The other day, I bought my first mum of the season.

I thought long and hard before I did — not because it was expensive. In fact, for a decent size pot, it was only $5.

But a couple of things gave me pause. For starters, there was The Weather. The day I did it was during that terribly hot and humid stretch, when as soon as I went outdoors, the sweat began pouring down and my hair started frizzing up.

With a real feel temp of about 100, it didn’t much feel like Mum Time.

And that was the other thing that made me hesitate: Mum Time. Because mums mean Fall. As in Summer’s Over.

And this Labor Day Weekend, I’m not sure I’m ready for that. I’m not sure I’m ready for summer to be over.

Generally speaking, I’m not a big summer person. But this year, for some reason, it doesn’t seem that summer has been around long enough.

Maybe it’s because it got off to a slow start then came all at once. Instead of an occasional run of steamy days, spread out over three months and eased by cool afternoon sea breezes, we got an overheated August.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not missing what we didn’t get enough of in June and July. I’m definitely finding myself yearning for more hazy, lazy days.

Yes, I know. There’s another run of near-90s in the forecast for later this week. And, tomorrow, Labor Day, should be perfect for a trip to the beach or beer and burgers at a backyard BBQ.

But with school back in session and Halloween decorations in the stores and heavy coats on the racks, it’s clear that summer is on its way out. The encroaching shadows signal it’s only a matter of time.

The mums are testimony to that.

I actually wondered when they would make their appearance. The impatiens, begonias, Johnny jump-ups and petunias that populate our courtyard all but disappeared several weeks ago at the stores where I shop.

And for a while there was nothing to take their place. But now there is. Now there are the mums.

The first few times I saw them, I resisted. Silly as it sounds, I almost felt disloyal buying one and forcing it into the midst of my still-flowering flowers.

But the lure proved too much. And so, on that hot, hot day, I dipped my toe into the fall waters and brought home a mum. A single mum.

It’s a muted purple and, unlike its burnished red and bronzed sisters, not too harvesty looking. That makes me feel better.

In a sea of pink and white and deep lavender, my lone mum is peacefully coexisting with its summer cousins, patiently awaiting the arrival of others of its kind.

Secure in the knowledge that when the inevitable autumn chill sets in, only the hardiest will survive.