Just In Time

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Just in time for winter… when your t-shirts and jeans are all put away and your long-johns and fleece pullovers are neatly folded in their place. The leaves have all fallen, the days are much shorter and you can see your breath in the air.

Just in time for spring… when the last of the snow has finally disappeared (hopefully) and the buds are starting to reappear. Some of us use this time to begin our seasonal allergy regimen – whether it’s getting shots or taking pills or spraying our noses.

Just in time for summer... My parents have always used my brother’s birthday and mine, which are six months apart (plus two years), as the dates they change over their closets and bedding for the season. The pool will soon be open, the bees are buzzing around us and the ice cream truck melody can be heard in the distance.

Just in time for fall… the cycle is almost complete with the leaves turning vibrant colors and the warm days behind us. The water’s too cold to swim in and our bathing suits are no longer of any use. We spend as much time as possible outside – walking and biking and exploring nature – before the dark days of winter are once again upon us!

Labor Day Lament

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As I was swimming my daily laps in the pool this morning, I was thinking ahead to all the things I planned on doing over this holiday weekend. My first thought was of attending as many street/town/county fairs as humanly possible. I just love those – especially, as a crafter myself, enjoying seeing all the amazing crafts people create.

My second thought was about all the sales there would be in stores. I have no intention of putting myself in the middle of all that craziness – both the traffic and the people who truly believe they will be getting some kind of bargain. But, also, there’s the fact that having all those people working on the holiday kind of defeats the purpose of celebrating the holiday, doesn’t it?

So there’s the real dilemma. To work or not to work. If you need the income or don’t care one way or another then it’s your choice to work. If you feel more strongly about not working, then that is your choice as well. Either way, stores will voluntarily open or close, people will barbecue or shop or just relax and enjoy the last remnants of summer with friends and family.

For my parents, it’ll be just another day following just another weekend. They will most likely keep to their daily routine and maybe, just maybe, think back to their younger, carefree days or to their years of hard work and, hopefully, feel a sense of accomplishment for lives well lived!

Summer Survival Guide

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Summertime… and the livin’ is easy. Oh, Mr. Gershwin sure had it right. That’s how I remember my childhood summers – playing outside in the warm sunshine till it was time to come in for dinner; eating dripping ice cream cones before they melted down my arm; and going to ball games where the sounds and smells were like coming home.

Huh… funny how times change.

Now, as I sit inside my air-conditioned home, I can hear the visiting grandkids of our neighbors running around outside, screaming and having fun. And then I hear my Dad’s voice – yelling at them to be quiet from the comfort of his lounge chair in the living room (“bratty kids”“why can’t you go play somewhere else?”).

Later on, when the sun starts to set, we go out on our terrace to relax and breathe in the cooling air. I look over at my Dad and see him not sitting still but, rather, swatting away at the pollen endlessly blowing from the trees and the bees that have moved on from the flowers to our private domain.

When we finally surrender to the natural order of summer and come inside to watch the ball game on tv, we’re barely into the first inning when I hear Dad yelling at the screen (“you moron” – “I coulda caught that ball” – “are you blind?”).

Ahhh, the sounds of summer. The only thing missing is the smell of stale beer and sauerkraut.

And if you listen really hard, you can almost hear yourself thinking, “how many weeks till fall…?!”