Aw yes, the good old summertime. I’m not quite sure what a toosie-wootsie is -- and I definitely don’t want to be one – but I do know that we all deserve a long and comfortable summer to help erase the memory of the winter from hell. Can you say sub-zero?

The signs of the season are abundant. The young corn is big enough to be “rowed,” the grass requires mowing about every four days and the always-enjoyable burdocks are flourishing. Yes, indeed, it’s summertime in Iowa, and everyone is enjoying this season in the sun. That’s as it should be.

What’s your favorite activity during this all-too-brief time of year? I realize it varies from family to family – from individual to individual – but generally speaking we all like to plan a few adventures that will help sustain us during those months when the nights are long and the cold winds blow.

Many will be planning vacations of all types … from visiting relatives in far-off places, to frolicking on a beach somewhere to traveling to a big city to take in all the sights and sounds therein. The possibilities are endless.

Perhaps canoeing or kayaking is your thing. Or how about a peaceful horseback ride in the mountains of Colorado? Maybe you prefer the simpler, closer-to-home pleasures like fishing the Upper Iowa, or biking with the kids and grandkids or reasserting your reputation as the “Grill Master” who likes to entertain by cooking massive quantities of barbecued meats for friends, neighbors and even relatives.

Naturally – at least here in America – many families will be planning the vacation to top all vacations: a trip to either Disneyland or Disney World. Over the decades, both attractions have gained an international reputation as the places to take your children if you truly love and care about them. And any parent who fails to deliver on that apparent birthright will forever be branded “the worst father/mother of all time.”

That last statement was obviously made with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, but it’s not far from the truth. The “pressure” to make sure your children get the opportunity to enjoy all that is Disney is brought to bear from every conceivable angle. The commercials on TV, radio, the Internet, newspapers and every other source known to man are endless and overpowering. Who in their right mind could resist?

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