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Hill Country Living

By Coulter Fussell

Well, summer showed up fast, furious and with no apologies. We’ve had some July heat a day or two this past week and that does not bode well for me. I’ll never understand the point of extreme weather. Why would Mother Nature allow for things to be really hot or really cold when she could just let things be permanently temperate? 

Like the kind of weather that allows you to wear a cute hoodie in the morning but still have on comfortable flip-flops throughout the day? I mean, I understand the physics of weather in terms of the earth’s rotation and distance to the sun and tilt of the planet and I see that it’s basically all miraculous and that I should be in awe no matter the temperature. But still, 90-something degrees in May?  I don’t appreciate it.

The set of people who seem to live in ignorant bliss in terms of the temperature are the town’s children. It seems they aren’t bothered by anything except self-inflicted boredom. I kid you not, my oldest child who has been counting down the days until summer since Christmas, was complaining of being bored within an hour of getting home from this celebratory sixth grade “graduation” lunch with his grandparents.

He walked in the house, kicked off his shoes, plopped down in his chair in front of the fan, put on his headphones, opened a bag of cheese puffs, and turned on YouTube declaring “I’m bored.” 

I reminded him that the state of being bored depends on a matter of personal choices and that most times being bored is self-inflicted due to lack of curiosity or enthusiasm. For instance, if your grandparents offer to take you anywhere within a 30-mile radius for your sixth grade graduation lunch, then maybe “Subway” was not the most exciting choice. He graduated seven years of elementary school at noon. He was bored with life and everything in this town by 2 p.m.

I also reminded him that he probably was a bit bored compared to, say, me and just about every other adult in town who was currently stressing about summer childcare options and that maybe he could cure his boredom by opening a free day care as that would be very helpful for everyone.

Unless you’re incarcerated in the penitentiary or on bed rest, then boredom is a privilege. And even then there’s always knitting. I can’t remember the last time I was bored. Most of us have way too much adulting to get done each day to be at a point where we’re actually looking for more things to do. I often remind my child that he can clean his room or wash dishes or help with yard work if his boredom becomes truly unbearable. He doesn’t take the bait. As it turns out, despite the whining, boredom is tolerable if there’s a fan, an internet connection and a freezer full of popsicles.

This is really a fun time of year, though. All the kids, however bored, are still excited that summer has begun, and all the adults can relax a good bit on those school year rules and schedules. Plus, no homework. I didn’t like it as a kid, I like it less as an adult. Talk about boring!

Wishing good early-summer times to all the Water Valley kids out there. If you get bored then go help your Mama with something. It’ll pass the time and she might reward you with a trip to Subway.

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