Those lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were shoveling snow and trying to keep warm. Now we are all ready to enjoy those lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer.

After asking local residents the question of the week on Monday, I feel better about not planning a summer vacation. We asked people if they were planning for a summer vacation and none of them were. The price of gas may be throwing a monkey-wrench into many summer plans. What is with the huge increase? No one seems to know why. I think the oil companies have been so used to gouging people when summer arrives that they just do it automatically.

If the cost of gas isn’t enough for you to cancel vacation plans, maybe the sad state of the economy will do it. There are so many people out of work. The state of Ohio reports that 10 percent of the people who could work are out of work. It may be more than that. I have a feeling that many others have just given up asking for government assistance and are toughing it out with family members.

When we drove past Kings Island over the weekend we noticed that the parking lot was nearly full. That was encouraging to see. Maybe people are planning on spending their vacations closer to home with season passes to local entertainment. That could help stimulate the local economy – maybe that’s a boost for us!

Even those who have made plans to lounge around the pools in their own backyards seem to be under the gun. The zoning inspectors are out looking for people who need to put fences around their pools. This not only costs the homeowners for building materials, but they have to get a permit to do the building. Again maybe this is stimulating the local economy, townships and villages are in a bind, too. I hope those with pools have lots of nice, hot weather to enjoy those pools, because you probably can’t afford to go anywhere.

Is actually trying to take time off work a problem? Do you know why? Most companies have experienced budget cutbacks and have had to lay off valuable workers. This creates a backlash because the workload is still the same, but now companies have fewer workers to get it done. Need some time off? Don’t ask, we need you here everyday to help with the increased workload.

The energy companies want to get in on the summertime action too. They look forward to hot, muggy days because people run their air conditioners more. If the power companies can get their hands in our pockets, they can just about clean us out. Now we can’t even afford to go to the local ice cream parlor for a cool treat.

There has to be some good news about summer, right? There is. We can grow our own fruits and vegetables. There is nothing as tasty as homegrown, fresh produce. We are saving on our grocery bills, doing something worthwhile and we’ll probably grow enough to share with neighbors. Maybe we can give some of our fresh produce to the zoning inspector when he drops by or to the energy worker who is reading our meter. We could give our bosses a few tomatoes or maybe some zucchinis. Don’t forget the mayor and the governor. Maybe the guy at the local gas station will give you a fill-up for a bushel of tomatoes. This whole concept could restart the barter system that worked for centuries. Humm, maybe we’re onto something here… Potatoes for building permits, peppers for state taxes, strawberries for kilowatt hours, why not?