Well, itís that time of year again, and I for one couldnít be happier as far as our recent change in the weather goes. Granted, itís been a trifle warm for anyoneís taste, but anything is better than freezing temperatures and two feet of snow, not that we had all that much of that to deal with over the winter.
Personally, Iíve always tried my best not to complain once summer arrives, like some, even when the sweat is pouring into my eyes and I canít get rid of that ... sticky ... feeling. As a lifelong resident of Chenango County, youíd think Iíd be used to our area winters by now, but Iím not.
Whatís best, however, if you ask me, is the sheer volume of summer fun thatís out there to be had. From last weekendís Rolling Antiquers Antique Auto Show and Flea Market to Septemberís Colorscape Chenango and everything in between, including Gus Macker, the Chenango County Fair, this weekendís Pageant of Bands and Ė my personal favorite Ė the Chenango Blues Fest (not to mention the blues committeeís Summer Concert Series), it seems thereís always something to do come summer.
Talking to some people, though, you wouldnít think so.
What can I say? Iíve always held a grudge when it comes to those individuals who canít seem to find anything positive to say about our little corner of upstate New York. Sure, weíre no Syracuse Ė or even Binghamton Ė when it comes to sporting events or entertainment, but what weíve got ... well, weíve got it pretty good.
And no, Iím not ignoring the handful of issues that our local communities are facing, but that was last weekís column, if youíll remember.
Today ... well, Iím feeling a bit more positive. Which is funny considering the number of people who have commented on the depression factor involved in my coverage of our local fire, police, emergency and court beats. And I canít tell you how many times Iíve been asked over the past year or so, ďDoesnít all that crime and violence, all those accidents and fires get you down?Ē
The answer is ... it does, sometimes. But most of the time, no, itís simply part of my job.
Regardless, thereís usually some good to balance the bad, which is why I get so excited for our countyís summer season. Last weekend, it was the car show and flea market (more flea market, less car show for this reporter). This weekend, the Pageant of Bands. Even Gus Macker doesnít bother me the way it used to (I used to run for the hills every year our infamous 3-on-3 basketball tournament came into town), and Ė as always Ė Iím looking forward to handing out our yearly Macker edition (which is free, by the way).
Fast forward a bit, and I have our hometown dailyís coverage of the Summer Concert Series (love it); the Chenango County Fair (like it); and Blues Fest (love it ... a lot) to look forward to. Music being my first calling, the former and latter are certainly a joy to write about Ė and experience Ė while the fair ... the fair is just fine, I guess. Iíve never been a devout fair-goer, needless to say, but now, as a reporter, itís a nice opportunity to get out of the cubicle, get out there among our readers, take some fun photos and Ė last but certainly not least Ė chow down on some fried dough.
I guess what Iím getting at is this, life is what you make of it, a mindset that can also be applied to our area summers. And I suppose if youíd rather sit inside and complain that thereís nothing to do, thatís your right. As for me, taking advantage of all there is to do in Chenango County seems like a no-brainer. So much of it is free (easy on the wallet), itís always fun (good for the soul) and ... letís face it ... thereís plenty of fun to be had if youíre willing to suffer some of that sweet summer sunshine.
Does it really get any better than that?
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