The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

August 5, 2012

Welcome to worst part of summer in Texas

By BRAD KELLAR

— I am, I will freely admit, not a summer person.

But we have entered into what is arguably the worst part of any summer in Texas ... early to mid-August, those weeks which fall between the end of vacation and the beginning of school and they can be torture for both adults and children alike.

For one thing, it is the absolutely the hottest time of the year, when each afternoon’s high temperature climbs into the triple digits and it is rare when it dips below 80 degrees at night. So, that pretty well eliminates doing anything outdoors, except swimming and after a while even that can get a pretty boring.

All of the biggest summer blockbuster movies have already been released, if not for the Olympics there would be little if anything to watch on television and even Vida — my wife and the single biggest Harry Potter fan on the planet — can watch “The Prisoner of Azkaban” only so many times in a row.

Pretty much the only excitement to be had is sitting on the couch, tensely hoping that the big air conditioner in the den can hang in there until late September.

— What I like to do is focus on what is coming up a little bit farther down the road, counting the days until the good things can be expected to start happening.

At the top of that list is football. The Dallas Cowboys are at training camp, with the season opener against the New York Giants on Wednesday, September 5. Vida, our daughter Jaylynn, 13, and our son Nick, 22, roll their eyes whenever I tell them about my grand plan to be perched in front of the big screen that night.

See, I love Cowboys football with an intensity matched only, perhaps, by Vida’s passion for “The Boy Who Lived.” I figure that if my wife can commandeer the den television on multiple occasions for her Harry Potter DVD marathons, I should be granted exclusive use for three hours a week.

Well, we’ll see how that goes ...

— There is also Texas Rangers baseball, which will be entering the most exciting portion of the season by next month, as we draw closer to the playoffs, the pennant and the World Series. Strange how we baseball fans can now actually look forward to the Rangers getting that far. In years past, this was usually the time of year when getting Rangers tickets was easy, as they had long since faded into obscurity. Not any more!

— And, as I mentioned above, even before all of that happens there will be the ritual of getting our kids back to school. Vida has already been busy purchasing school supplies for Jaylynn, who is entering the eighth grade, and our son Jason, 5, who will be starting kindergarten. The notebooks, paper, pens and pencils are all neatly stacked in the living room, so that they can be easily observed by our children each time as they walk by.

 Jaylynn’s sighs and Jason’s giggling with glee are music to our ears. Soon will come the purchasing of school uniforms, the meeting of teachers and, finally, Vida’s daily morning and afternoon commutes where she drops off not only Jaylynn and Jason, but the children who attend her daycare business.

We can almost hear the school bells ringing.

So, even while we are in the middle of the dog days of summer, if we squint hard enough, we can almost see the approach of fall on the horizon. No, really, you can ... just squint a little harder ...

Just a thought ...



Kellar is a Herald-Banner staff writer