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Setting the bar low in August

It might not be a motto for a healthy life, but I’ve found that if you have low expectations, you shouldn’t be disappointed as often. Sometimes you might even be pleasantly surprised.

Take August for instance. Typically, I hold quite the grudge against August. Yes, the girl who holds ridiculous grudges against outhouses and clowns also turns her nose up at the eighth month of the year.

Don’t get me wrong, August has a lot of good things going for it like sweet corn, peach pie and more evening hours for campfires and s’mores. Speaking of summer nights, now is the time you’ll find my family at the local campground as the darkness gets the kiddos into their sleeping bags at an earlier hour, which leaves the adults with more campfire time to themselves.

The issue I have with August mirrors a problem February presents. I really do love winter. (I’m not repeating this to convince myself, I really do!) However by mid-February, the whole wind-chill routine has begun to wear a little thin. As any hardy Midwesterner will tell you, February is a LONG time from the mild temperatures and soft breezes we yearn for in spring, so all we can do is grin and bear it for 28 bitterly cold days — unless of course it’s a Leap Year.

Likewise, August is a month that in my book was designed to be endured more than enjoyed.

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August features crabgrass, a weed that is satisfying to pull but beware; if you forget the pile of pulled crabgrass on the sidewalk, it most often will take root in the concrete. There is a sadistic part of me that likes to toss crabgrass upside down on the concrete so that it might wither and die in the sun. There it lies with its little root-legs sticking up in the air silently screaming, "Oh, no ... !"

During this eighth month we are also caught under an avalanche of zucchini. My friends, remember this word of advice for next year; you need only plant one zucchini seed in order to harvest enough of the vegetable to feed your family, your co-worker’s families and all the families in your neighborhood.

And of course August is all about the two H’s; heat and humidity. They don’t call it the Dog Days for nothing, folks!

And that is where my low expectations have come around to rescue me. The first half of the month has featured spectacular weather. I never expect to enjoy August, so when we can string together a few good-weather days, I’m as happy as a clam.

Almost as happy as when those mild, sunny, 40-degree days pop up around Valentine’s Day!

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