Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer here. Summer gone.

Ah, Summer, we barely knew ya.

As we turn the calendar over to September and make out last minute preparations to send our kids to school, we do so with a heavy heart, knowing that the calendar might say there's still three weeks left in Summer, but, really, it's over.

Earlier this year, I said, “This is the year that I cross more things off the list than not. This is the year that I refuse to let the warm months slip by. This is the year that I refuse to let life get in the way of living.”

I wish I could say I was successful in that. I wish I could say that I didn't let the warm months slip by. But 2010 was very similar to 2009 in that fashion.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I didn't do anything. Oh, I did plenty.

I went to Darien Lake with the kids, Toronto with a cute brunette, and took a nap in Delaware Park all by myself.

I ran into friends at the Allentown Art Festival, Canal Fest of the Tonawandas, and the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts.

A saw Pearl Jam at HSBC, Public Enemy at the Town Ballroom and George Thorogood at Artpark.

I enjoyed Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Erie Canal and every vantage point of the Niagara River.

I ate tasty food at the Taste of Buffalo and drank tasty beers at the Buffalo Brew Fest.

Despite that laundry list of accomplishments, though, I still feel like Summer slipped by because this is Western New York, where we're blessed with summertime entertainment 24/7 and there's so much I didn't get to do.

I guess I'll have to stick around another year and see what I can accomplish in 2011.

Maybe my accomplishments will be of the laundry list variety I displayed above. By the way, that laundry list is abbreviated. There's just too much to write. Or maybe my list of accomplishments will be something more meaningful.

I'd love to improve our community. I'd love to find the magic bullet that makes everything all better. Or have a hand in removing the cancerous things that keeps us down.

What Western New York really needs is better leadership and vision. Less promises and more action. Less talk about the next great fishing store that's going to make everything better and more doing away with burdensome taxes and regulations that make it hard to keep afloat.

As much as I love our free concerts and festivals, when the summer ends, we're reminded that the problems we had in spring are still problems. Bread and circus might work in the warm months, but when the days get shorter, the circus leaves town and we remember who the real clowns are.

Summer is a great time to forget our problems and just go with the flow. But as the kids go back to school, we need to get back to work. We have an election coming up. Better start studying.

Of course, if you're content with just three good months a year, sit back and do nothing. It'll be festival season again soon.