The humidity has lifted, and the August air is shifting towards the crispness of fall. Soon my father’s lemon tree will be inside for the next nine months, my backyard pool will be closed, and it will be time to return to school before I’ve finished packing my clothes and belongings for my Amherst apartment. With the seasonal transition comes the end of BBQs and hot dogs, fresh vegetables from my father’s garden and the bittersweet feelings of leaving the warm nights and beach days behind.
It also marks the end of my summer as a marketing assistant at The Big E, where I have learned the ins and outs of journalistic writing and formed great relationships with the marketing team. Since early June I’ve been coming into the office from 9-5, holding a job much different than those of my friends at school. Instead of serving customers at a local restaurant or country club, or working as a lifeguard at a local pool, I am doing something I enjoy and gaining the experience I will need after graduation. I love it here, and as the Fair draws closer, I become aware of the limited time I have left.
Each day I write stories on cream puffs, Craz-E Burgers and the animals that star in the major competitions, and I revisit my childhood and the excitement I felt around seeing the livestock and elephants up close. Each year I begged my parents to take me to the Fair, and for the most part, they did. Then in high school I marched in the parade with the Minnechaug Band, leaving school early and indulging in tasty treats and riding the Giant Yellow Slide. It was one of my favorite days in the school year.
Fast forward to today, Aug. 13, 2013. It is exactly one month until the Fair, and my experience with The Big E has evolved into so much more than eating fried dough and shopping for flannel shirts in the Vermont Building. Becoming a part of the behind-the-scenes Marketing team, I now understand the endless hours of preparation ESE goes through to make the Fair possible.
Soon I will leave my position behind to start my classes, welcoming the crisp air and the changing leaves as they become a pumpkin shade of orange and a cardinal red before falling to the ground. Warm cider and crisp McIntosh apples will fill my kitchen, and flannel shirts will replace the short sleeves and sundresses I’ve been wearing since May.
New England is breathtaking in the fall, but I know that I will miss my summer writing job and the people I am lucky enough to work with. In a way though, it isn’t truly over until Sept. 29, the last day of the Fair. For those 17 days I can still revisit the grounds and drop by the office as if I never left, and going back to school was simply a detour.