It seems that summer is barely winding down and we start to see signs of the Christmas season. About mid-August the catalogs arrive promoting Christmas sales. Then in September the stores get into the spirit by displaying Christmas gift ideas. About October the real promos start with music, decorations and lights. I am starting to understand why I am so tired of the season before it is over. The fact is, we have five months of Christmas and seven months to recover.
There is no escaping it. We are constantly forced to admit our age. Whether it is at a birthday, reunion or just in every day activities, there are reminders of our advancing years. I recently faced reality in a couple of unique ways. On a vacation up north with two other couples, I was enjoying an afternoon of playing games with our children. We were playing an exciting game called "Apples to Apples." For those of you not familiar with the game, it involves matching cards with names of people, places or things to description cards played separately.
Time keeps marching on by its measured beat -- seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years; and in its larger beats, the four seasons. It seems such a short time ago when we winter-wary folks were looking for those first signs of spring -- blades of green grass, buds on bushes and trees, the early robin and perhaps that first fly in the house. Then came summer which is now in its final stage and there are already a few early signs of fall. Yes, time marches on! Another sign of fall is that of back-to- school days.
The college parking lots are filling up. Streets in college towns are buzzing with pickups and vehicles loaded down with boxes and furniture. Stores are busy with last minute shoppers as college students move in for their new school year. For the college freshman it is a new and exciting experience. Many of them are leaving home for the first time which is probably something they have been looking forward to nearly their entire lives. They are free, on their own and about to embark on a new phase in their life. In the next few weeks many of these same freshman will be facing reality.
OK, all you men out there, just admit it: You really do like to shop. Shopping is not just a woman's hobby any more. The other morning when I opened my post office box I noticed a colorful card addressed to my husband. It was promoting a grand opening at a new Cabela's store. The invitation included an incentive to use a credit card that was available at the new store. I commented to someone in the post office that I would have to hide that piece of mail from my husband.
We watch, we wait and we listen, but the rain just doesn't fall. We are beginning to realize that if and when it does arrive, it probably won't be in time to save the crops. With heavy hearts we have to wonder what the future will bring. I can not recall a dry spell like we are going through right now. The skies will cloud up but the rain doesn't come. We look forward to the days when rain is predicted, but it always seems to go a different direction. The crops, lakes, rivers, and lawns are slowly drying up.
I have heard that money talks. If it does, then all mine ever says is good-bye. In fact, it is barely in my possession long enough for words to be spoken. It makes me wonder what money would actually say if it could talk to us. I can just imagine the stories one single dollar bill would have to tell. The places it has been, people who have handled it and the items that have been purchased with it. A true money tale. Perhaps the story would start out at a printing plant fresh off the press with thousands of other bills.
If 4-H gets into your blood, do you bleed green? That might be a good question to ask 4-Hers and their parents this week as the Stevens County Fair kicks off and they are busy getting ready for the activities. The fair is the highlight of the year for most 4-H families. It is the culmination of a year of planning, preparing and participating. Projects are completed and ready for judging. Schedules are being reviewed and distributed. Pies and produce are being prepared for the food stand. These fair activities can even spread beyond the county lines.
This is going to be one of those columns that probably doesn't even have a message. I have been trying to come up with something to write about and nothing really clicks into place. Instead, I have had a lot of little snippets of things that don't have a rhyme or reason so I am going to just ramble. I could talk about the weather. After all, that is probably the reason I can't get my brain to work properly; it is simply over heated. I have pretty much given up on us getting any rain and spend hours watering my garden.
Thirty-one years ago this week I first met Greg, Bonnie and Renee Weiler. I was recovering in a hospital bed having just given birth to our first child, our son Jamie. As I rested, they wheeled in another new mother with her tiny baby girl, Bonnie and Renee.