My summertime bucket list

Only two days left in August.

At the risk of sounding cliché, summer has flown by. Didn't the snow stop blowing just a few weeks ago? Now, two floods and one heavy heat wave later, summer is almost over before I had a chance to enjoy it ... or pack away my winter jacket for that matter (though at this point, I figure it may as well stay hanging on the coat rack for the colder weather to come).

In retrospect, I suppose it looks silly to have a layered, fleece-lined jacket hanging on a coat rack that stands six inches from a window with a working air conditioner. I've had plenty of chances to pack it away, but didn't because ... well, your reason is probably as good as mine. Truth is, it's just one more task to add to a long list of missed summertime opportunities – my summertime bucket list, so to speak.

I like to think everyone has a summertime bucket list. As summer nears its end, it's becoming less likely that I'll cross off everything on mine.

Summertime bucket list item one: clean the inside of my car.

Two years ago, my wife and I took in a two-year-old shepherd-retriever mix, an 85-pound ball of fur that's all too eager to grind around in the back seat of my Pontiac. Needless to say, one open window while driving means clouting my way through a hurricane of dog hair. A simple 15-minute dance with the vacuum cleaner would have prevented months of spitting said dog hair, but it’s been one of those “I'll do it tomorrow” kind of tasks. The problem is, “tomorrow” never came. Maybe it's just easier to buy a new car.

Summertime bucket list item two: go camping.

Not that I'm in a hurry to spend a couple nights sleeping on the ground and swatting at bugs, camping has been on my summertime bucket list for two years now. And my wife has been pulling my arm to go for the last four years (as I said, I'm not in a hurry). Nevertheless, I made it a point to go this summer. So what's stopped me? As much as I would like to blame it on an unprecedented bear epidemic (and subsequent picnic basket thefts), it's just another one of those things I simply haven't gotten around to.

Summertime bucket list item three: have a yard sale.

I have a lot of junk (an understatement if ever there was one). Ironically enough, some of that junk was purchased at yard sales past, thus keeping alive the longstanding yard sale mission statement to “turn one's crap into someone else's crap.” True, there have been known yard sale success stories of someone finding a diamond in the rough (a man in Las Vegas once purchased a sketch drawn by the hand of Andy Warhol for just a few bucks. Experts later assessed the sketch at roughly $2 million); but I digress. I need to clear some stuff out of storage, which I assess at a whopping $25 in all.

Summertime bucket list item four: plant something.

Plant anything. It doesn't matter. Frankly, whether it's a tomato plant or a man-eating plant like Audrey II from “Little Shop of Horrors,” I would be happy so long as I could cross it off my summertime bucket list. The challenge in doing so is that I've always considered myself to have whatever one would call the opposite of a green thumb, so virtually anything that grows from the dirt I would count a success. Of course, I have nothing to blame but myself for this missed opportunity this summer.

All this isn't to say I've done nothing with my summer. And it definitely isn’t to say I don’t have more on my list. But as I said, I like to think everyone has their own summertime bucket list. And that everyone still has a few things they would like to check off.

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