The Mast-Head: A Shift in the Tide

Despite the looming local election, the summer frenzy appears over

   These end-of-August weeks can be both relaxing and frenetic, at least around the newspaper office and on the home front. On the one hand, the constant barrage of publicity pleas and self-promotional requests has died down. Yet on the other, with the kids out of camp and parents working, there is a sudden imperative of finding them things to do.
    By the middle of the month, our arts editor, Jennifer Landes, observed recently in a conversation, the galleries, theaters, and other cultural venues have pretty much begun to finish their seasons. Her phone rings less often, and the demeanor of her callers and e-mail correspondents shifts away from the apocalyptic. It is the same way at my desk.
    Despite the looming local election, the summer frenzy appears over. The hum of truck traffic outside our Main Street windows, in particular of vehicles that had been getting everything ready for the peak season, has subsided.
    On a walk into town this week to get a salad and a cup of coffee, I ran into an acquaintance who agreed his business had also enjoyed some respite. He even managed to clean his office, finding something that he had put aside to read, he thought, about four years ago.
    Years back, when I worked for a local party tent company, we would have a party to celebrate making it to the end of the season. And, while we don’t observe that annual milestone here, it is a tradition worth starting.
    It occurred to me that, outside of work, our family should think about these last few weeks before school starts the way vacationers might. So, we have aggressively tried to get the kids to miniature golf in Montauk and out on the boat for tubing. We have ramped up play dates and thought about getting to the ocean a little more often.
    As a result, as the pressure dips at work it is being turned up at home. Soon enough we will have to press the kids about homework and crack-of-dawn wake-ups. But for now, in the waning days of summer, it is all about having as much fun as we can.