Before the curtain goes up on autumn

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Kiss sweet summer goodbye.

The fair is over, our unofficial signal of the seasonal changing of the guard while school doors are about to open.

Bid your fond farewell to backyard barbecues, cool lake plunges, long, warm evenings, community festivals and parades and siestas and campouts and celebrations loud and lovely.

OK, so some shots were fired. So some fires shot through grasslands and timber. All in all, you couldn’t ask for much more in the way of a pleasant three-month slice of time in a place that attracts visitors from far and farther.

Before we turn our heads toward the next blessed North Idaho season, the one that starts with slightly cooler, slightly shorter days and nights, one that grows crisp and mellow and multi-colored under heavenly blankets of beautiful blue, one that sees shorts sprout legs and T-shirts grow arms and layers make their autumnal comeback, let’s pay momentary tribute, at the very least, to what has just transpired.

A strong economy made vacations possible for many. Why anyone would want to venture from North Idaho in summer is the subject of some serious psychoanalysis, but we’ll save that for another couch and another day. Say, mid-February, when your feet are wet and numb and your nose is dripping.

But wait. Sweet summer 2019. When a little sunburn on the shoulders was soothed by s’mores and smooches from a loved one. When we could all get riled up over premature debates but ease back in comfort with a cool beverage before tempers got even close to the boiling point. If that’s the worst the pre-political season could dish out, we’ll take it.

And we’ll tuck this summer away in the closet where pleasant memories reside, and see if we can’t come close to duplicating it next time around.

Or maybe even making it better.

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