Summertime Is Upon Us, Joyous Days Await

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Don’t look now, but summer will soon be upon us.

Yes, the days of sunny skies, warm breezes and cool drinks will soon be the norm.

In my 58 years I have come to learn one important thing — there is no such thing as a perfect summer. Whether you choose to spend it vacationing, traveling or just laying around, perfection does not truly exist.

If your sarcasm meter is starting to clang, it’s absolutely right. Here comes my take on the upcoming days, days that wil l be filled with such lovely things as sunburn, heat stroke and the ever popular mosquitoes.

Yes, while all of you out there are daydreaming about the next trip to the beach, there are those of us whose goal it is to spoil it for you with a cold, stark dose of reality.

So you’ve decided it will soon be time to head for the beach. Don’t forget to pack all the necessities for, not just a trip to the beach, but a trip in general.

If you have kids, which is the norm, you can plan on at least three things: Stopping, eating and, importantly, explaining why you aren’t there yet.

Yes, “Are We There Yet?” has become a travel fixture. Five minutes after pulling out of the driveway, you are inundated with the question.

Children, for some warped and rather vaguely explained reason, have no sense of time. They simply want to be there and therefore we should be able to accommodate them.

AsWaylonJenningssaid,“Wrong.” You cannot get through to the little ones how long it takes to travel someplace two hours away.

You cannot make them realize the warp speed they see in Star Trek reruns is nothing but fantasy. They do not wish to concede anything other than we should be there by now, shouldn’t we?

Stopping is the next point of order in this discussion. There are plenty of reasons to stop, most of which don’t really make sense to the man behind the wheel who would just as well get there and be done with it.

When you pull into the gas station the first words — which fall on deaf ears — are, “if you have to go, go now.”

We all know that’s just another piece of travel fiction.

Sissy and Junior will, for some reason known only to them, wait until you pull away from the gas station to let you know they have to go.

“You sure you don’t have to go before we leave?” you ask.

“Yes,” they answer in tandem.

“OK then,” you say.

As your back wheels leave the lot, you immediately hear those words, “I have to go” from both.

You look in the mirror and say, “I thought you said you didn’t have to go?”

Again, you can hear Waylon in the background — “Wrong.”

“I didn’t have to go when you asked, but I do now,” is the pat answer.

And, of course, you acquiesce in order to prevent any further problems. Now, you’re a half-hour behind and falling.

Then comes eating. Yes, eating. No matter how big a breakfast or lunch someone in the vehicle had, the pangs of starvation will soon overcome them.

“I’m hungry” will come from one of them. Whether they be adult or child, it will happen, believe me.

Add another 30 minutes to the trip simply because one starts the domino effect and soon all will fall, except for you.

After you feed them, you get back underway only to realize you still have the day ahead of you.

Sunscreen, picnic basket, sunglasses, towel, umbrella all are just the props for the real production, one yet to be played out.

Well, I won’t touch that one, I’ll leave it up to you. In the meantime, enjoy the heat and sun and whatever is to come.

Rick Curl is a reporter with The Daily Record. He can be reached at 910-230-2037 or by email at rcurl@mydailyrecord.com.

RICK’S RAMBLINGS

RICK CURL

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