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The Gearboat Chronicles

Where Summer Goes

In line at the grocery store yesterday behind a guy and his daughter. Girl was maybe 10-years-old. The checkout lady says, ready for school to start?

Little girl looks like she’s thinking, ready to have a Number 2 pencil jabbed in your neck artery?

Instead she jumps up on the conveyor belt, gets the checkout lady in a headlock and screams, “No I’m not ready for school to start,” then she kicks the beef jerky display showering teriyaki dried meat down Aisle 2 and runs out the double doors yelling to her dad that she’ll be back when she’d had enough of summer.

I wish her well. Especially since she really just smiled at the checkout lady and said, I guess. Which means she’s polite and she’ll put in her work and get through school just fine. But her eye twitched just a little bit and you could tell she really wanted to kick over that jerky display and run off to the hills instead of having summer end. Just for a split second I think that thought runs through all of our heads this time of year.

Listen to this.

That version of that song gives me heatstroke, not chills.

It’s common enough knowledge that July and August move faster than January and February. That’s because sunbeams induce calendar molecules to move faster, thereby enhancing thermotime and boom, summer’s over. Pretty basic science.

But the philosophical quandry about the quickness of summer is – exactly how evil is it to ask a kid if they’re ready to go back to school?

I’m divided on this. Asking a student – or a teacher, for that matter – if they’re ready for summer to be over and school to start is, of course, cruel. Not unusual. But cruel.

On the other hand, I’m so glad I don’t ever have to go back to school that it’s kind of soothing to torment other people who do.

Sombreros help keep our ice water icy.

The bright side of all this is that rafting season is still galloping along and even entering a sweet spot, where you get a few degrees off at night, there’s fewer people because everyone’s at school and after a few months of feeling so good about not having to wear a fleece, it feels pretty good to put on a fleece again when the sun goes down.

So get in on some late season good times on the Snake River in Hells Canyon or Lower Salmon River.

And bring some Number 2 pencils. We’ll make a campfire with them.