The end of summer

Yes, you’ve found it. The only blog in America that doesn’t care if Barack Obama uses carrier pigeons or text messaging to announce his vice presidential running mate. As we in the media gear up to cover both political conventions, I worry we’ll also lose perspective about where these political factoids fit into the big scheme of things. Yes, the next leader of the free world is an important decision, but the process has been going on for more than two years, and there’s the old adage “people don’t care until after Labor Day.”

Why don’t they? Because they’re leading real lives.

The rest of us? We’re wondering what the heck happened to summer? I just saw May; it was around here somewhere a few minutes ago, and then I open up the newspaper this morning and find this: “With summer ebbing, pools about to close.”

In our little neighborhood, we’re required to pay for the use of a neighborhood pool, whether we use it or not. We haven’t been in years, not since I started calculating how much each trip to the pool cost me. But I had big plans for this year; I was going to stop by the pool every morning before work and get in shape. It didn’t happen… again.

Hope springs eternal, but eventually it falls apart. I was going to finish the rebuilding of the backyard deck this year — the project I started four years ago. The lumber is still in the garage, but I didn’t hammer a single nail over the summer. Again.

This was the year I was going to relax and pay more attention to the garden. I only planted peas and broccoli — cool weather crops that wouldn’t take up all my summer — but I never got around to checking how it turned out. Last week, my wife cut a small piece of the mega-broccoli (long since passed) and put it on my dinner plate. It didn’t taste very good.

I was going to build a rain garden and expand the perennial garden, which last year was a sea of bees and butterflies. This year? Not so much. Maybe next year.

Number of new bikes in the garage: 2. Number of summertime evening bike rides: 0.

So many plans, so few summer accomplishments.

And now the pools are closing, the State Fair is opening, and summer is ending.

How is it that summer can pass so quickly, but a presidential campaign plays out in torturous half speed?

I plan to think about that over the winter.

What was the highlight of your summer?

  • Mary L.

    Bless you News Cut. I thought I was the only one growing weeds in the cutting garden and not painting the garage. I did get to see a full moon over Lake Superior…definitely my summer highlight.

  • Bob Collins

    Oh, right, the weeds! I didn’t even mention the weeds. They’re out there. They’re mocking me. Walking past the garden that used to brighten my day, I now get a giant dose of guilt. I must learn to love the weeds.

  • bsimon

    “What was the highlight of your summer?”

    Good question. It may be coming on Saturday morning, if I finish installing the last railing on the deck project that began in early July.

    Thinking about the deck, I’ll say the exact moment of highlight was on day one of the project. My father & his wife came up for 10 days to help. Our first task was to remove a concrete stoop from outside the back door. For most of that chore I was running the jackhammer. During a break, my father took over. I wish I’d taken a picture. He doesn’t look his age, but there’s nothing like seeing a 70 year old man standing on broken chunks of concrete, applying a jackhammer to the pile.

  • LK

    My highlight was watching my 6-year-old nephew competing against grown men in a hot dog eating contest. He didn’t even finish one full dog before it was over, but was the first one back at the competition table when they announced that anyone who wanted his (untouched) hot dogs could take them. He wasn’t going to let an opportunity for a free hot dog pass him by.

  • MomKat

    We’ve spent most late evenings sitting on outside, enjoying the moon and a glass of wine. Our cats turn into ferocious hunters, dredging up hapless mice from the sedum. Bees are enjoying the blackeyed susans in full bloom. I’m finding squirrel-stashed black walnuts in odd places and am pulling the tiny walnut trees started last year by the same energetic squirrels. This weekend, we’ll take a carload of dead branches and tree trimmings to the compost site. Maybe next year our suburb will collect yard waste curbside.

  • Heather

    Those aren’t weeds, Bob. They’re wildflowers. ;)

  • Bob Collins

    Those wildflowers are mocking me, Heather.

  • Cheryl Collins

    I could lie and say the high point was when you came East. The highlight could be Mom’s Yard sale this weekend. But I really think the highlight of the summer is watching the baby moose growing up. Mama and baby were here again last night. Things are pretty quiet here in Stow and it doesn’t take much to amuse us!!!