The temperature has climbed back to summer heights this week, but the season is changing soon enough.
By this time next week, all of the public schools in The MidWeek’s readership area will be back in session. The displays in the stores, if not the leaves on the trees, have taken on an orange hue. And I’m having my brief annual Suzy Homemaker period.
I’m typically not the Martha Stewart type – I cook, but if the recipe says it will take more than 40 minutes, I don’t even bother; I clean, but you wouldn’t want to eat off that floor; and my attempts at crafts usually look more like something you’d see in a third-grade classroom than something you’d see on Pinterest. But every year, around the end of August, I suddenly have the urge to clean out closets and organize cupboards, to put on an apron and dive into a cookbook, and yes, even to get crafty and make stuff.
Maybe it’s the result of years of back-to-school preparation, but fall always feels like the time for new beginnings to me, a better time to make resolutions than New Year’s. New Year’s is in the middle of winter. I’m just focused on getting through the days in January, not on becoming a better person.
So I guess my subconscious feels like fall is a good time to start fresh at trying to be that have-it-all, do-it-all, and make-it-all-homemade kind of woman the magazines say I’m supposed to want to be.
By the end of September, I’ll probably have cleaned, filled the freezer and maybe made something cute.
I’ll be completely exhausted. And with that, my domestic spell will pass.
Until next year.
• • • • •
Speaking of going back to school, here’s a friendly reminder to drivers that you may encounter more little pedestrians in the morning and afternoon, so watch out. And if your commute takes you through residential neighborhoods around 8 or 3, allow for bus traffic. Remember it’s illegal to pass a stopped school bus, no matter how late you are.
And for the kids, good luck, work hard and have a great year. Remember, if you happen to see a kid being picked on or deliberately ignored, do something about it. You don’t have to fight or be their best friend, but don’t participate in mean behavior, and reach out to victims of that behavior. A smile and a friendly word can work miracles for a hurting kid.
If you are a hurting kid, take refuge in the things you are good at and enjoy, ask an adult for help if you are being bullied, and hang in there.
I promise: it does get better.
The story “Trip to Tanzania ‘life-changing’” in the Aug. 14 edition of The MidWeek misidentified the university where Kurt Thurmaier studied. Thurmaier is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The MidWeek regrets the error.