Eric Douglas: Summer is over -- do you remember it?

Eric Douglas sig

Recently, my wife and I were at Walmart picking up cat supplies. An employee was setting up Halloween decorations. She told us they would set out the Christmas displays on Sept. 15.

So, here we are, in the middle of August – and it is likely to be in the 90s for a while – and summer is effectively over, according to the retail industry. They are punting on autumn all together.

A few nights ago, I dreamed I was at a high school reunion. Of course, in my dream, the sky was purple and everything was a little off, so I’m not going to read too much into that. I won’t be surprised that my dream was spawned by my recent attendance of the Pinch Reunion. I didn’t grow up in the area, so I don’t have memories attached to it, but I’m always impressed by the people who do.

We adults like to scoff at the teens and 20-somethings with their phones in their faces – and I do worry about that. But, friends, I have seen more than my share of 50-year-olds in restaurants on their phones scrolling through page after page instead of talking to each other.

At the Fourth of July celebration in town, I made a conscious effort to not photograph the fireworks and just watch. I mean, what are you going to do with all those pictures? Post them on Facebook where no one else will look at them either?

I realize my long-term memory is a little sketchy unless I have a prompt or a trigger to jog it, and I do take lots of photos to keep those memories fresh. But you have to get out and make memories first.

To do that means being present in the situation. If you are on Facebook or Twitter of Snapchat, you aren’t there and you aren’t taking part.

Officially, summer doesn’t end until Sept. 23 this year. (That’s a full week AFTER they put out the Christmas decorations, but that’s a rant for another time.) If the last few years are any indication, it will stay warm into early November — more than halfway through football season.

The point, if there is one, is to get out and make some memories. At your next reunion, no one will ever say, “Hey, remember that time you said XXXXXX on Facebook?”

Eric Douglas, of Pinch, is the author of “Return to Cayman,” “Heart of the Maya,” “Cayman Cowboys,” “River Town” and other novels. He is also a columnist for Scuba Diving Magazine and a former Charleston Newspapers Metro staff writer. For more information, visit or contact him at

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