By G. E. Shuman
I’m writing this column on Thursday, August 25. You are reading it at some later date, but today is important to the story, so that’s why I mentioned it. It’s also why the title is what it is. In any case, where and when I am right now, it is August 25th. This morning my wife came to me and said, “Hey, it’s four months ‘til Christmas!” Lorna loves Christmas, whereas I mostly just tolerate it, and she is always excited as Christmas gets closer. She also happens to work in management at a big shipping company, who’s delivery drivers dread the Christmas rush even more than Santa’s reindeer do. I shouldn’t tell you the name of the company, but there is a U, a P, and an S in that name. Anyway, Lorna always delights in telling those driver-guys each month when Christmas is exactly five, four, three, two, or one month away. Today she had to remind me that only four months, exactly, from today, the presents will be unwrapped for another year. I thanked her for bringing me such joy.
“No,” I said. “It CAN’T be that close! Summer just started!”
I mean, I know the mornings have been a bit cooler lately, but it really is still August, if just barely. And, yes, there are a few dry maple leaves on the lawn, but there are still many thousands of green ones up in those big branches. I understandÉyes, the kids (and we teachers) are back in school, and a few Halloween displays are beginning to appear in the stores, but really. Summer CAN’T be over already. No, tell me it isn’t so!Ę
Wait, oh ye of little faith, I have proof that summer shouldn’t be more than maybe a quarter or a third over. I mean, didn’t I just assemble that new barbecue grill that Emily bought me? I know I did. It seems like we have only used it a few times. And, yes, we went on a couple of picnics, and spent a few days at the coast, but we planned time to do so much more this summer. There must be at least several more weeks left. I just know there must be.
No, No. Wait a minute. I know! Wasn’t it only recently that I was so excited to see the seed displays in the stores? I could just smell those tiny plants pushing their way up through the potting soil that I would so carefully sow them in, in my little city-house garden. That can’t be over for another year, can it? And, didn’t I just get the parts to do a little tune up on the old lawn mower? I know that must have been just a few days ago. Wasn’t it? And now my wife is telling me that Christmas, of all things, is only FOUR months away, from TODAY? Unbelievable!
Fellow summer and sun worshipers, we must unite to fight this calendar thing, because it just isn’t fair at all! Here’s how we all need to do it. We must get on the phone to our family members, and get them out at least a few more times for swimming, and burgers, hotdogs, chicken, and steaks on the grill. Have a few more campfires, and tell the kids some ghost stories under the trees, while you roast some more S’mores. Do this stuff, before the leaves have fallen, and the first snow flurries fly in your face, chilling all hopes of grilling.
Today, as I have said, (somehow, thanks to my wife,) Christmas is exactly four months away. When you read this column, it will be exactly somewhat closer than that. I think that’s why God gave us weekends, even after school starts. Those are so we can fire up the grill a few more times, and have family over for some last roasted corn and spareribs, before we need to wear mittens to eat them. (Not a pretty thought.) These weekends are so that we summer lovers don’t have to go ‘cold turkey’ from summer fun and just wait for cold turkey the day after Thanksgiving. Ę
The frost isn’t on the pun’kins quite yet, but that comes next, and we KNOW what comes after that. Making a law to abolish the 25th of every month might not do any good, but it’s worth considering.