Final week of summer vacation

Didn’t Want it to End

By Jeff Salter

We’re blogging about summer’s ending and school’s beginning.  More specifically:  what were we thinking about during the final week of summer?

Two years ago, I wrote about how I never wanted the summer to end, but one of the few exciting aspects of ‘back-to-school’ was getting new school supplies.  For a look at that column, please click here:

Summer’s final week

Where we live now, the kids have already been school nearly four full weeks, but when I was growing up in S.E. Louisiana, we didn’t start school until the Tuesday after Labor Day (as I remember things).

I no longer have clear recollections of a specific final week of any particular summer, but I do have a general sense of how most summers ended.  It seemed as though the parents had a sense of urgency to get a lot of things done:  whether that was household projects, purchasing school clothing, or even visiting relatives out of town.

For my own part, however, I recall a pervasive sense of doom — that I fast approached the regimentation and oppression of another school term.  [I should insert here that I was a very good student, with very good grades, and had numerous terrific teachers.]  Once I got back into the grind of the school term, I was fine with it.  But I still dreaded the resumption of classes.

So for the final week of most summers, I imagine I was stressing-out about all the stuff which had to be completed in those few days (when we’d had all summer long to do them) … and moping around that my freedom was once again about to end.  I suppose I approached the first day of school rather like I was being dragged down the Green Mile of the penitentiary … toward the gas chamber.  You know — life was over!

Ah, maybe it wasn’t quite that bad.  But, hey, as a writer, I’m allowed to paint memories with broader strokes.  Right?


What did YOU do in the final week of your summers … before returning to school?

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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15 Responses to Final week of summer vacation

  1. pjharjo says:

    My school started the Tuesday after Labor Day, too, and I lived in the PNW! I think that was pretty much the norm, back in the day. I think all of us had pretty much the same dread as you, come the last days of August. I wish I knew how much fun I was having in school THEN, as I know NOW. LOL!


  2. Sherry Gloag says:

    In the UK summer holidays were 8 weeks long and I just hated going back for the longest dreariest term of the year so spent as much time outside as the weather would allow.


    • jeff7salter says:

      Good point, Sherry. In S.E. Louisiana, we were out-of-doors for most of the summer anyway, but during those final precious weeks of summer, we always crammed as much sunlight into our day as possible.


  3. In the suburbs of Washington, DC, school also started the day after Labor Day,which was always September 3rd. Of course, If the 3rd was on a Friday or Saturday, we had an extra day or two! I , too, was a good student, but i felt terrible dread at the end of Summer. I almost remember the feeling of the good times, outside a great deal.I push my grandkids out the door.Fortunately, the pool, Slip ‘n’ Slide and swings do it a lot…also the long driveway is always full of motorized car, bikes and scooters.


    • jeff7salter says:

      Sometimes I worry that my grandkids don’t get enough outdoor activity — and certainly it’s nothing NEAR the amount that I had as a kid — but they all seem to enjoy being outside when everybody else is.
      Growing up, my own kids didn’t get all that much outdoor time, because we had a tiny yard and a busy neighborhood street. Most of their activity was in somebody’s house or at the church complex.


  4. jbrayweber says:

    As ridiculous as it sounds, school in in these parts (Houston area) school starts the week before Labor Day. I mean, really, the kids have only been in 5 days and they get a holiday. Back in my day, we didn’t have holidays. And we had to walk to 5 miles to school, uphill, in the snow. Oh wait…it doesn’t snow here. And we rode the bus. Plus, it’s pretty flat, too. LOL.
    When I was a kid, school started the Tuesday after Labor day. We also didn’t have all these extra days off throughout the year the kids get these days.


    • jeff7salter says:

      ROFL, Jenn. Yep, that’s the way I remember things — walking to school, uphill both ways … always in tumultuous storms. Ha.
      In real life, I rode my bike in younger years and walked to high school. Occasionally got a ride one way, but hardly ever both ways.
      Elem & H.S. was about 8-9 blocks away; Jr. H.S. was about 15 blocks.


  5. Leigh says:

    Out here in California, summer ended last week. The public transport has been crammed with school books, backpacks and smartphones since Wednesday, depending on the school and age group. We still get Labor Day, but I remember not having school at all from mid-June to the Tuesday after Labor Day. The last weekend was happy-sad.


    • jeff7salter says:

      of all the things kids have these days, what seems most odd to me are the backpacks and cell phones. I never had a backpack in any of my 12 yrs of school, nor did anybody else that I noticed. And, of course, the family phone was on the wall at home. LOL.
      thanks for visiting again, Leigh.


      • I remember having book ‘bags’ that were something like soft-sided brief cases…and hard plastic handles that cut into my hand…3-6 grades had us taking a lot of books back and forth from school to home and back again for homework every night and weekend.


      • jeff7salter says:

        LOL. Some of the school backpacks I see kids carrying look like they could hold supplies for a 3-day hike into the wilderness!


  6. Iris B says:

    When I read you saying that Louisiana doesn’t start back until after Labor Day w/end, I remembered that in Germany the states start their summer break at different times. In a rotation the summer break starts sometime in June and every week two or three other states start as well. Basically, it’s to avoid millions of families going on holidays at the same time …. so in answer to your question when we were first to have our break and had to go back to school early August I didn’t like returning to class. It was awful. But starting back in September wasn’t too bad at all, because weather was becoming lousy and the autumn break was near. Having said all that, though, it was always exciting getting the new books and having a browse through … it didn’t last too long though 😉
    Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend ….. And Jeff …. HAPPY AUSTRALIAN FATHERS DAY 😉


    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks, Iris.
      Actually, I believe the LA schools now begin the fall semester earlier. But as I was going through those schools, it was always after Labor Day.
      And in S.E. La. the fall weather didn’t really turn cold until about October or so.


  7. Pingback: Another One Bites the Dust | Four Foxes, One Hound

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