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Summer energy levels diminish with age

Ah, the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

Or however the sixties song lyric goes.

Today is the first day of my summer vacation – or “vacay” in teenager terminology.

When I was a kid this would have meant that I barreled out the front door with a sword I’d made from a ruler and a Popsicle stick, ready to do battle against the forces of evil and the cat next door.

I climbed trees and played in the dirt and ran around and picked wildflowers and got so dirty that I left a bathtub ring. I picked wild onions and ate them, hid behind trees and jumped out at passing cars making my best pirate face. I practiced my Tarzan yells and baked brown. In short, I wrung every bit of pleasure out of summer.

It was just as hot then as it is now, but I never noticed it. Days were just as long but seemed shorter. I stayed outside until my mother called me in for the night. Then I watched TV and planned what I would do the next day.

Somewhere along the line that has changed and I probably should do something to change it back.

For example.

This weekend I woke up at my regular 6:15 am but instead of barreling outside I made coffee and plopped into a chair to read until the rest of the house got up and my wife put me to work.

We’re so busy during the school year with work and plays and everything under the sun that very little seems to get done around the house. So the first week of summer is devoted to the infamous “honey dos.”

“I’ve made a list for you of things we’re doing over the summer,” my wife informed me.

“Hmm.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m looking hard at your list and it doesn’t seem to have ‘sit on the couch and do nothing’ anywhere on it.”

“No, it doesn’t.”

“Hmm. That’s funny,” I said.

“What’s funny?”

“Well … that was at the top of my list.”

“Did your list include scrape and paint the windows?”

“Um … no, I don’t think that was on it.”

“Did your list include anything about a chain saw and trimming tree branches in the front yard.”

“I don’t believe I recall that.”

“Repairing the back deck?”

“Yes. Perhaps somewhere near the bottom of my list.”

“Let’s see your list.”

“I can’t show it to you.”

“Why?”

“I haven’t made it yet. But if I had, I think the deck would be on it.”

“What will be on your list if these things aren’t? Clean out your office? Sort through the junk in the attic?”

“I believe my list included watching the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. And oh, the College World Series. I think there was something in there too about regular afternoon naps, but I could be wrong.”

“Your list doesn’t seem to have you moving off the couch for two months.”

“Not true. My list also includes plenty of grilling on the back deck. Hence …”

“Fixing the back deck.”

“Exactly.”

“I like my list better.”

“I’m sure you do.”

“I’m going to pin it to the refrigerator door.”

“Oh, no, not the refrigerator door.”

If something is pinned to the refrigerator door that gives it official status. That’s where schedules and addresses and pictures go. If it makes the refrigerator door its up there for good. I make a grab for it, but my wife is too quick for me and it is pinned right under the Hoover Dam magnet and the picture of Eiffel Tower.

I’m a goner.

I guess I’d best get my paint scraper and get to work on the front windows.

Somehow a paint scraper does not adequately replace a sword made from a ruler and a Popsicle stick.

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