A good-bad review of 2013 summer

So here it is Aug. 25, falling on what is the final Sunday of the month that I consider to be the unofficial bookend of summer.

In my world, summer runs from Memorial Day to August’s end despite the fact that we can experience some glorious weather between now and in the coming weeks and months.

I don’t really think of the approaching Labor Day weekend as summer’s last woo-who.

On one hand, I look at it through the eyes of a harsh working world reality, that we don’t get another paid holiday away from the job until Thanksgiving.

Gobble, gobble, gulp!

And it’s probably the last time anyone in my circle of humans is going to organize a picnic and maybe invite yours truly and company to attend. (Aunt Betty and Cousin Joyce – I hope you’re not feeling pressured here, but the Kiaski calendar is open, you always throw such a wonderful picnic, and we’re always hungry. But no pressure, honest.)

In the newsroom, where we are always working ahead, time sprints in Olympic fashion, including these summer months, and we bellyache about that in grand fashion, I can assure you.

We no sooner run all the high school graduation notices, for example, than we turn right around and run back-to-school rally stories and school calendars.

Then somebody has the nerve to mention that the days are getting shorter.

More bellyaching.

I’d say it’s been a good-bad summer.

It’s bad in that Better Half didn’t plant one single tomato this growing season – not one Early Girl, Beefsteak or Better Boy, all because of state-of-life conditions beyond our control.

In light of that, the quantity of my crunchy peanut butter and tomato sandwiches has been dramatically reduced, but there’s an up side to not growing your own tomatoes. People have been giving us them, so we’re not completely deprived, and my kitchen curtains are getting a summer reprieve, not splattered with tomato seeds from Better Half’s kind-of-messy tomato canning ways.

This summer has been stinky in the weather department, too, and I feel bad that I haven’t gone swimming not once. I feel kind of bad, too, that my legs are as far from being tan as the West Coast is from the East. Honestly, I don’t get it. My arms will tan just like that, but my legs – it looks as though I’ve been dipped in a vat of chalk. A couple coatings.

Better Half calls me Casper.

Now on the bright side of not-so-great summer weather, I’m glad I don’t own a pool, because I would be really, really disgruntled.

I regret, too, that summer has not brought any travels other than one too many guilt trips.

On the bright side, they aren’t expensive.

I’m happy to report that our daughter Sarah, incidentally, has been one of the kind souls supplying us with tomatoes, the fruit of her first-time tomato-growing experience.

And today is her 24th birthday.

I remember the day she was born, how one nurse commented that Christmas was only four months away.

I think I initially grimaced.

But hey – that’s a paid holiday.

(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)