There are two types of people in this world.
OK, not really, but let's agree on two for these purposes: ants and grasshoppers. You remember Aesop's Fables.
The grasshopper – gotta love him – spent the warm months singing his happy tunes, while the ants, well, they spent them scurrying. Scurrying and storing up food for the harsh winter ahead.
Of course, when winter came, the poor grasshopper was unprepared, and hungry, and had to beg of the ants, who weren't having it. They advised him that if he spent the summer singing, perhaps he should spend the winter dancing. Nah nah nah boo boo.
Nasty old ants.
Just kidding. Certainly, they were wise, wee creatures, with warnings for us all. And their sanctimony (kidding, again) wasn't lost on me, as I somehow found myself on a boat (sailgating) two days before a huge storm bearing my name was supposed to come barreling this way.
In true grasshopper style, there was some singing, too, (Notre Dame fight song, big game … you understand.) Hopes were high, weather worries low.
Because really, who had the time to prepare for this crazy storm? (Especially someone who'd just spent four hours finishing up the painting of the auction-destined pumpkins most recently mentioned here?)
The way I see it, in life you just have to have your priorities, and mine happened to be more social in nature at the moment. If this Sandy character had something to say about that, well, I'd wrangle with her later.
Later meant the next and last possible day before Armageddon, which was when I finally gave in. Succumbed, as it were, to the pressure – of office chatter and antlike neighborly scurrying and, of course, social media – and decided perhaps it might be smart, after all, to at least finally put away summer, if only to protect my neighbor's house from a flying grill or umbrella-shaped missile.
Enlisted a sidekick for last-minute help, and we got 'er done as quickly as possible, the better to move on to more previously scheduled merriment.
Everything got hastily shoved into the leaning tower of tiki, a.k.a. the garage, and I could only hope the structure held. (It did.)
Lessons, as usual, were learned. (Why do we fuss and fret so much with all this stuff from season to season anyway?)
Life is never as portrayed in catalogs, is it? Nothing like scrambling to shut down summer in a jiffy to make you wonder why you bother with grasshopper season in the first place.
Have you checked your patio furniture lately? Did you know it can actually grow fungus? I do now. (It's gross but next year's problem.)
Did you also know that rust-proof patio furniture and fade-proof umbrellas are lies? And that you can spend all the money in the world trying to make concrete look decorative and pretty, but all it takes is a season of stuff sitting atop it to leave permanent green-black grimy stains? I can go on. I won't. (Don't even get me started on shoddy outdoor workmanship.)
Let's just say that after assessing the backyard toll from yet another warm season, I was ripe to let the front porch and front yard ride out the storm, but I compromised. An angry Mama Nature is nothing to mess with.
But de-Halloweening was hurried, too: All décor was simply tossed into a storage coffee table, which I left out to tempt Sandy, right next to the chairs I just stacked and called it a day. (Come what may.) Forgot all about the poor little angels sitting in the rock garden.
But they survived. As did the rest of the place. As did most of us around here, thank heaven. At least until the next cataclysmic event. Now we can ruminate, like the smart little ants we are destined to become.
I'll start: Next year, summer is canceled. So are all its accoutrements, which only slow us down. Sandy taught me the value of simplicity.
Yes, I lie to you like a seasonal catalog.
Reach Sandra Snyder, the editor of At Home, at 831-7383 or [email protected].