Recently, my pastor, instead of dismissing the congregation after the benediction, seated us.
How could he? Everyone had closed their Bibles and grabbed their purses.
“We have a problem,” Pastor said.
A million-dollar error in our building project? Heresy in the articles of faith? The closing of Cracker Barrel?
He said, “We don’t know when summer’s over.”
For weeks, the church staff has trumpeted program changes in bulletin, website and email. Though Pastor performed the parental equivalent of holding our faces in his hands and articulating new schedules s-l-o-w-l-y, we’ve asked spouses. “Um, what time does church start?
Past decades, summer exited after Labor Day. As for equinoxes — spring never arrived in March, so why bow to September’s equinox for summer’s departure?
Opening school early has shaken our culture. Back-to-school sales start before the previous school year ends. Indiana’s General Assembly passed school-excuse legislation so county fair winners could participate in the state fair.
Once upon a time, children sent to bed during broad daylight assumed they’d committed major sin, or their parents suffered from psychosis. Now, kids consider such craziness normal. Soon, they’ll consider cleaning their rooms as natural as microwaving pizza bites. No wonder everyone worries about this generation.
This summer’s weather has reinforced bewilderment. Droughts during June fried Midwestern fields and gardens. Unheard-of July rains rescued us and produced bizarre green August lawns.
Early last week, night temperatures fell into the 40s. Before Labor Day, they soared into the 90s.
Should we rev up the air conditioner or the furnace this morning? How about this afternoon? This minute?
Covering all seasonal bases, we snuggle under blankets every night. Turn on air conditioning, start ceiling fans and open windows. No wonder we’re befuddled. We alternate hot chocolate and snow cones.
Besides all this, baseball, basketball, tennis, golf and football blare from screens. Aaaaugh!
Let’s switch from Daylight Savings Time now, instead of November — absorb maximum confusion like a sucker punch and be done with it!
Or next year, we could once again mark Labor Day as summer’s end. But 100-degree heat waves might bake us for two more months.
We’d be more confused than ever.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you handle summer’s supposed end?