The day doesn't start for most of them until hours past the usual first whine of the alarm.
That is, unless they are under 18, in which case (for a few days, anyway) they willingly arise at a time, which would cause their mothers to shout for joy during the school year.
It's family vacation time.
And nowhere is that more evident than at White Lake.
People have migrated toward the water for holiday for hundreds of years; I have a feeling the same tiny soap operas and adventures have played out millions of times, at a thousand different rivers, lakes and oceans.
First thing in the morning, in the middle of the week, during the last week before school starts, is the best time to witness those vignettes.
Many of these folks are second, third or even fourth generation at the same place.
Some of their activities haven't changed for decades.
The temperature and humidity haven't yet driven the heat to maddening levels, so people are walking, running, and bicycling everywhere.
Some, obviously, are sticking to a daily regimen, refusing to break discipline just because they are on vacation.
Others, bless their hearts, picked vacation to start exercising.
If they survive, they vow, they will not jog another step after they get home. The limp back to the motel room is exercise enough.
The older brother who usually has little use for his younger sibling (except as a moving target) passes a football back and forth in front of Grandma's cottage.
It took most of the first day here for the younger brother to trust his older sibling enough to actually play catch without worrying he was aiming the football at the younger boy's head.
It took the older brother that long to realize that his younger sibling could actually be kinda cool to hang out with, sometime, even if he is a little kid.
Both are waiting impatiently for the call from their parents that it's time to head for the beach and the lake, a tantalizing fifty yards away.
Long after the Dutch-rubs, the black eyes, and short- sheets are forgotten, both brothers will remember the time they were at Grandma's cottage, and what they did that summer.
A handful of teenaged girls, secure that their beauty will never age, try to appear much older than their tender years as they make their way in a dignified saunter up the street.
They laugh and point at a fellow their father's age, standing on the stoop at a fifty-year-old motel. He wanders to a nearby newspaper box, barefoot, badly sunburned, dressed in swim trunks and a disreputable shirt.
His sunglasses have left him with a white mask; he has the walk of one with a slight hangover.
He has never been happier.
Grandparents push matching strollers up the street, introducing the newest grandchildren to their family's summer home.
The grandmother in this case has a wistful look on her face that makes me wonder if she is remembering the first time she pushed her own children up this same street in a stroller.
Across the way, a young man a year or so shy of his driver's license waits patiently beside the curb, occasionally glancing at a nearby house.
He, too, is sunburned and dressed for a day at the arcade or in the water. While I wait for the motorist in front of me to turn, I see a long-legged girl dash out, screen door banging behind her, to meet him.
Hand in hand, they make their way up the street in a way that likely never would have happened in their hometowns.
All these characters and more are enjoying the best day of vacation, that one in the middle. In a few days, it will all be over for another year, and they'll be headed back to school.
My folks' rare, foreshortened vacations never really had the same urgency that the ever-earlier first day of school has created.
I always knew there were a few days left in the summer when important things like fishing and the trip to Jones Lake could take place, even if we had a rainy day or two on vacation.
Too many kids don't seem to have that luxury now, and neither do their parents. They must cram everything they can into a spare few days, to the point they'll need a vacation to recover from their vacation.
I think many parents and grandparents and children now look at the last week of July not as the beginning of the third month of summer, but as the end of summer, a last desperate chance to have fun before next year.
But even those who are trying to force one more minute of fun into each day write stories all their own.
The streets of a vacation town are the covers to a book of those stories, tales most anyone can enjoy.
Those stories are guaranteed to bring smiles for years to come, long after the grandchildren are grown and the teenagers are adults.
The flock of girls will grow up, and become young women; they will be amazed and embarrassed that they ever wore such small bikinis.
The man seeking a newspaper will grow older, and introduce his children and grandchildren to the lake.
The boy by the curb will suddenly find himself wondering what ever happened to the other half of that first brief summer love.
But a vacation is supposed to be a brief respite from the everyday world, a few short days to create memories that will last a lifetime.