We ask you: Does winter end as soon as the calendar says it's March? We like to think that it does, but we know it does not.
And we all know that winter doesn't begin on December 1, even though by that date we're already overwhelmed by the senseless rush toward (and commercialization of) Christmas.
So, summer doesn't start at the end of May (Memorial Day) and it doesn't end at the beginning of September (Labor Day). Those artificial bookends of summer are bogus.
Summer doesn't end till September 22nd.
Which means we still have nearly three weeks of summer left to enjoy. And these 20 days are among the best in the year.
With that in mind (and in no particular order) here are 18 big reasons to hold onto summer:
1) The beach. You can really enjoy it now since the kids are gone and it's blessedly uncrowded.
2) The sun. It bathes you at a beautiful angle this time of year.
3) The evenings. Just a bit cooler and more refreshing now than at the middle of the season.
4) Tennis. The US Open provides high drama, excitement and the Big Prize.
5) Lazy afternoons. You can still sneak away for some fishin, walkin, sky-gazing or whatever.
6) Fairs and carnivals. Some of the best ones are held now.
7) Late summer blooms. These include coneflower, asters, mums, Russian sage and heliotrope.
9) Travel bargains. At many locations the cost of lodging and dining is slashed as summer winds down.
10) The ocean water temperature. It's generally warmer now and much more enjoyable.
11) Late summer vegetables: corn, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, melons (even some peaches) and plums, all still available.
12) Baseball. The grand finale as we run up to the playoffs and World Series. Exciting!
13) Quietness. Most of your favorite open-air spots are quieter now so you can really listen to the sound of nature.
14) Fewer bugs buzzing. Except for those damned yellow jacks, you won't have to worry as much about insects.
15) Energy savings. Go ahead, open the window.
16) Al fresco dining. As nice this time of year as it's ever gonna be.
17) That deep, deep, green. Catch it before the trees begin to turn.
18) Summer's endless spirit. That spirit is still here and the moments and memories your savor during these final days of summer will warm you all the way through till next year.