The Land of Oz
A monthly editorial piece of masterful opinionated writing (insert joke here) regarding life and times in the big town of Tuscaloosa coupled with the musings of a guy nicknamed “Oz.”
If you are anything like me (and bless your soul if you are), you might have looked at the calendar recently and asked yourself, “Hey… where in the heck did summer go?”
Technically, it’s still here. But for all intents and purposes, it begins when school lets out and ends when school resumes. Or does it?
Whether you have kids or not, there is a direct correlation (especially in the thriving metropolis of Tuscaloosa) as it relates to our living conditions. This includes, but is not limited to: much lighter traffic conditions, no lines, no wait at local eateries, and no dreading the approach to the unavoidable intersection at 15th and McFarland (hurry up with that Krispy Kreme turn lane, will ya?). No matter where you live, you’ve no doubt dealt with this issue.
Seasons seem to get shorter every year and unscientifically speaking, maybe it’s because that for a couple of brief months, life gets a little easier to navigate. Literally. Getting from point A to point B is a lot less hectic.
But it also may be because of timing. Let’s face it: The last week of May and the first week of August are a wash. If you’re not decompressing from the hustle of spring, you’re prepping for the upcoming hustle in the fall. Some of us never come out of the hustle to begin with, but at least the commute is a little less painful.
Eliminate those two weeks, and you have exactly two months remaining. After various sporting camps, and vacation bible school, and finishing baseball, and dodging bacteria in the neighborhood pool, and swim lessons, and reapplying sunscreen, and potentially squeezing in a vacation from which you return and need a vacation… it’s over.
In a puff of smoke, the school supply list is staring you in the face and we’re all mulling over preseason football polls.
Other school systems perform their summer break dance a little differently simply by altering dates while maintaining the allotment of off time.
As an example, certain systems in other necks of other woods shift the grand finale of the academic year until the end of June and then recommence after Labor Day. I’m not sure which is worse. The only sure positive is that statistically, July and August are the hottest months, and at least the kids would return as the weather is beginning to somewhat cool down.
Regardless, the summers seemingly continue to get shorter. And if the powers that be eventually shorten the actual break, then by the measurement of the title of this article, enjoy your one week of summer. Time flies when you’re reapplying sunscreen.
I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.
Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and daughters Savannah and Anica.