The dogwoods outside my office window are turning red and yellow. Some gold has crept into a tree at the club where I play golf. What looks like rust has settled on the leaves of big oaks in old neighborhoods.
The temperatures have begun to inch downward. Sometimes there's even a breeze that carries a hint of chill on its way to wherever it's going.
The happy chatter of kids around the practice areas has been summoned away by the school bell, leaving older folks still looking for the stroke after all these years.
Some days are still like gravy, sweaty hot and muggy, and summer clouds still show up in the afternoon. Dog days they're called.
Autumn is just over the next hill, though, crisp and colorful.
I've never heard anyone say these humid, stagnant late summer days are their favorites but as autumn nudges them toward the door, I have mixed feelings. I'm looking forward to sweater weather, of course, but some of my fondest memories are from summertime.
Barefoot in the dust, broken bats and battered baseballs, sweethearts, schools out, banana splits at the corner drugstore, delivering groceries on a bicycle for a neighborhood store, beach trips for a week with high school buddies on $20 or $30, my first byline on a story in a daily newspaper, the thrill I got walking into a newspaper office (all my life), dating that cute girl named Beth whom I met at church, beach trips with the kids and grandkids well, didn't mean to run on.
One more thing, though. The first round of golf I ever played was nine holes on a hot summer day at the old Hillcrest Golf Course off Central Avenue. Shot a 61, in sneakers, with borrowed clubs and ten-cent used golf balls with dents in them.
So I couldn't turn my back on summer even if I wanted to. You can't forget your memories if you love them.
Like everybody else, I intended to improve my game this year before warm weather took leave. I haven't made much progress on that but it doesnt seem to matter to anyone but me and I'm not all torn up about it myself. Next summer, though