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Another week of wet, 95 degree days. Afternoons growing sweatier by the second. An entire city wondering, "When's it going to rain?" Stir into the stew a bought of Future Fever, and you have a pretty good idea of this last week.

It's the ides of August, and everyone's frenzied that summer is "nearly over." As we watch the "last weekends of summer" whip by, I remind myself not to panic. In the last decades, summer has seemingly gained an extra month. A season formerly relegated to June, July and August has sneakily tacked on the full length of September. On the eastern seaboard, the ocean accommodates swims and beach runs even into October. And with the whole city- lifeguards included- saying sayonara to the beach following Labor Day, one's dips and trips become unencumbered by warning whistles and jostling crowds.

So yes, beach season is not over, and my winter panic shows no sign of setting in. In the meantime, I have discovered myself with a bit of summer conflict. Many beach days per week, working a ton, seeing shows, hanging with friends, and somehow hit with a new desire. Future Fever. Future Fever is a cousin of Summer Fever. Her flipside, responsible cousin, who gets excited about back-to-school shopping, new notebooks and colored pencils. Future Fever is pretty confusing, because who dreams about what's coming up (Crisp days of Fall! Changing foliage! Corduroys!) while we are in the midst of the best beach-going weather of the year? Nevertheless, the desire to have a five-year plan is growling like a hungry stomach. I suspect that having descended from puritans, our society just can't handle the guilt of a season of relaxation, waiting for things to grow and climate-induced napping. Nor, does it seem from my new nag, can I. Throw a couple of extra pots on the burner. Dig up some old business plans. Unpack those long-term goals. August looks like tanlines and eyes on the horizon.

Rockaway Beach

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