It’s mid-July. Some think winter’s just around the corner, and your kids have been out of school for weeks already. They’re about to drive you crazy because, as they say, “There’s nothing to do.”

If this is happening at your house, you could let them forever bellyache or you could do your job by providing them with a luscious list of adventurous activities, specifically designed to ease their “lazy pains.” It’s up to you.

When I was growing up, summers brought a welcome relief from schoolwork, but they dragged in long days of hot, seemingly endless farmwork. Had I complained – and for awhile I did – my parents would have quickly suggested (from memory, no doubt) exciting solo or group activities such as pulling weeds from the cornfield, repairing the 4-strand, barbed-wire fence, washing the support beams and poles in the barn, picking the rock in the back 40, or any one of many other dreadful tasks that ultimately, over the years, became commonplace.

But it’s mid-July, and help in combating the shortage of fun is constantly dished out by local news and sportscasters who remind us that there is plenty to do in the state of 10,000 lakes. The Biggest Event is the upcoming State Fair, and, to me, the only thing worse than continually hearing about the fair is the awful fact that the news stations will broadcast from the fairgrounds every day it’s open.

I’ve observed that the newscasts change when they originate from the dusty, steamy fair – hard, important news becomes practically non-existent, and trivial things are magnified. Little kids holding dripping popsicles are asked what their favorite thing at the fair is, and, of course, they’ll say, “Popsicles.” I’d say it drives me crazy, but I don’t want to sound like a bellyacher. Oops. Too late.

But the fair is only the beginning! There are the Twins, who are making a push to win the title in Major League Baseball’s lamest division. Currently, it appears that Cleveland is the default winner, but anything’s possible until the math shows otherwise. But let’s remember too that:

- the Timberwolves drafted a guy named Josh Okogie in the first round. With a purported wingspan the width of a 747, he is touted as a franchise savior.

- the Gopher football team will surely be better than last season’s squad.

- the Wild will certainly trade for players who will help produce a division title and deep advancement in the playoffs.

- the Vikings will enjoy their best season in years as they battle for playoff glory.

Yes, who can possibly be bored in the face of all this optimistic sports hype? But wait, there are alternatives to even all this fabulous, anticipatory excitement!

I’ve noticed that the robins (one specific robin in particular) love our birdbath. It’s fascinating to watch him return over and over to splash and carry on.

Bees love the hosta flowers. One particular bee enjoyed a long sip before exiting to find another sweet-smelling destination. He checked out my garden shoes, but didn’t stop.

Squirrels will do just about anything to get into the bird feeders, even when bread is put on the ground just for them. Gluten issues perhaps. Whatever the case, their antics are hilarious.

Oh, the list goes on and on, and you can make your own. I think I’ll just go watch my tomatoes ripen.

Loren Brabec is a contributing sports writer for the Isanti-Chisago County Star and author of several Braham sports books.

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