End of Summer Blues, Solved

Nina Sankovitch

For years of my life, I beat the end of summer blues by going back to school: back to teachers, books, pencils, friends, and every year, a new daily planner decorated with all kinds of stickers and magic marker hearts, ponies, and cats. Now that I am well into my post-school stage of life, I have had to come up with a new coping mechanism to survive the end of summer and get me through to October, with its promises of Halloween, my birthday, and candy corn.

The device I’ve developed is two-prong, simple, and relatively implementable with minimal planning. The US Open Tennis and the latest Gamache novel by Louise Penny are enough to beat the end of summer blues, every time and every year (except last year when Penny’s book came out in November — that was rough).

I live close enough to New York City that I can attend the US Open, buying last minute Grounds Pass tickets as cheaply as possible and then arriving at 8 am (or earlier) to await the opening of the gates at 9:30 and then running like hell to get to the good seats (so much easier now with my new knee). This year I snagged first row balcony in Armstrong and saw great matches. For twelve straight hours, I was blissfully unaware that summer was over.

The tennis will soon be over — will Serena pull it off? — but Penny’s A Better Man awaits. To prepare, I’ve reread my favorites, Still Life and How the Lights Gets In, and then just for good measure, A Beautiful Mystery, Bury Your Dead, and A Trick of the Light (I just couldn’t help myself). So happy to be back in Three Pines, again blissfully unaware that August is falling fast behind me and September is chilly, wet, and promises only more of the same.

But books don’t care about the weather, with new ones always coming out and old ones waiting happily on my shelves to be rediscovered. I’m looking forward to Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Forest of Enchantments (loved One Amazing Thing) and Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police, along with the new Anne Cleeves, titled The Long Callso excited to read it!

Speaking of shelves, kudos to my local Stop ‘n Shop for already stocking Brachs’ candy corn, aisles and aisles of it. Books to be read, cat on my lap, candy corn at the ready: ought to be enough to get me through to Thanksgiving.

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