When Is The Down Time?

Riverbank News - - PERSPECTIVE - MARG JACK­SON Marg Jack­son is ed­i­tor of The Escalon Times, The Oak­dale Leader and The River­bank News. She may be reached at mjack­son@oak­dale­leader.com or by call­ing 847-3021.

An un­usual thing hap­pened this year as I waited for the sum­mer slow­down we typ­i­cally see in the news­pa­per busi­ness … it never came. Or, it came and went when I wasn’t pay­ing at­ten­tion or was just too busy to see it.

Seems like just a few weeks ago I was tak­ing pho­tos at the Escalon High School grad­u­a­tion for the Class of 2018 and now it’s time to watch the new crop of kinder­garten stu­dents ar­riv­ing as they get started on their ed­u­ca­tional jour­ney.

Sum­mer of­ten gives us the chance to break away for a true va­ca­tion, as the work­load is a lit­tle lighter with­out school class­room ac­tiv­i­ties and sports but some­how, this year, I just didn’t get the chance. I stole a few days here and there, just enough to charge the bat­ter­ies a lit­tle.

Funny, though, as I look at those ‘stolen’ days, one was a re­cent Satur­day and one was a Sun­day. Days that should be play days any­way but, alas; not al­ways for the press.

My Sun­day get­away was with good friend and co-worker Michelle, as I pretty much in­vited my­self to an A’s-Gi­ants game at the Coli­seum – it was the Rickey Hen­der­son bob­ble legs pro­mo­tion and all I had to do was make sure Michelle’s hus­band got my bob­ble legs keepsake in ex­change for get­ting to fill his seat at the game. Done.

It was awe­some, de­spite the fact that most of the time I was sur­rounded by A’s fans in the sec­tion we were in. There were a few scat­tered Gi­ants fans around, enough to seek out for a high five when we made a good play or took the lead. It was the fi­nale of the Bay Bridge Se­ries and the A’s ended up win­ning in ex­tra in­nings but it was just such an ex­cit­ing game and a great day with a dear friend that I couldn’t be un­happy.

The Satur­day es­cape was a road trip up to about 8,000 feet to get clear of the Val­ley smoke, haze and heat. It was pretty warm, still, but at least the sky was blue and you could breathe in the fresh­ness. My room­mate and I headed out to go spend the day where her daugh­ter and fam­ily were camp­ing for a few days with a num­ber of rel­a­tives. We took a lit­tle walk to a swim­ming hole sur­rounded by rocks that were per­fect for sit­ting on while you dipped your feet in the wa­ter or, if you were of the braver va­ri­ety, you waded/dove in to the chilly moun­tain stream.

We had a rock paint­ing min­i­marathon for all ages, with the rocks to be placed around the camp­ing grounds later; they will check for them next year when they re­turn to the same lo­ca­tion for va­ca­tion.

Then it was off to a lake for some hik­ing, with a mix of sandy shore­line and trees. I re­ally love the woods, as they al­ways re­mind me of home, and scram­bling over rocks and wind­ing my way through forests was some­thing that was typ­i­cal of the sum­mers in my child­hood. My brother and I would set off for the day with a cou­ple of our cousins and just go. No cell phones. No par­tic­u­lar plan. A sack lunch and an ap­petite for ex­plo­ration was all we needed.

I did some scram­bling over rocks this trip but on Sun­day I was re­minded that I am no longer in my child­hood. Yes, a lit­tle stiff­ness but with over 14,000 steps recorded and 33 stair­cases con­quered on Satur­day, it was worth it. Not re­ally sure how my Fit­bit cal­cu­lates stair­cases but that one day to­tal was more than I have ever reg­is­tered in a day be­fore. Plus, I got a mes­sage in my email that it earned me my first “Red­wood For­est” badge – ap­par­ently climb­ing at least 28 stair­cases in a day gets you that re­ward.

So now as we look for­ward to Au­gust, here’s hop­ing that it doesn’t bring us as many 100-de­gree days as we had in July and that we get the school year started off on the right note. Fall sports kick in and we ramp it back up. Guess the slow­down will have to wait ‘til next sum­mer.

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