Small budget calls for homegrown fun

Our summer began with a wonderful trip into unknown places, at least unknown to me, though familar to many from this area, as we went to southern Colorado.

However, that will probably be the extent of our travels this summer, as like many families, our budget is small.

We have found, though, small celebrations can contain large joys.

For the price of a weekend away, we bought a 4-by-16 swimming pool which, when blessed with grandchildren of 6 and 10, along with various friends and semi-grandkids, was a wise investment.

I can truthfully say that there hasn’t been a day of decent weather that the pool hasn’t been occupied-often for more than one stretch. Remember, too, that their definition of decent weather is far looser than yours might be.

Fourth of July brings the usual rain, or in this case, a break of a day in a stretch of rain, and Smoke on the Water.

After swimming for the afternoon and having a cookout, we joined a lot of local folks to listen to a very gifted local band, who can also be heard playing at one of the town’s well-known music venues. I am not sure why no one but my wife and I got up and danced. Truthfully, we didn’t care- we had fun.

Having grown up in Pennsylvania, where personal fireworks were illegal, it is always a slightly guilty thrill for me to light off our own fireworks, which we did twice this year, since my grandson was not yet visiting on the Fourth.

I’d be lying if I didn’t allow that 100 degree temperatures, of which we have had more than the usual, can make small enjoyments seem large. A movie is not just a movie; it is an air-conditioned relief from the heat. There are always a number of good ones scheduled for the summer, in a number of different genres.

Checking out Facebook reminded me of the upcoming Curry County Fair, as of course that site is already up and running and you can sign in if you plan to attend. Whether I had signed in or not, I would surely plan to attend.

I don’t know how much of a highpoint of the summer it is; it seems like more of a high point of the transition time, when fall is more than just in the air. Yes, it’s August, but school will already be back in session.

Probably because of the liberal moisture we have experienced, I personally have found much more joy in gardening this year. It has been great to not have to fight for every bit of progress that is made, and more than offsets the new necessity of staying on top of weeds.

Yes, we hope to have a short stay in Albuquerque, where I have signed my grandson up for a “TryScuba” afternoon. But by and large, like many families, our economy this summer has forced fun to be homegrown.

Don’t sit and mope, staring at the TV and wishing you were rich. Get a backyard pool, put on some Bob Marley and cook some burgers; pretend you’re in Jamaica.

It just might work.