The Prune: Best-laid plans? They can wait for next summer


by Todd Sharp

I love to come home after a long bike ride on a hot day, take a cool shower and lay on the bed spread-eagle and allow the natural cooling effect of the evaporating residual water to work its magic… and if I’m lucky enough, nod off for a short nap.

This summer, like so many other wonderfully active summers, seems to have evaporated in a hot, steamy wisp. It reminds me of the loud, brief whoosh as a barista cleans the foam wand of the cappuccino maker.

Climatologists say the earth’s atmosphere is growing warmer and the thunderclouds seem to be producing more rainfall with each passing storm.

Living in the sandy dirt north of Princeton, I’m thankful for all the rain this year.

We limited the evaporation in our garden by spreading 40 bales of straw everywhere. I expect the record rains contributed greatly to the successful first go at the garden, and that all the deer in the township have yet to discover the fresh romaine and parsnips.

But even with our attempt to mulch, increasing temperatures and porous ground caused the rain to quickly dissipate.

I hope the local farmers on the fertile soil on the Mackford Prairie have enough dry days to get harvested this fall. I’m sad many growers in the greater Midwest weren’t able to plant all of their fields this year.

Heavy rains and subsequent runoff of fertilizer messed up the lakes, adding instability to my

plans to splash around, water ski and dip my tootsies to cool off on the hottest days.

The summer started with the Heidel House closing, so all the local Air BnBs and VRBOs filled up.

It will be interesting to see if the new, shared economy will have been robust enough to have accommodated all the vacationers and visitors.

I’m sure the room-tax collecting government officials will tell us shortly.

It is good that the state updated the laws and made it mandatory to collect the funds assessed by the local ordinance. If not for that, the room-tax revenues would have evaporated this summer, even with a flood of visitors.

Feels like summer days evaporated as quickly as the summer rains on the hot pavement. Plans had been made and bike rides have been ridden.

But not all.

The RAGBRAI left Council Bluffs with my bike and I still firmly sitting in Wisconsin.

Our garage foundation is still a concept as constant rain, overbooked and exaggerated promises are patiently waiting excavation and execution.

As summer winds down, some plans have evaporated. Come next spring, droplets of thoughts and grains of those notions will naturally congeal, like storm clouds gathering, binding together, gaining enough weight and by next spring rain down on our priorities and once again become full-blown plans.

Editor’s note: When not doing rain dancing to ask the gods for a garage-building reprieve, Todd Sharp sells advertising for the Green Laker, Express and The Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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