Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Last Days of Summer...

The traditional last weekend of summer is upon us. The temperatures are falling at night (it's only 48° as I'm writing this, and it's only 8PM!), football has started, the days have gotten darker noticeably earlier, and the symphony season starts up again next week. Schools started up mid-week last week (it's inconceivable to be in a schoolhouse around here prior to the last week of August), new episodes are about to start on TV, and there's less than 4 months until Christmas!

I started looking back today at the summer of '08. Some thoughts (bulleted, because I really like bulleted lists!):
  • For the first time in many, many years, we had a "normal" summer, weather-wise. I'm not sure that we actually hit the century mark this year. Last year we had strings of days over 100 degrees. This summer, most days were in the mid- to upper-80s, and that was more than fine for me! And is the norm.
  • We started out the summer fairly moist, but things were pretty rain-free. The mountains got some rain, but that's a very good thing.
  • Perhaps the nicest thing this summer was the lack of smoke!!! There was only one major forest fire in MT, and it was 250 miles away and downwind. There were no real fires to speak of that blew smoke our way. If you want to see what it was like for the past couple of years around here, check out the August archives of 2007!
  • The symphony's summer concert was so smoothly run, I can't find fault with anything about it. I even came out physically unscathed!
  • While the first half of the summer was fairly lazy, the second half certainly picked up. The concert, the road trip to Vixen's wedding, and two weekends in a row of hosting Dana and her son--all made the summer come to an end much quicker than anticipated!
Look forward to bragging about the local football teams, and stories about Niece 3, who is now playing varsity golf!
As a celebration of the end of summer (and BIL3's birthday), there was one last fling at their place on the lake. More food and beer than you could shake a stick at. Before I could even grab my first beer, someone sticks a hot wing in my hand. Of course, I drip sauce all the way down my white shirt. A classy introduction to all the people their whom I didn't know. And there were many...

Click 'em to big 'em. What's interesting in these first two pictures is that know one or two of the people. No family in any of them. The game in the first one is a horseshoes-like game. I don't know what it's called, but these people play it fanatically. Me? Not so much. I take my beer drinking seriously. The buildings up above are the bunkhouse and outhouse. The main cabin is another 30 yards up the hill. The other picture gives the basic look of the beach area and the lake itself. It was windy and chilly, so not a great deal of water play.

The outhouse is a work of art. Quite upscale, actually. Artwork on the walls, souvenirs and autographs (including one Bill Clinton!), and generally all sorts of things to take your mind off the fact that it is still just a little stinky...

There were 4 different grills going all afternoon. The big meat was ribs. Lots and lots of ribs. And there was beer can turkey! Normally there's grilled shrimp, too, but the ribs took precedence. Ramen salad, hash brown cheesy casserole, desserts, more get the idea. The last shot is from the front of the main cabin, overlooking the lake. The dark clouds were the norm for the day, and were worse all day today.

It was a great time out there, and a fine way to end the summer! I may or may not have drunk-texted last night. :-P All in all, a good start to the weekend. I hope you've all had as productive of one as I!!

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