Summertime and the livin’ is easy
“Summertime and the livin’ is easy.”
I wonder who wrote that? Well, obviously, I just did. But I wonder who wrote it originally?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love summer. I love being outdoors and doing outdoorsy things. Golfing, camping, kayaking…these are a few of my favorite things.
But summer living is easy? I just don’t think so.
Summer officially started Friday, June 21, as I wrote this column. It is the summer solstice, or the longest day of the year. It still has just 24 hours like all the other days on the calendar, but we all know the longest day simply means the most hours of daylight. And that means more hours to do stuff outside.
Unless of course, it is raining or storming.
Summer livin’ is hard work. And this year is especially hard. It has been a rainy spring and now that summer has officially begun, I doubt it will be a lot different. In fact, the first four days of summer have at least a small percent chance of rain or storms being predicted or even a fairly large percent chance.
Farmers have been having a hard time getting their crops planted. Some of them are still trying to get it done. And some of what they have planted is now getting drowned out with low areas of fields still in danger of turning into ponds, or even lakes.
Homeowners are trying to keep their lawns mowed. It has not been easy. First you have to find time to do it in between rain showers and getting other outside chores done.
Some of my neighbors are struggling with keeping up with mowing. It is not unusual to hear a mower going at 8 or 9 o’clock at night. They have to do it when they have the time available and the grass is not too wet from any of our frequent rains.
I expect that on this longest day of sunlight there will be some who will take advantage of the extra hours of daylight to give the grass another trimming. Unless, of course, the day is a washout.
There are all kinds of outdoor chores to get done. You know, all those home improvement projects you have been thinking about doing the past couple of years. And never had a chance to get done.
Some homeowners are still trying to get some shingling or siding done, the result of damage to their homes from a bad hail storm last summer.
Cities, counties, school districts and others are all trying to get their big summer projects completed as well. And they have a bunch of them. You can’t pour concrete or asphalt in February, you know.
Well, maybe you can in Arizona, but not here in Minnesota.
And lately crews have not been able to do it here either. There have been many rain delays. Like homeowners and their mowing, the paving crews just get it done when they can.
At least they were able to pave the streets in the new Blue Earth housing development and some of the parking lot paving at the Blue Earth Area High School at least the ‘first lift’ of asphalt went on.
Now, let’s just say you take advantage of all that daylight on the first day of summer, and you get the crop planted, the lawn mowed, the house painted, the trees trimmed up, etc., and decide to take a much needed vacation to rest up.
Well, summer vacations can be hard work. Trust me on that.
You need to get the camper cleaned out, or pack up the car, drive a bunch and unpack. You’ll golf, or canoe, or fish, or water ski, or hike, bike or boat. You may go sight-seeing or touring.
In other words, you will work hard at having fun. You have probably all seen the movie National Lampoon’s Vacation, I trust. I rest my case we have all had our own “Griswold Moment.”
As a side note, most winter vacations involve sitting on an airplane and then sitting on a beach somewhere a lot more relaxing sometimes.
Again, don’t get me wrong. I love summer, and while I don’t hate winter, I extremely dislike it. And the lack of sunlight in winter is one of the reasons I don’t care for it much.
But, let us be honest. Summer livin’ ain’t easy all the time. No matter what Ella Fitzgerald sings in the song “Summertime.” Yes, that is where the phrase comes from. She sang it, but it was Du Bose Heyward and George and Ira Gershwin who wrote those lyrics.
I suppose the next question from many will be “Who is Ella Fitzgerald?” I refer you to Mr. Google for the answer to that.
So, my advice to you is to enjoy summer, in any and all ways that you can.
That means turn off the phone and TV, and get outside. The official summer clock started ticking on Friday at 11:54 a.m., and expires on Monday, Sept. 23, at 2:50 a.m.
I hope you have some fun this summer. Despite my whining, I am going to also.