Sheltered Islander: Last Hurrah of Summer on The Rock

Yoo-hoo for summer! Photo: cyclonebill via Cocio

It’s that time of year for the very very last hurrah of summer. If you have ever wondered what signals the last hurrah, it’s when you run the heater in the morning and the air conditioner in the afternoon. That is your official notice to plan your last hoorah event. There are several different ways to celebrate the last hurrah of summer on the Island.

Last boat outing. For this last summer hurrah, you pack a picnic lunch of roast beef sandwiches, tins of smoked oysters, beer and Yoo-Hoo. In a net bag you pack towels and bathing suits and off you go! The conversations will be tender and sentimental as couples reminisce about the summer.

“How could you forget the mustard? You forgot the last two times and now, on our last outing, I still got no mustard for my roast beef sandwich!”

“I’m sorry, Mark. I don’t use mustard so I just never think to pack it. And why do you always pack Yoo-hoos in the cooler for me? I told you, the kids like them, not me. I told you to bring Diet Cokes for me.”

“I need to put in all new cleats on this deck next season.”

“I don’t know why I brought bathing suits. I’m freezing. I should have brought a sweater. I’m ready to go in now.”

And so our boaters say aloha to summer as the sun slowly descends in the west and the temperature plummets. The barbecuers always have a nice last hurrah barbecue. The sweet corn is gone and so zucchini is roasted on the grill in its place. Friends gather and talk about highlights of the summer and what they will remember most.

“What do you mean you lent my rototiller to your brother in Southold? You were supposed to give it back in June when you were done with it. It’s one thing to lend it to somebody else without my permission, Joe, but you let it go off-Island? I want it back before Spring. You never loan anything off-Island.”

“He’s right, Joe. Pete has my lawn feeder. Nick has my skill saw. And I have Rodney’s nail gun. But everything is on the Island, you know? If you really need it, you can always go get it. It’s the code of Shelter Island Men, no tool leaves the Island. Women can leave, kids can leave, but tools stay. Pass the potato salad.”

For women, the last hurrah of summer can be a quiet thing, a personal revelation. As she thinks about the summer past, thoughts like this might cross her mind.

“If I have to look at one more shell design on one more towel, I will scream. I am sick of these shell-shaped soaps, too. I’m going to use them tonight when I take a bath. I have vacuumed more sand off these floors than exists in the Sahara. This seashell shower curtain is history, too. Tanger Mall is having sales this weekend and I’m going to hit those stores like the beaches on Normandy. I’ll sharpen the edges of my credit cards and slash anybody who gets in my way. I want new decor,” she says to herself. Then she finds her husband and starts to speak, but he puts up his hand and says…

“I know that look, Ilene. If you want anything moved, painted or discussed, tell me right now, before we get any further into football season.”

Ah yes, the wonderful last hurrahs of summer.

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