Summer is here!
Graduation Week 2012 has concluded successfully. Those who will graduate in future years had their last day of this school year Tuesday. Teachers, thanks to an agreement with the Harford County Board of Education, had their last day Wednesday instead of Thursday.
Before the purists and/or the nitpickers try to correct us by pointing out summer doesn't really arrive until next week, we know. Summer officially arrives with the solstice, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, better known as NOAA, at "5:09 p.m. MDT on Wednesday, June 20."
With that said, some people believe summer begins Memorial Day Weekend, perhaps with a first trip of the year to the beach. Others think seasons are more defined by months than by equinoxes and solstices.
For most folks younger than 18, summer begins when it's time for blasting Alice Cooper's radio staple "School's Out." When school, arguably our largest public institution, closes at the end of another school year, that's when summer really begins in thousands of Harford County households. (Except in those households where parents take their kids out early to get a jump start on travel and vacations.)
It's also when the dangers of everyday living increase significantly. Having fun in the summer, for the most part, has inherent risk. Playing ball can lead to kids running into traffic. Riding bikes can do the same. Bikes can also lead to accidents not involving traffic.
And longer days and warm temperatures lead folks to the water for run and cooling off. Be it a backyard pool, a cool flowing stream, the mighty Susquehanna or an annual trip to the ocean, bodies of water are dangerous, even for the best of swimmers.
Thankfully, summer is not a time for gloom and doom, the previous warnings notwithstanding. It's a carefree time for the young and the young at heart. And at various times, it's a time for rejuvenation for those still entrenched in the workaday world as they get breaks from the jobs.
So, summer's here and, as they say, the living is easy. Just have fun and do so as safely as possible.