ESCANABA - The shrill sound of a whistle pierces the waning summer sun.
With the click of shoulder pads and the thunk of a foot against the pig skin, everyone knows it's football season again.
Practice, practice, practice, calisthenics and dirty grass-stained clothes - that's what football seasons mean to Moms.
Karen Wils photos
My kids a few years ago. Don’t they look happy?
My brother Mike plays football with cousins in 1975.
Once a mouth guard is melted and in place and the U.P. State Fair is over, a change is in the air. At last the nights are cooler and so much better for sleeping.
When ripe tomatoes abound and zucchinis stack up like cordwood, life's daily schedule is about to change.
Back to school ads are everywhere. A supply list comes home for each child in grade school. After you read down the list of the umpteen dozens of kinds of lined paper, binders, pens, folders, markers and glue sticks each kid needs, you wonder how we ever got educated with only crayons, paste, and a fountain pen.
Most families with kids start to go to bed earlier during the last two weeks of summer vacation, to prime themselves for the upcoming school schedule.
Even TV viewing takes on little twists and changes at this time of year as we switch from baseball games, to a few plays of the pre-season professional football games.
Change is in the air and for some families, the cut will be even a little deeper. Sons and daughters become college students. It seems like one day they're waving goodbye going off on the school bus to kindergarten. The next day they are gathering furnishings for their college dorm rooms.
The sunshine sleeps in a bit, rising to ripen the pumpkins and tomatoes later in the morning. The steamy hot smell of canning lingers in the air, ripening apples, hand sanitizer and the smell of new books, bombard our days.
Feet are in for a big change. Checkbooks and credit cards are in for even a bigger change as you realize how much your son's feet have grown in one summer and how much school shoes, gym shoes and football shoes cost.
Then there are feet like my daughter's. They spent the whole summer barefoot or in purple crocs. Socks and new school shoes will take some adjusting to.
Sunflowers smile as the hay is baled. A chainsaw off in the distance sings a song about colder days. School bells will soon be ringing. And marching bands on practice fields play school "fight songs." It is time to cheer for fall. Awesome autumn is just around the corner.
Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong resident of North Escanaba. Her folksy columns appear each Friday in Lifestyles.