Editor's Desk - September 2012
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Taking Stock of Summer

Last week my daughter went back to school for her first full days of first grade. And though it's still toasty warm outside, the tops of the maple trees outside my window are blazing orange, and my lunchtime walks find me kicking through the first scattered fallen leaves.

Summer is almost gone, and what a summer it's been! Around here—and in many other parts of the country—we've been battling drought and extreme heat. On a small scale, this means less time spent mowing the lawn (unless you're my neighbor, who I'm pretty sure would suffer from severe withdrawal without his twice-weekly lawnmower getaway). On a larger scale, it means widespread problems for everyone from farmers to sports turf managers. And I'd be willing to bet that many public pools have been full to bursting as the temperatures topped 100.

For those who can't take the heat, there were also the Summer Olympics, hosted in London this year. Is there anyone who didn't catch at least some of the games? This year, I let my daughter pick out videos online, and ended up watching a lot of sports that I didn't even know were part of the games. Sure, we enjoyed the beach volleyball, the synchronized diving, the track and field events, swimming and gymnastics. But we also watched some weightlifting, kayaking, equestrian, fencing, badminton and water polo. It's always great fun to see the best of the best compete.

We also caught a lot of festivals over the summer. Even though we live in a town of less than 15,000 people, our local park district does an outstanding job of providing fun events, from the Fourth of July in a local park (the fireworks are always fabulous, and the concessions are also worthwhile) to the summer festival downtown, complete with bouncy spacewalks, battle of the bands and—something I'd not seen at a festival before—a zip line, which seemed to be a big hit with the preteen crowd. I particularly enjoyed getting a chance to see my girl dance on the big stage, even though that was one of those days where the temperature was climbing perilously high. The park district's programming lineup includes some truly outstanding performing arts classes for kids and adults.

With all the fun going on, it's easy for the end of summer to sneak up on you. So now that everyone's either back in school or soon will be, it's time to look ahead. What kinds of fun do you have planned for your community this fall? Around here, the good times continue with local harvest fest, a farmer's market that will continue to churn out the tasty produce for another couple of months, visits to park and playground, and, of course, we're eyeing the lineup of fall programs. Maybe we'll catch the local football team a time or two as well.

How about you? I hope you have a whole slew of good times ahead, both this fall and through the winter ahead.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management