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Squeezing in last minute summer fun

August 19, 2012
The Mining Journal

It's August. The trees are green. The weather has been mostly sunny and still hot enough to wear shorts. My weekends are spent at the beach, walking over to my garden plot to check the progress of my rapidly growing tomatoes or just enjoying being out in the sunshine.

This is summer.

But almost as soon as Aug. 1 hit, the various bloggers I occasionally follow online started rolling out posts centered around fall, complete with pumpkin-based recipes, cute turkey-themed crafts, fall outfit ideas and even Christmas party ideas.

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Um, what?

It's not that I don't love fall, because I do, just about every part of it. And I don't think there's anything wrong with looking forward to any particular season or holiday.

What I don't understand is starting seasonal activities while there's still time to enjoy the season we're currently in.

To me, August should be the time to cram in the last few camping trips, bonfire-roasted s'mores, water balloon fights or whatever it is that makes summer for you while beginning the back-to-school process. I'm not going back to school, but I don't mind stocking up on a few, alright a year's worth of, cheap notebooks.

Maybe people get tired of summer, if that's possible, because they started fantasizing about swimming and beaches and barbecues back in February when there was still enough snow on the ground to go skiing. Maybe the reason everyone gets so tired of Christmas, another concept I fail to understand, is because they started looking up holiday cookie recipes in August.

Anticipation might be part of the fun, but most of the fun is actually being able to wear a thick wool sweater on a crisp fall day while drinking some sort of hot pumpkin spice apple cider, not thinking about doing so when temperatures are still in the high 70s.

Not that I know many people who enjoy being stressed out, but I can't help but think most of our stress could be eliminated if we quit planning things like secret Santa gifts five months ahead of when they'll be given out. It's just not worth it.

I wish people would actively make the choice to make their lives simpler, because there's a difference between being busy and being busy with things that matter.

I don't have television or Internet access at my apartment. At first that started out as a conscious decision to limit my monthly expenses, but now that I've spent the past three or so years of weekends and evenings without either of those things, I don't really want to go back.

Sure it might mean I don't get to watch every single TV show I might enjoy, but it also means I have more time to go for a run or practice my piano, both of which are of much greater benefit to my health and sanity. I don't have Internet access, but that also means I'm not suckered into checking work-related emails on my time off. Really, it's pretty decent.

And because I've made those choices, I can also chose to avoid using the rest of my summer to plan how I will spend my fall and then use my fall to plan my winter holidays.

So if you'd care to join me, I'll be outside in my garden, or sitting in the sun with a good book and putting a sweater on only when the weather dictates.

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is



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