Let loose and enjoy summer

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MIKE RAINONE/Hammertime

Despite the odd glitch, a few rumblings about the weather forecasts, and the return of the pesky mosquito, there are now so many super signs that remind us that summer has indeed arrived and we all deserve to get out and enjoy it to the fullest.

It was a real treat to watch hundreds of kids returning from a short morning in school, mostly all happily clutching their precious report cards on the exciting last day of yet another exhilarating year in grade school. The hallowed halls of learning are now silent, while the sports fields, golf courses, and ice cream shops are full of people of all ages having fun in the sun, and then getting cool in the rain. Summer always means a whole new wardrobe, including shorts, T-shirts, sassy swimsuits, and sandals, all exposing our pale skin of winter, that we will dare to now tenderly turn into a glorious golden brown.

As well as staying up later, sleeping in, and being just a little lazy, the greatest joy of this hot season has to be hanging out, holidays, and going camping. Whether we are camping with family, church, youth group, or others, it is always a special opportunity to see neat new places, enjoy nature, eat out, mingle with relatives and friends, and meet new buddies. During this great two months plus of play and leisure we need have safety in mind. From dawn until dusk there will be lots of revellers out and about running, walking, wheeling, or cruising, while quite often plugged into their IPods and having so much fun that they might not always be paying attention to their surroundings!

A few safety tips for the dog days of summer

• Always remember to take along lots of suntan lotion, bug spray, a first aid kit, and personal medications.

• Always try to take a buddy when you go swimming, boating, or hiking, and check out the weather forecast and conditions before you take the plunge. Other useful items for your backpack should include: water, trail-mix, matches, and your trusty (fully charged) cellphone.

• Before venturing out it is always a good idea to check out the vehicles or equipment that we will be using for the next two weeks, make sure someone is going to check your home, and leave a phone number where you can be reached just in case.

Also a good idea is to make a holiday list, check it twice, then lock up the home place, and go ahead and have a great time.

Much safer to be more humble than arrogant

A Drug Enforcement Administration officer stopped at a ranch in Texas and bluntly informed the kindly old rancher that he needed to inspect his ranch for illegally grown drugs. The rancher politely replied, ‘OK, but don’t go in that field over there.’ As he was pointing out the location the DEA officer verbally and rudely exploded, uttering…‘Mister, I’ll have you know that I have the authority of the federal government with me!’

Reaching into his rear pants pocket he removed his badge and proudly displayed it to the rancher. ‘See this badge? It means that I am allowed to go wherever I wish, on any land, with no questions asked. Have I made myself quite clear, do you understand?’ he arrogantly asked.

The rancher nodded politely, apologized and went on about his daily chores.

A short time later the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life across the field and being chased by a very large and angry Santa Gertrudis bull. With every step the bull gains ground on the officer and it now seems quite likely that he will get gored before he reaches the safety of the fence. The once pompous officer is now clearly terrified, and the nice old rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence, and yells at the top of his lungs: “Your badge. Show him your badge!”

A few funny facts for this week only

• Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses.

• The most memorable people in our lives will be those friends who still loved us when we weren’t very lovable ourselves. From now on our life-long motto should be that we should ‘aspire to inspire before we expire!’

It’s that hot, hot time of the year to check the UV rays before heading out to have some fun in the sun. Have a great week, all of you!