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Chuck Brooks: Temperatures headed in the right direction

On the calendar, summer is still a few weeks from ending. However, for all intents and purposes, summer ends this weekend. We're already in the final weekend of the State Fair, September is peeking in the front windows, and the stores have a rush of parents picking up last-minute school supplies so their kids are ready on Tuesday.

Here we go again.

Hot days

Was summer everything you wanted it to be? If you like warm temps with lots of humidity, you should be elated with the three months that have just passed. As I grow older, I am not a fan of humidity. I've always said "Give me winter. It's easier and more fun getting toasty than it is trying to cool down and feel less yucky." Yes, I've always said that. You can quote me.

Is that to say I want it to be winter? No, I do not. At least not yet, but there were a few days when the air was just right, and the temps were absolutely delightful.

I have a brother who loves the summer heat and all that comes with it. He's five years older, and he's not bothered by feeling sticky. He can have it. Give me the chill of an autumn night!

Weather aside, my summer was a good one. I am not a fan of traveling, beyond going from Minnesota to Wisconsin to visit my siblings. I am content to stay around the area and make my fun or find some in various locations with friends.

Warm feelings

My summer began on a positive note when I traveled to Milwaukee that final weekend in June to see my friends with whom I worked when we were resident assistants at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. It was a special weekend for me and I've thought about it often since it ended. People are important to me and history with people matters. That Saturday and Sunday in June was simply the best.

Shortly thereafter, the Fourth of July arrived and I was excited to once again announce the Apple Valley parade. We managed to get in 38 of 100 units before the police basically kicked us off the streets for fear the lightning was going to harm someone. I have to admit that was not a great day in my summer. After all these years, we finally got rained out and so did my spirits. Sigh.

On the heels of that, however, came the Drum Corps International competition at TCF

Stadium in Minneapolis four days later. A former colleague asked me to join him in a suite, courtesy of Schmitt Music. He is well aware of my affinity for marching band performances, and DCI goes to the next level of marching bands. It was a grand Saturday night! It's my favorite annual event of the summer, and I would have missed it this year if not for the invite.

Next on my calendar was the Leprechaun Days parade in late July, including calling bingo an hour or so after the parade ended. oth are always summer highlights of mine, and this year they were just as enjoyable as always. That evening, I stopped in to check out the Class of 1988 reunion and saw faces I hadn't seen since graduation on that night in June of 1988. More special memories with people, once again, with whom I had history.

Cool experience

Up next was a trip to the Motherland (Wisconsin), for a visit with some siblings and relatives and a long-awaited trip to the county fair. I finally had a chance to finally connect with my now 2-year-old great-nephew.

The actual visit began two days earlier with yet another suite experience, this time in Lambeau Field. Of all my suite experiences, this one reigns supreme. All ten of us were blown away.

The four-day visit flew by, and on the fifth day, I returned to a happy Willsters.

Sprinkled throughout the summer life continued with my writing group meeting every other week, movie matinees, trips to the casino with another friend, monthly meeting with retired colleagues and friends from RHS, and lunches (usually) with former students of mine.

One of them is responsible for my summer goal being reached and that was to clean up my garage. It was screaming for attention for too many years. My former student came to its rescue.

I also managed to begin the summer with the creation of a new patio in the back of my townhome. I've used it a lot on beautiful summer mornings. I take my coffee and book out there while Willy sits inside, only imagining how wonderful it would be to be human sitting in the other chair. Hehe.

So begins fall. Chillier temps, the smell of burning wood in the air, shortened days (sigh); all a prelude to the holiday season of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

May the colors be slow to develop and brilliant as the sun. Until then, happy Labor Day and bring on the education!