Beginning of the Road

At the Beginning of the Road

By Dane C. Sorensen

August 21, 1996


Has panic struck your family yet?  Has it dawned on you that there is only one week of summer left?  Panic started in our household last week.  The kidlets saw a pile of notebooks and new clothes sitting on the kitchen table and then realized their summer was about to end.

With panic, the kidlets realized that most of the plans they had for summer had yet to be done.  The tree house had not been built.  The site for the secret fort had not been found.  The kids’ newspaper had not been written.  There were still butterflies to catch, sidewalks to cover with chalk drawings and friends to see.  My kidlets asked, “Where was the Governor’s concern for childhood welfare?  Why hasn’t Governor Carlson closed the schools for one more month?  Doesn’t he realize those classrooms are too hot?”

My kidlets’ can already smell their first homework assignment.  Perhaps, it is their first school lunch that they really smell?  Either way, they are in a panic just like their parents.

My panic is the realization that I have far too many things to do before the onslaught of ice and snow.  I have trim to paint.  I still need to plant grass seen where my sheds used to be.  I need to empty my garage of all those boxes we moved up to Ely and haven’t needed in two years.  I need to winterize my cars. 

The tourists are starting to get that crazed look.  They know they end in near.  Many realize they have not achieved the perfect sunburn.  Others are realizing they haven’t bought an Ely sweatshirt to show the folks back home where they spent their summer.  Soon they will be swamping the stores to max out their plastic. 

Perhaps by now, you are starting to feel panic yourself?  Confess!  How many times have you waited until it was below the recommended temperature for painting to finish your outdoor painting?  How many of you have put your faith in freeze drying?

I am ashamed at the number of times I have winterized my car on a cold “see your breath” rainy day.  Is it because we refuse to waste those beautiful sunny days that we delay putting on storm windows?  Is this why people wax their cars on cloudy days and rake leaves in the rain?

Are we crazy?  No, we just can’t see wasting a precious summer day.  Some summers you can count sunny warm days on one hand.  There are plenty of lousy days for house and yard work.

Anyone who does inside remodeling in the summertime should be locked up.  Indoor remodeling is best done in February.  Wall papering a room will humidify your whole house.  The same goes for shampooing a carpet.  There are fewer bugs and spiders to worry about clearing way when you want to paint a room in the winter.

Just remember, when your fingers are cold and your nose starts to run that you didn’t waste your summer re-grouting your bathroom.  You got out there and enjoyed summer.  You gave blood to mosquitoes.  You dodged roving bands of tourists.  You laid your life on the line so vacationers could see how people enjoy their summer afternoons.  It is the wise man who waits until lousy weather to rotate tires in the snow.  That is how to build character and learn to handle diversity.

As for my kidlets, they have no choice but to hit the books again and learn division.  Besides, they can use homework as an excuse not to help wash the car during the first blizzard.

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