Summer in and around New London
We wait for it all year, and in a blink, Labor Day is hurling at us
I live at roughly the same elevation as New London, N.H. and yet I dwell in Wilmot Flat. From my windows I stare across at Colby-Sawyer College or down at The Flying Goose Restaurant from my perch on the edge of Mt. Kearsarge. When summer begins, which can be anywhere from mid-May to late June, it is during those tourist-free days that we enjoy the blessings our area has to offer. There are parking spots at Spring Ledge Farm, the beaches and public docks are uncrowded, and the lakes only sport a few boats here and there. After a long, long, long, long, long, winter, it is much appreciated.
But always short lived! One day you are able to finally sit outside at Tucker's Restaurant in New London as the weather is accommodating. The next you can't even find a spot in the parking lot, much less a table inside or out! At first, Bubba's in Newbury is happy to see you, and much of the familiar waitstaff stop to chat and catch up. Then the next time you go there is a 30 minute wait and everyone is running around with red faces and barely a moment to say hello.
And don't get me started on Hannaford's in New London. Several days before the Fourth of July I attempted twice to find a parking spot within walking distance and was unsuccessful. Why don't we have locals only parking spaces? I mean, we are the loyal clientele that will still be here after the last s'more ingredients are purchased and the last shopping cart tottering with beer and soda leaves the premises. The shelves are rarely full from July through August, as employees work hard to keep them stocked. Locals know that later in the evening is the time to go; but it's not ideal to shop when you actually would prefer to be eating dinner like the rest of the early shoppers!
The Fourth of July, the must anticipated hallmark of summer, comes much too quickly, as once the Fourth passes, there is almost a sense that summer is now on a death march. The next big holiday, Labor Day, brings with it a sense of doom; so many of us recall that when you heard Labor Day is coming, it meant so was school. It always brought on a sense of panic for me; along with the rogue tree sporting red leaves in the middle of August. Turncoat! Traitor! Fall is not for another month, GO AWAY!!!! Of course, once you become a parent, the sense of dread is replaced with anticipation -- no more entertaining a houseful of kids! Back to school, wahoo!
As the calendars of both schools and colleges have switched from post Labor Day starts to mid-August, this region has been battling the issue of losing all of their worker's to school, with the same eager customers wanting to be addressed. The mid-weeks are quieter, but the weekends continue to swell with visitors, and long waits at restaurants are not unusual. Fenton's Landing in Sunapee Harbor has gone so far as to close down on Monday and Tuesday and shortened their hours due to the labor drain.
And that is where we are, each day tick tocking down to the official end of summer, with much cooler nights reminding us of the brief hiatus that summer really is in New England.
But then there is Fall ...