Isn’t it funny how, just when you start to relax into summer, it comes to an end?

You’ve done everything you set out to do — opened up camp, entertained company, planted, weeded, mowed, trimmed and polished — and now it’s time to wrap it all up and return home.

There are windows to be buttoned up, beds and bureaus to be covered in plastic, food to be removed from the cupboards and fridge and water to be turned off.

Strange, isn’t it, that a place so full of sun, light, open windows and wind off the water turns cold and still and uninhabitable.

I am not fond of transition, particularly when it means packing up and moving from one place to another.

In late June, when the chill of winter is wearing off and it’s time to move to camp, I hesitate. Do I really want to leave the comforts and convenience of home and enter a place from which I have been estranged for nine months — and one that is musty and old and closed up?

It’s not until we actually arrive, dust off the cobwebs of winter, fill the fridge, make the beds, throw open the windows and prepare a meal that I settle in and start to feel at home.

And when summer ends and it’s time to leave, I lament.

Beginnings and endings.

They serve to tip a person off balance and produce a sense of apprehension.

During transition time, just before and after the move, my dreams are fraught with fears from long ago — of leaving home and entering college, leaving college to return home, packing up after a summer job and going back to school.

And always in those dreams, there is conflict in various scenarios: I’ve procrastinated and not given myself enough time to pack, and suddenly it’s time to go. Clothing is spilling out of my closet and bureau and I can’t fit it all in my suitcases. I’m on the way to the airport but have left my ticket behind. I’m in the airport but have missed the plane. And so on.

One would think the fear of transition would dissipate over the years. It has no basis in rational thinking, after all.

But we humans are creatures of habit, I guess, and some adapt more readily than others.

Things can change all around me — colleagues can leave for other jobs, friends move away, family members come and go — and I acclimate with little disruption.

But removing myself from my comfort zone requires a leap of faith.

I force myself to go and, once settled into the new routine, I become perfectly content and typically ask myself what all the fuss was about.

In theory, it should be easier this time, moving out.

We’ll pack up the camp, lure our felines into their carriers, get them settled in the back seat and be on our way.

And on the short trek home we will, no doubt, like the cats, feel temporarily displaced.

Until that is, we land in the driveway, open the house and release the cats in the living room.

Like clockwork, they’ll greet their old habitat with a casual sniff and wend their way into the kitchen.

They’ll check their food dishes, see that all is well and head for the door.

And like clockwork, they’ll meow to be let out, just as though no time at all has passed.

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 26 years. Her column appears here Mondays. She may be reached at [email protected]

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