Labor Day Weekend Is a Turning Point of the Year

Every Labor Day weekend, for the past 18 years (I think), I cruise up to my parents' cabin in northern Wisconsin for a long weekend of recreation and bicycling. Sometimes I am joined by a small group of friends, but not always. It's a fun way to round out the summer.

I feel like Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer and the beginning of the slow death spiral into the bleakness of Wisconsin winter and the crushing commercialism of the holiday season. If all goes to plan though, Deborah and I will escape both of these depressing annual terminae by way of a fortnight of vacationing in Hawaii from late December 2017 through early January 2018, a preamble to the completion of 50 years of life for me (and 4 billion years of evolution by natural selection for my genes) on January 9, 2018. I will still have to come back and face the brutality of Wisconsin's coldest month, February, but I feel like that's the rock bottom of winter around here that marks the beginning of the slow climb back to summer fun, usually with an impressively entertaining spring (I love storms!). In actual calendar terms, I usually associate the St. Patrick's Day holiday with the kickoff of the new year, not January 1st as most people do. By mid-March, there have usually been a few mild hints of spring already in Wisconsin and a warm hopefulness has begun to spread through my soul, the sprouting seed of potential that will grow and blossom into a lush and fulfilling summer. I usually try to book my band GUPPY EFFECT a show around March 17th, as a kind of Grand Opening to the funnest part of my year...the warm part. Some people are winter people, but not me. I'd live in the tropics all year round if I could, like my brother- and sister-in-law do. I love heat. I don't fault those who love cold and claim to enjoy all four seasons, but I am totally fine with two seasons per year, spring and summer.

The summer of 2018 will be a little bittersweet for me. I will be entering a challenging internship year of graduate school that may limit the full expression of my usual summer indulgence, though it will still be fulfilling in its own way. I'll also need to be especially frugal with money next year, thanks to the bank account hemorrhaging effects of private school tuition (notwithstanding nominal federal government support via student loans). The Labor Day trip to the cabin will still happen, as that has become something of a family ritual. And truth be told, I am excited to start interning in my new chosen field of marriage and family therapy. If all goes well, once I am a licensed therapist, my degree should be fairly portable and I'd like to move somewhere a bit warmer year round, if I can convince Deborah of the merits of this.

In any case, in a little over one month from now, the Labor Day trip north takes place. I am looking forward to it.

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