Monday, September 1, 2014

Have We Made It Through Another Provincetown Summer?

In this cooler-than-average summer people still went to the beach to relax and to enjoy the view,
but they sometimes dressed a little warmer, and often brought along an extra blanket or two.
I hesitate to say we've gotten through another summer season here at the tip of Cape Cod, because we've still got a number of visitors in town, many of us haven't yet made the money we need to get through the long winter with no opportunity for employment, and we're only midway through the potential hurricane season…
Despite all that, this is likely to be a summer I'll remember fondly, even though I worked an extra day each week for the same money, had very little time to myself, and came down with a few minor symptoms of Augustitis in the last couple of weeks. I found myself becoming quite cynical, and even a bit short-tempered a few times, so I took two days off (you know, like a person with a normal job in the "other world" would do) and I went to see some art, had a therapeutic glass of wine, and I'm recovering quite nicely, thank you. Yesterday, when every possible thing that could go wrong at work did, and even a couple of things that were impossible also happened (you know how that is, too,) I remained calm and unflappable.
We've had such perfect, mild weather all over the east coast all summer, so people didn't have to escape from unbearable heat and humidity in Boston or New York. I think that has meant fewer daytrippers, or people who might break out of the city in an unplanned visit of a few days when the weather is hot and nasty. We seem to be consistently a few degrees cooler here in the summer than folks are in Boston, for example, and there's always a cool breeze in the evening. With temperatures that didn't get much over the mid seventies this summer, and refreshingly low humidity most of the time, my little attic apartment (with no air conditioning) was pretty habitable shortly after nightfall most nights, instead of at 2 or 3 in the morning like in most hot, humid summers.
The cool weather, and the cool water, may have cut into our normal number of visitors, but cut our risk of hurricanes dramatically, too. The season was also especially short this year, with really chilly, rainy, windy weather several weeks into our normal season, and Labor Day falls on the earliest possible day, shortening the season by yet another week. I think all of this adds up to fewer visitors this year, probably less money, and I'm definitely behind financially, but overall I'm glad to have had this short, mild season, and I'm ready to have no more daily time commitments, to choose how I want to spend each day, and to be blissfully unemployed.
And every year, on the Tuesday morning after Labor Day, if you listen closely you can hear a kind of collective sigh of relief as we all walk out the door in the morning and begin to feel like we're getting our town back.
Maybe soon I'll be the one lying on the edge of the beach in a sweatshirt, and a blanket, watching the tide roll in and out.

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