The End Of Summer Is Nigh

August 8, 2011

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The summer of 2011 is quickly coming to a close. This is evidenced by many tell-tale signs. There are back to school sales at the stores, school sports practices have begun, county fairs are wrapping up, and the professional football teams are in camp. Games behind in the baseball pennant race is actually starting to mean something. In a couple of weeks, the schools will be packed with eager students. A few weeks later, the trees will start changing colors in the far north east and the upper peninsula of Michigan.

All of this is a relief; relief from the heat that most of the country has endured over the last month, relief from houses crowded with kids of all ages, and the bounty of the harvest soon to be gathered. Each of the seasons has benefits and drawbacks. The change between the seasons can be inspiring and relaxing. For those who live in the north, the transition from winter to spring is a release from the confinements of the home. In the Deep South, it is autumn that signals the drop in temperatures that many crave.

Summer is the season of playing. The holidays and events that fill summer are for the whole family. The kids are out of school and most adults take vacations to take advantage of warm and usually dry weather. But all playing must eventually be followed by rest. As we approach the end of summer, we gather. Physically, we gather the crops, emotionally we gather our memories. We settle into a routine of school and work that will last far into next spring, with a few holidays sprinkled in. The Holidays ahead require planning and organization.

Summer is much more free wheeling. On the fourth of July, no-one worried if Granddad and Grandma would get through the storm, or if Aunt Sally would like the gift. In summer, gatherings are spontaneous and open ended. There is more daylight, and more life. This season ends with feeling for regret. Some people will try to pack in as much as possible before September actually arrives. But rather than regret, consider all of the activities that will fill next summer. And if you are out and about, cook one more hot dog on the grill for me.


Summer Is Finally Here

June 6, 2011

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Summer is finally here

After reading Kosmo’s article on politics, I was tempted to jump into that fray, but refrained. The reason is two fold, in my opinion we have enough political commentators on the site (Kosmo was just filling in) and I have a much better topic to discuss; Summer.

I know that astronomically, summer will not be here for several more weeks, but for me summer starts when the pools open and the famers markets become city festivals. I live in the Midwest, so sometimes summer starts early, sometimes late. This year we had a teaser in April followed by a cold and rainy May, but the first week of June is warm and beautiful.

As with any warm up with high humidity, we have had our share of weather, luckily not nearly as bad as the people of Joplin Missouri have had to deal with. Hard rains, hail, even some smaller tornados have passed out way already. This Sunday, I got up early to mow the lawn and was not alone. There is something reassuring about a peaceful Sunday morning with neighbors all sharing in the simple tasks of keeping there yards neat and attractive.

My wife joined me, pulling weeds, those volunteer plants that grow were you do not want them, and bringing me water when I slowed down. By noon, it was too hot for this fat old man to continue with activities out in the sun, but the tree shade provided plenty of opportunities to stay with nature. A quick trip to the Ice Cream stand took us by the local pool, absolutely packed with kids and adults.

The yard work meant we missed the farmer’s market, but we saw some of it on the weather report. Our city has a larger down town farmer’s market once a month. There are street performers, prepared food, crafts and farm produce. We can get some of the best pork, beef and chicken, not to mention fruits, berries and vegetables beyond count. The varieties will change as the year progresses with the largest in the Fall, but this first big one is definitely one of the best.

Now is not the time to argue politics, now is the time to enjoy the lives we have. The kids are out of school, vacations are being planned, and it is finally warm enough to go outside without a coat. It is finally summer.