Lyons: Steal back last weeks of summer

Some of you thought Monday was the last day of summer. Quitters.

This is northern Illinois. Nobody’s cheating us out of summer. Labor Day furniture sales can’t tell me when seasons end. Nice try, Madison Avenue.

Summer isn’t over until Sept. 21. That means more than two weeks to rage against the dying of the light. And that’s only if you believe in calendars. According to the Mayans, we’re not even supposed to be here, so wear that white belt with pride.

Look, in a few months most of us will be slogging through slush from garage to parking lot for a seeming eternity. The only time we’ll see daylight is if the work lunchroom has windows. Kiss off summer if you want to, but I’m not going out like that.

What’s left on your Summer 2013 bucket list? Did you at least stand knee-deep in the icy waters of Lake Michigan? Fontana Beach? Three Oaks Recreation area?

If that’s a no, tell me you got to the city pool to discover that people have far more tattoos than most of us ever considered.

Did you get to a neighborhood festival, eat something deep fried and spend a curious sum so your kid could ride the Tilt-a-Whirl? Catch a fish or at least lose some tackle during a feeble attempt to do so? Curse at a golf club or a gas pump when you went to fill up the boat?

There’s still time. Around August, as school approaches, is when my summer-ending anxiety kicks in. That’s when I transform into a deranged Clark Griswold demanding fun from outings where only the most desperate father could hope to find flecks of joy.

What’s left to do? How many Saturdays do we have before we’re trapped in a snow-induced coma?

I’d give my summer effort a solid B so far. It started with challenging times and family crisis, but we’ve made the best of the circumstances.

Skipped the world’s second largest ball of twine for another consecutive year, but we’ve made some great memories. Snorkelling in the Caribbean. Giant fabricated Slip-N-Slides on the front lawn and the discovery of the Lime-A-Rita.

This summer also brought us to a new record for Little League games. You haven’t lived until you’ve watched an 8-year-old bravely stare down four straight bad pitches before taking his base.

A fair amount of animal flesh has been seared on the patio, fresh-caught fish have been fried, and s’mores have been slapped together in various fire pits where stubs of cigars also were incinerated.

Kids’ movies were rendered tolerable though the magic of the McHenry Outdoor Theater. And wasps who repeatedly stung me during yard work hopefully suffered slow and painful deaths via aerosol can.

Still debating whether to attend a White Sox game, since this might be the first summer since the 1994-95 strike year that I’ve skipped. And we’ve not yet made it to Arlington Park for a rare kid-friendly day of wagering. But rest assured, these waning weeks won’t be wasted.

How are you going to spend yours?

• Kevin Lyons is news editor of the Northwest Herald. Reach him at 815-526-4505 or email him at Follow him on Twitter at @KevinLyonsNWH.

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