There is a sigh of relief around here as we complete our last day of "daily" operations.
We're still open weekends, of course, but not Monday through Friday (with the exception of Labor Day Monday).
The sighs continue as we start receiving phone calls, emails, and even an occasional visit from folks who are nearly (but not quite) speechless that we're not open daily through Labor Day.
If only it were so.
That was my school schedule back in Sacred Heart Elementary in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, many moons ago. But for some reason, around here school starts up in August.
This year, school started locally on August 12 (My youngest son's ninth birthday, poor lad).
There are still plenty of places that wait for Labor Day to start the new school year. And unfortunately people who live there sometimes assume it's the same all over.
I remember that first Monday after the daily season was over a number of years back ... a van pulled up in front of the marketing office. A van full of kids.
Dad hopped out, looking a little nervous. He bounded up the steps and walked into the office.
"Where's Santy Claus Land?"
Poor guy. Not only were we not open, we'd changed the name of the park.
He had one last hope: "Do you still have that dancing chicken?"
We loaded him up with brochures about the nearby Lincoln's boyhood home plus all the cave tours in a neighboring county.
He walked a little slower heading back to his van.
In the past, when we've been on the receiving end of, "That's crazy! Can't you do something about it?" we've never known what to say.
But now there is a grass-roots parents' organization called Save Indiana Summers. If you're in the mood to sign a petition and read up on some studies, please click over to their website.
But no matter when we end our daily season in the future, I'm sorry to say that chicken has danced his last cha-cha.