Why do summers feel so busy?

Why do summers feel so busy? I mean, there’s not that much more to do than in winter. Is there?

It only takes me about two hours a week to mow my yard. That’s not much. Unless you add in the rests and naps I take between mowing sessions. Still, it’s only one or two evenings a week. And then the trimming takes a couple of hours every other week or so. And then the lawn maintenance: weed killer, fertilizer, aerating. Of course, the shrubs have to be trimmed at just the right time. And there is always a tree limb or two that must come down. Then when your neighbors are outside, it’s only proper to introduce yourself and chat a bit.

The garden doesn’t take much time either. Well, if you don’t count the multiple evenings and weekends it took to get it set up and planted. I have my hoses and sprinklers set up so I just turn on one spigot and let it run for about an hour. That gives water to the flower beds next to the house and yard, the Bobo Memorial Garden, the vegetable garden and the planter under the maple tree. Well, I still have to take a hose or a watering can to the hanging baskets, the pots on each step, and the planters by the stairs. And the flowers by the mailbox. The althea bush, Charles’s tree and the lilac bush need watered once in a while. There are still a few trees of heaven sprouting that need cut and treated with herbicide. There are holes yet to fill, as well as soil testing to do in preparation for reseeding the dog yard this fall.

Then the vegetables begin to ripen and it’s time to make zucchini cake and zucchini bread and zucchini everything, then you shred or chop zucchini for the freezer. And you have cucumbers with ranch dressing, and hummus, and with onions and in salads. And then you make pickles. And then finally, you can’t stomach another cucumber. Then the tomatoes start.

And when the yard is done, there is also the house to paint. Ten years ago, my house saw its last coat of paint; it’s time. But first, I need to scrape, sand, fill and prime the window frames. And rebuild the porch rails. I have all the pieces, but need to paint the house first.

I must always hurry through the yard work, too, because I need to go visit my children, or go to meetings or work. Friends and family come to visit me as well, so there is yard and house tidying to do. I seem to have more laundry in the summer, too. I wear fewer clothes at a time but change more often. There are birds to watch and listen to, as well as wild kitties to try to tame. Bart needs walked more often, for his health and mine.

I don’t even have kids in summer sports, no traveling teams or schedules to meet. But it seems I don’t have time to write, to sew, to cook. I turn down invitations to dinner in order to mow. And yet, already I notice the days getting shorter. My gauge of the passing seasons is the length of time I must wear my sunglasses from my car to the office door. By mid-winter, the shadows are so long in the morning, that only a shaft of sunlight about a foot wide bothers my eyes. In mid-summer, I leave them on until I get inside the door.

Yes, summers seem busier. But are we really busy, or do we simply convince ourselves we need to do things outdoors in order to stay in touch with the natural world? I really don’t know, but for now, I need to go turn off the water and weed the flower beds.

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