Ok. A lot of the kiddies have already gone back to school. Are we going to let The Man tell us that summer is now officially over? There's still a full week before Labor Day weekend!
So the stores have taken down the Back To School banners and replaced them with the traditional orange and black of Halloween. Halloween! Are we going to let these greedy capitalists dictate when the seasons change?
The kid inside tells me that summer vacation doesn't end until at least Labor Day weekend.
Science - that much maligned, theory-generating, equal-to-religion-and-suspicious-to-politicians activity of over-educated elitists - tells me that summer doesn't end until the 20th of September.
My own observations - and I'm not a meteorologist and I don't play one on TV - reveal that weekend weather remains suitable for outdoor activity well into - are you ready for this - November!
"Over? Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is!" (Do I really have to reference this quote?)
Instead of admitting defeat and driving to the mall for flannel shirts, fleece jackets, and waterproof boots, I'm going to play outside this weekend. I'm going to play outside every weekend until the leaves on the trees are replaced with icicles.
I will bungee my bicycle to the handicap seats and ride Metra into the city. I will ride the city's vast network of bike lanes and the Lakefront Path to every neighborhood celebration and outdoor event that I find interesting.
I will take my bike to one of the dozen forest preserves that feature paved bicycle paths. I will circle those loops, breathing in the outside air, marveling at the changes taking place around me.
I will ride the Fox River Trail, taking in the scenic beauty along the banks of a once important waterway.
I will ramble along the crushed limestone Illinois Prairie Path, appreciating the preservation effort envisioned by a group of average, everyday environmentalists nearly 50 years ago.
I will imagine that "I got a mule and her name is Sal" as I navigate the I & M Canal Trail during the peak of fall color.
Summer may be going down for the count, but it's far from finished. We have reached that perfect time of the year when it's still warm, but it's not too hot. There is still plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors.
And it's as easy as riding a bike...