Archive for Thursday, August 10, 2006

Enjoying the lazy days of summer

Guilt-free summer days a blessing

August 10, 2006

The Fourth of July has come and gone, as well as the annual CPA Picnic, the sidewalk sale in Lawrence and most vacations. Now we're looking down the short road back to school next week, and as usual, August is doing its best to remain hot, dry and blistering.

I have had a brief rest from writing because my computer decided to crash just as I was beginning this column two weeks ago.

It has now been officially pronounced DRT or "dead right there" as the kids say. So I am now shopping for a new one.

Thank goodness I have lots of help from relatives and friends because what I know about computer speak is about as much as I know about I-pods, notebooks (the computer kind), Doppler's, lawn mowers, weed whackers and car engines. I come from a generation where television is a relatively new phenomenon.

I must say it's been nice to have this short furlough from writing, which has allowed me time to take some short trips, attend some fun events and spend time with my family.

Most of all, it has given me permission to do less, which I have greatly enjoyed. The heat has a way of not only forcing you inside, but also turns you into a lazy slug. Sitting on the back porch in the cool of the evening with a cold drink is the best part of the day -- or maybe even your life if you're into living in the moment.

Columns written by my favorites Garrison Keillor and Anna Quindlen confirm what I believe to be universal attitudes about summer -- one humorous and one sentimental.

Keillor writes about not wanting to do anything except "fetch more iced mint tea and crank the chaise back for maximum relax ability," and thinks it a dreadful idea when his wife suggests, "going to Alaska and riding bikes and climbing mountains."

Quindlen writes about the passage of time at a summer lake house where the children have now grown up, and instead of busy days at the beach with little ones, she spends much of her time reading in solitude and eating raisin bran for dinner.

Even as I write this, the days are slipping by and soon it will be Labor Day and the official end of being lazy. Soon we will have to get serious about something -- whatever it is we have had a vacation from -- and get back into the swing of the ordinary, which propels us through most of our days. Eventually the rain will come (we hope) and lawns that survive the drought will again need to be mowed, the gardens -- which have been picked dry of tomatoes on the vine and made into salsa that sits proudly on the kitchen counter in sparkling pint jars and labeled hot or extra hot (not by lazy me, of course) -- will now be turned over for another year. The kids will have grown at least an inch over the summer. Families will be trying to stretch the budget for new school clothes and supplies, and teachers will be coming back for meetings before the new term begins.

There is still time to spend at the swimming pool and to bid it a fond farewell. Since voters passed the bond issue in the recent referendum, we will be lolling about in a new pool in the coming years and enjoying a new recreation center, both of which have been badly needed in our community.

The committee and city administrator as well as Lori Fritzel (whom I saw delivering information door to door about the pool on a sweltering day the day before the election) can be thanked for getting the vote out on this one. Great job everyone, and something that is overdue.

I didn't intend to write this column, but since I'm still into being lazy, I must confess it called for the least amount of effort and somehow that seems just right. Anyone for another lemonade?

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