the world where fall really begins on September 23rd.

I know for some people, the start of pumpkin spice latte season is the start of fall. For some people, it is when they see Halloween decorations show up in the store. But that's not a great measure either because stores start early. In some places, there's probably Halloween decorations out in July.

For me, there's one indicator and one indicator alone that summer is over and that's when we pull out the winter clothes for the kids. We have giant plastic bins in our attic that store just stockpiles of clothes. Enough clothes to feed—not to feed, to clothe—an entire army of girls. I hope we don't get to the point where they have to eat those clothes. If we do, times are very hard and I will probably push my paid Substack subscriptions that much harder. But, no, they wear these clothes and we bring them down one very inconvenient weekend in September, usually. We pull them out and the idea is that we then empty them into the kids' drawers. And then we take what was previously in the drawers and put them in those plastic bins and put them away.

This is always rough, going from summer to winter, because winter clothes take up a lot more space and we have to really jam things in. And then after I carefully jam them in, in a semi-organized manner, the kids move one thing and then the entire drawer is chaos. But the more likely scenario is that somehow we bring out the drawers and say, “We'll put this all away later.” And then we never do. And the kids spend the entire half of the year pulling long sleeve pants and shirts out of plastic bins rather than out of their drawers. And we just never get around to making the switch.

So that is my transition of the season. I know in some parts of the country, kids start school on September 1st. That seems insanely late to me. But in some places, people like to keep their kids home or like to end the school year practically in July. I don't know the logic, that’s just how it seems to me.

So how do you know it is the start of fall and the end of summer? What is your personal milestone? Sound off in the comments. And remember, if you'd like to become a paid subscriber, you can have these kinds of posts every week. And as always, that newsletter is coming out this week, it will just be there tomorrow.