Where did the summer go? It's hard to believe that tomorrow summer will be officially over, soft ice-cream stands will close, and school will resume. Fall colors have started to emerge in the foliage - a little late this year, it seems - which makes us wonder what kind of leaf-peeper tourism the Adirondacks will see this year.
To anyone who might consider coming up here to visit - please do! Yes, Tropical Storm Irene thrashed state Route 73 between Northway (I-87) Exit 30 and Keene Valley, but really, there's no reason not to come. Just take Exit 31 instead and go through Elizabethtown. We're all fully open for business and will treat you exceptionally well this year, appreciative as we are that you made the trip.
Nevertheless, there's no denying that this Labor Day is different, given the wreckage left by Tropical Storm Irene, and we encourage you to "Labor for your Neighbor," in the words of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. While by now it may be a bit late to sign up to volunteer on the state's new website (www.governor.ny.gov/laborforyourneighbor), you can still find some way to help others. You can also use the website to donate to the United Way of New York's Hurricane Irene Recovery Fund.
Still, once you've put in a little work, take a well-earned break. Just keep an eye on the weather. Rain and thunderstorms in the forecast could bring more flooding, especially since the ground is already so saturated.
Perhaps some of you just want to sit back and do nothing in particular, or maybe you're heading out for a little getaway. Both sound good to us. If you're around here, however, and are looking for something to do, we suggest the Labor Day Circus in Saranac Lake's Riverside Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. It's a fundraiser by and for the Saranac Lake Youth Center, a very worthy cause. There will be games, prizes, bounce houses, bands, food, drinks, desserts and a dunking booth in which you can pay a small fee to soak, among other people, our managing editor, Peter Crowley. (His time slot has now been pushed back to 1:15 to 1:35 p.m.)
Whatever your plans are, we hope you have a great weekend. To ensure that, please act in a safe and responsible manner.
Many people, however, have to labor at their jobs today. We know all about it; some of us are working today, too. We urge you to think about police officers and fire drivers, as well as people who work in shops, restaurants and hotels, serving those who are able to take advantage of the long weekend. Give these workers a smile this weekend when you see them. They deserve it.
At the end of the day, we'll make sure to raise a toast to all workers - that their labor may be respected and not exploited or taken for granted. We hope you'll join us.