COLUMN: Make every day of summer count

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Memorial Day serves as the official kickoff to summer, although it’s felt like summer since April. An early spring has been followed by a hot and dry early summer. We need rain but each summer, it seems, brings dry spells of some duration or another. With luck we’ll get regular rains so farmers’ early planted crops – and gardeners’ early-planted vegetables – will do well.

I try to take advantage of what summer offers as far as extra hours of daylight and outdoor opportunities. I don’t mind mowing grass and I like to tend to a few vegetables and flowers on the farm.

I’m not as meticulous in the care I should give to my collection of roses. Most are doing well but a few have spots of blackspot that could have been avoided had I sprayed more regularly. That’s among my new goals.

My mom has done far better with the seed packages a mail-order garden firm delivered this spring and I have various kinds of zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and eggplant growing.

I’m sure I’ll have more than enough of everything this summer, but that’s fine. I’ll share. I ridged five rows of potatoes a couple of weeks ago and the labor did me good. The hoe left a blister and I sweated plenty, but work is a good tonic.

I’m also trying to take advantage of summer’s longer hours but it’s hard sometimes since I often work late and don’t hit the hay until midnight. Even so I feel guilty getting up at 6 or 6:30 after a late night knowing it’s been daylight since 5:30 or earlier.

Luckily, the amount of daylight is still getting longer and I hope to do better at being earlier to bed and earlier to rise.

Summer shouldn’t be all work. I have a week off scheduled in late June and I am determined to get to Germany sometime before the end of the year ... I hope.

Until then, I’ll have fun visiting with friends when they’re camping and at the occasional cookout, tending to the garden and keeping black spots off of my rose bushes.

Friends tell me I’m letting life pass me by, but I’m happy staying busy and as old farmers liked to say ... avoiding the wasteful practice of “burning daylight.”

With a little extra effort I can become more efficient, at work, home and on the farm. Summer is a good time to do that.