Column: Take the time to enjoy the summer weather

·3 min read

Jul. 8—It's good to see summer events return.

We endure a lot of less-than-ideal weather around here. Tastes in weather vary, of course, but the winter and early spring seasons here in our hills and mountains seem to go on a very long time. Autumn, for all its splendor, comes around a bit earlier than we might prefer, with its chilly nights.

We get about eight to 10 weeks of real summer weather around here in a good summer season. We have that many weekends to fill with festivals and gatherings of all sorts, with recreation on lakes and rivers, with backyard barbecues. and we fill those weekends right up.

Memorial Day weekend may be the unofficial start of summer, but summer really begins about a month later, when kids are released from school. That's when families can get in the car and do day trips or long-planned vacations. That's when they can head for summer camps.

For many from out of the area, it's a time to come here, to baseball camps within close proximity to the sport's fabled birthplace.

We need these summer events. There's so much stress in the world these days, we need some recreation.

During the past two summers, COVID-19 not only stole much of our recreation, it added significantly to our stress. While COVID is not gone, it has waned enough that people are feeling safe gathering again.

The community calendar in this newspaper is once again full of things happening. Our entertainment pages are once again full of notices of musical performances, art exhibits and the like. It's good to see.

We've made a point, lately, of reporting on the return of events that once were part of our summer routine, but were put on hiatus during the worst of the pandemic. We appreciate the volunteers and the sponsors who work to make things happen. We sympathized with them when they could not proceed as they normally would, and we hope they see success as their events return.

Yes, there are many choices of things to do this summer, not only on weekends, but mostly so. My own weekends are so booked up, my lawn maintenance may suffer. and I'm not sure I care.

While we celebrate early summer in a place that showcases summer beautifully, we keep an eye on the reality that it will not last. The summer solstice has passed. Daylight is getting a bit shorter each day.

Fair season got underway this week with the opening of the Afton Fair. Soon, we'll have the Otsego County Fair, the Chenango County Fair, the Schoharie County Sunshine Fair and finally, the Delaware County Fair in Walton — a sure sign that summer is about over.

There's an old saying in Delaware County — "Walton Fair, then winter." It's an exaggeration, but sweatshirts will be needed during August evenings at that fair. The feel of fall will be in the air.

Soon after, we'll settle in for the short days and cold nights that winter brings. That season, too, has its charms, but we'll spend much of it planning what we'll do when warm weather and easy travel come around again.

But let's not look too far ahead. Let's enjoy the hot days and comfortable nights outdoors while we can. Let's enjoy the many events in our area and nearby, or choose to stay home and relax. "Summertime and the Living is Easy," as an old song recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, among others, says.

Like many, I plan to pack as much recreation into my time away from the office as I can. I'll be at a party, or a concert, or a ballgame, or on a mountain trail or in a kayak every chance I get. Because we only get a few weeks to do those things and none of us is getting any younger.

I wish the same for you.

Robert Cairns is the editor of The Daily Star. Contact him at rcairns@thedailystar.com.