As a lifelong Wisconsinite, I used to love summer when I was younger. What was there not to like? Three months away from school, spending time with friends, warm temperatures, and family trips. During the end of the school year we’d count down how many more days there would be until summer vacation hit.

But, much has changed since summer meant time away from school. For example, in the last few years I’ve developed allergies to pollen and summer has become the season when my eyes itch and water to the point where I avoid anything with flowers. If I’m exposed to a large amount of flowers, it can mean spending a day with burning eyes. Thankfully, I was able to go camping once this summer because I was surrounded by trees instead of flowers. But any long-term exposure to blooms and blossoms is out of the question.

The other part of summer that tends to make me seek shelter indoors are the temperatures. I’m not made for hot, humid weather – it’s uncomfortable. Perhaps working in an office setting has interrupted my natural adaptation to the warm temperatures.

Summer also means a greater chance for sunburns. I try to slather on sunscreen but occasionally, I end up outside unprotected. The result is red, painful skin that can last up to a week. I don’t remember dealing with sunburn much as a kid; perhaps now that I spend the bulk of the day inside has made my skin more sensitive to the sun.

However, there are some great things about summer like wearing sandals without fearing my toes will get cold midday, making s’mores over a fire, having sunlight past 8 p.m., and not having to worry about driving in snow.

But, September is just a few days away and I can already hear the crunch and swish of walking through piles of leaves. I’m thinking about what books I will read while curled under a light blanket and counting down the days until Halloween. My friends and I are planning outings to corn mazes.

I’m not sad to see the summer go; I’m excited to see the fall arrive.

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