The clock has ticked past the final play day of the summer.

Labor Day 2013 is history, and we begin the slide into fall and then winter. Ugh!

The clock has ticked past the final play day of the summer.

Labor Day 2013 is history, and we begin the slide into fall and then winter. Ugh!

Parish the thought, but in about six weeks we could have our first frost of the season. According to most weather and agriculture maps, the average first frost rattles our bones about mid-October.

God willing and the creek don't rise, we'll all see the change of the season. Most people say they like the four seasons, especially when Mother Nature shuts down for the fall and the short days bring cooler evening temperatures.

Monday holidays pose a challenge for newspapers, especially weekly newspapers that print on a Monday or Monday night. We ship the Focus [Lake Sun's weekly sister publication for Osage Beach/Lake Ozark] each week to the central printing plant by mid-afternoon on Mondays. Some of the 13,500 households get their paper on Tuesday, and the rest on Wednesday.

So in the case of Memorial Day and Labor Day, we send The Focus to the printer before we leave Friday afternoon. Our lives leap forward by the week, and I've often thought that makes life whiz past even faster than it seems to already.

We won't have any Friday night or weekend sports in for another week. Thankfully, our sports people will get the results of games online ( within hours of the events. They have a thankless job at times.

As this is being written about noon on the Friday before the holiday, the Lake Sun people are beginning the process of building Tuesday's paper. They, too, have to wrap their brains around planning three days ahead.

Computers have made it a bit easier, but there are still events to cover, stories to write and pages to fill. It just takes a lot of advanced planning.

In retrospect, it has been an eclectic summer.

Cool and damp for the spring, a tease of summer and then torrential rains and flash flooding that put us all on edge for several days. Many residents and businesses were forced to scramble for high ground, and Bagnell Dam officials did their usual great juggling act to keep the lake level manageable and downstream flooding at a minimum.

The lake hosted two major boat racing events, which few tourist lakes can match.

Organizers brought the Offshore Super Series (OSS) to Lake Ozark after an absence of several years.

Yes, it favored the hosting restaurant and The Strip, but it also brought people to the lake. People who stayed here, who played here and who eventually became ambassadors for the Lake of the Ozarks.

Of course, there's the world-famed Shootout which went into the books as a record setter not only in terms of Top Gun speed but also in what it brings to the lake in image and notoriety.

Ron Duggan and the Shootout Committee outdid themselves once again. At least from the outside, it was a well-oiled machine.

Hot Summer Nights on the Strip has become a wildly popular event as well.

The second Friday of August through September, the Strip turns the clock back to the good old days of rock and roll, classic vehicles and family fun. Thousands of people walk the Strip looking at cars, enjoying the activities, eating and drinking.

Kudos to Bob Schwartz, Jeff Van Donsel and the Bagnell Dam Strip Association for making this a fun and family-oriented event.

Ahead is Bikefest in mid-September followed by Harbor Hop in mid-October, and the frost will be on the pumpkin soon after.

In the meantime, enjoy.