Summer As a Weekend by Joe

This post is by Joe Stephens

This post is appearing in late June, but I’m writing it on Memorial Day, the date known to many as the unofficial start to summer. And the weather today is really bearing that out. Warm and muggy with the promise of thunderstorms over the next day or so.

It might sound odd (seems like I say that a lot), but I think the Memorial Day weekend is my favorite part of summer. And it’s for the same reason that Friday afternoon is my favorite part of a weekend. They share a lot of characteristics, as do various parts of weekends and summer. Stick with me and hopefully this will make sense by the end. Or not. But I’ll enjoy it either way.

Before I go any further, let me say that I’m not in any way trying to make light of or be disrespectful about the true meaning of Memorial Day. I am deeply grateful for the sacrifice so many men and women have made to maintain the american, flag, blue, sky, United States, USA, stars and stripesunparalleled freedoms we share here in the United States. Please accept my thanks.

Now, on to the reason I’m writing this.

Why is Friday afternoon my favorite part of the weekend? Several reasons. First, it’s the very beginning. It’s  as early as it can possibly be and still be the weekend. The whole rest of the freedom is stretched out before me. Plus, on Frgirl, woman, field, grass, nature, sunshine, sunny, summer, dress, fashion, peopleiday night, I can stay up later than during the week because I don’t usually have to set an alarm the next morning. Saturday is the bulk of the weekend, but on Saturday night I can’t stay up all hours like I can on Friday because I go to church on Sunday morning, so I have to get to bed at a semi-decent hour. And as a school teacher, Sunday after church and lunch with family and/or friends is usually just pre-school stuff. Grading, planning, reading (that I have to do, as opposed to reading I choose to do), preparing. It’s barely the weekend at all.

So what has that to do with Memorial Day? Well, it’s essentially the Friday of the season. It’s as early as it can be and still be, by any definition, summer. As a teacher of seniors, I’m even finished teaching for the year. The whole rest of the warm, relaxed, fun-filled days lie ahead of me. It’s pure potential. For more than two months, any school related activity I do will be purely voluntary.

The time from my last actual day of school right up to July 4th is Saturday. The couple weeks after Independence Day are Saturday night. As much as I hate to, I have to start getting back into the habit of going to bed at a decent hour and getting up early so that when school starts I won’t take all the way to Halloween getting acclimated. So it’s still fun, but the end of summer starts to be visible off on the horizon.

It used to be, back when I was a student, that Labor Day was the Sunday night of summer. I can clearly remember staying up most of the night watching Jerry Lewis and Ed McMahon on the telethon and my mom not letting me sleep all day because of those four dreaded words: “It’s a school night.”fireworks, sky, night, dark, smoke, evening, entertainment, people, spectators, crowd

Now, though, Labor Day is more like Monday afternoon. My first day back to school in the year coming up will be August 11, so the end of July and the first third of August are analogous in my mind to Sunday. It’s barely even summer at all. Football, soccer, and volleyball practices have started, autumn decorations are on sale in all the stores, and I’m in my room more regularly getting ready to start the year. If I close my eyes and breathe deeply, I can even smell it in the air. August, though still technically summer, starts to take on a different odor. No longer do we smell the perfumesfarm, fields, hay, rolls, grass, country, sky, clouds, sunshine of flowers and budding trees, their scents slowly being replaced by those of dying vegetation: piles of brown leaves, the rich loamy smell of a garden plowed under for the season, and the pungent whiff of bailed hay that was moist, verdant grass just a few weeks earlier.

None of this is to say I dislike Monday or autumn. I love my job, but by Friday, I’m usually ready for a break. Time to decompress and do something different—or just less. Summer is the weekend of the year in a lot of ways. And Memorial Day is the Friday of that weekend. Who knows what magic lies before me? I can’t wait to find out.

So what’s your favorite season?

Joe Stephens is a teacher at Parkersburg High School. He is also the author of Harsh Prey and Kisses and Lies, both of which are available in paperback and Kindle formats. The paperback may be purchased from
Amazon, from J & M Used Book Store in Parkersburg, and from the author’s trunk.

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Take a look at Harsh Prey on Amazon 

Kisses and Lies Cover Michele croppedTake a look at Kisses and Lies on Amazon

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Check out joe’s website.

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22 Responses to Summer As a Weekend by Joe

  1. Doris says:

    You are correct. I truly enjoyed your reasoning, and agree. I’m not a teacher, but the theory is the same. Now off to enjoy my ‘Weekend’. Thanks Joe. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joe Stephens says:

    Thanks! I’m enjoying the weekend today too. Thinking about taking in a movie. 🙂

    Like

  3. It’s funny, but in May, I couldn’t wait for school to be out, and in August, I was ready to go back to school again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      The odd thing is that when I was a student, back to school was something I dreaded, but now that I’m a teacher, I look forward to it, especially if I’ve had a good, relaxing summer.

      Like

  4. sstamm625 says:

    Good analogy, Joe. Perhaps in contrast to you, I’ve always favored fall, because it felt like new beginnings. New school years. For someone who stayed in school as long as me–those lasted a long time. 😉 And it does feel so different–the air is softer, the colors are softer, and the smells are drier and earthier. Spring runs a close second for me, but fall is my favorite. October is probably my favorite month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      I love fall too! All things considered, September to December is probably my favorite time of year. But summer is just different, especially the years when I choose not to teach summer school. When I’ve had summer to recharge my batteries and take time to rest and recreate, fall is always best.

      Like

  5. Neva Bodin says:

    Great analogies. And it sounds like the anticipation of what you will be able to do rates high in your reasoning. Growing up on a farm each season held anticipatory enjoyable times: spring with its new animal babies, fresh spring scents, sunshine; summer with lazy warm days at home or even in the hayfield, fall with going back to school, reconnecting, preparing for winter; winter with days of school but not much outside work, my dad playing his violin, playing games with my brother and Christmas coming. Even though I’m semi-retired, weekends still seem to feel like a time to relax and follow our routine of Staruday morning offee with freinds and church on sunday. So I guess Friday night still seems like the beginning of something good, and Monday time to get back to projects. Life is enjoyable when you are able to always look forward to something. You sound like a very postivie person.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      Thanks. I try to be positive. My parents are the same way with weekends despite being long retired. Sleep in a little and have a bigger breakfast on Saturday and go to church on Sunday.

      Like

  6. Wranglers says:

    Great post Joe. I love all the seasons for different reasons. I even love Autumn and Mondays. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mike Staton says:

    You cheated writing this in late May. Lol. Seriously, I’ve decided summer is my favorite season. My bones love the summer. The sunlight chases away the aches and pains. So I will chant an old nursery rhyme with a not-so-subtle change: “Cold, cold go away, come back in a year.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      As I grow older, I’m more and more convinced I have a touch of seasonal affective disorder. It’s about the warmth of summer for me, but it’s more about the light. While there are things I love about winter, the long dark nights are not one of them. I love the fact that it’s starting to get light when I get up and barely dark when I go to bed in the summer, whereas there are many days in winter when I’m up and out to work before dawn and home after dusk with the only daylight I see being out my window that looks out at a three-story-high wall.

      Like

  8. Great post, Joe! I, too, love Fridays; I work a “day job” Tuesday – Thursday, and by Thursday evening I am ready to be home. I’m on a week break right now from that job and though I enjoy the people with whom I work, my of my job is to juggle people’s schedules and have their shifts covered; in summer, it’s more difficult because so many people are gone. During this week I don’t have to worry about anyone’s schedule but my own, and I’m happy about that! 🙂 I enjoy spring and fall, May and September mostly, but there are positives for me about most of the months. I’ve become less and less of a winter person, and look forward to retirement and being able to spend Jan. – Mar in a much warmer climate!! 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your summer!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      I don’t think I could leave WV altogether, but I look forward to becoming a snowbird in the winter too!

      Like

  9. Nancy Jardine says:

    As an ex-teacher, I appreciate your love of the expectation of a relaxing summer- and also the blip of a weekend which often became more ‘prep for class’ and less relaxation. Summer days in Scotland are few and far between so it’s great to make the most of them. 😉 SAD for me means a lot of days when the sky is grey; followed by many more grey days. I loved my summers, even though they were often rainy or cloudy. 🙂

    Like

    • Joe Stephens says:

      Our summers aren’t normally rainy or cloudy, but this year it’s like we got moved to Scotland! It has rarely gone more than a day or two at the most without significant rain. But that has given me a built in excuse to sit inside and work on my second draft. 🙂 And even with the cloudiness, the days are still long and warm. Much better than those short cold days and long frigid nights of January and February.

      Like

  10. Travis says:

    I have to say Saturday is my favorite because I have the most time. Fall is usually my favorite time of the year, but it doesn’t really happen in southern California.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      Yes, I think a place where it’s just warm and then hot would not be for me. I love the seasons. I just would trade a month or two of winter for more summer, I think. I don’t want to live at a warm beach, but I sure would like to be there for January to March. 🙂

      Like

  11. S. J. Brown says:

    Although I enjoy some aspects of all the seasons Spring is my favorite. The trees are beginning to bud, flowers are blooming and by Spring I am really tired of winter. I do agree that Memorial day is when it begins to feel like summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      I like spring too! One of my favorite sounds in the entire world is the first time I hear spring peepers.

      Like

  12. Kathy Waller says:

    When I was a student, and later a teacher, summer was my favorite season. Getting home, tossing the shoes, feeling the grass under my feet, and knowing I would have three months of complete freedom (sort of). That was the student years, of course. When I began teaching, the start of school had been moved back to mid-August, the hottest part of the year. Now my favorite season is winter–if it’s cold enough to wear sweaters and shiver a little. I dread summer, which, as far as I’m concerned, begins in March and runs through October and perhaps some of November. Texas weather. Why my ancestors left Scotland, I will never understand.

    I hope the rest of your summer is restful and relaxing and fun and all the other things teachers need during their time away from school.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Stephens says:

      I have a friend who lives in New Orleans and she has the same complaint after living here in WV and then in Boston. There’s basically fall/spring for a month or two and then the hard pounding humid heat of summer. That is not for me.

      Like

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