End of summer? No, there’s still plenty to do

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 2, 2016

By Toi Degree

Rowan Cooperative Extension

Now that school has started and the children are geared up for another academic year, many of us begin to think of summer coming to an end. The end of summer brings shorter days, cooler weather and the end-of-summer bucket list. I’m sure that there are some things that you meant to do but just never got around to them. So as summer draws to a close, here are a few things you might want to consider …

Eat something deliciously bad for you at the Rowan County Fair.  

The Rowan County Fair is coming soon, and this will provide an awesome opportunity to have fun with the family, enjoy really delicious food and win prizes. Be sure to visit the fair Sept. 23-Oct. 1. For more details, visit the Rowan County Fair website at: http://rowancountyfair.net/.  Also, don’t forget about the North Carolina State Fair. This year’s theme is, “Nothing Could Be Finer,” running Oct. 13-23 in Raleigh. For more information and ticket pricing, visit: http://www.ncstatefair.org/.

Have one last cookout.

It wouldn’t be summer without a great barbecue or cookout, and what better way to end the summer than with a wonderful gathering of family and friends, great food prepared on the grill, tons of sides, and fun, fun, fun?

Take a boat ride or dip in the lake, stream or swimming pool.

Rowan County has lots of options for taking your boat out for a dip.  Whichever you decide, take some time to enjoy the last few days of summer and soak up the sun to end on a relaxing note.

Finish reading that book that you’ve been reading for… how long now?

I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I have been working on finishing up a murder mystery book by Mary Higgins Clark, titled “All around the Town,” forever. I’ll read a little bit here and there in my spare time (limited). It’s almost to the point that I need to start over because I don’t remember what I’ve read.  If this sounds like you, go ahead and take some time to finish that book; go sit in the park and soak in some vitamin D, and wait for the plot to unfold. Enjoy.

Become a tourist for the day.

North Carolina is one of the most beautiful states in the union. Go and visit a place, even if just for the day.  At least you can say that you went, saw and enjoyed.  I found a great site called, “20 Places Every Southerner Should See Before They Die” (http://www.countryliving.com/life/travel/g3539/vacation-spots-in-the-south/?slide=3).  It has some great places and gives me more places to look forward to seeing.  Here in North Carolina, we have everything from beaches to the Blue Ridge Parkway to the breathtaking Biltmore House in Asheville.  Go discover North Carolina again… https://www.visitnc.com/signature-attractions.

Preserve your favorite fruit.

When it’s no longer at the farmers’ market, you’re going to wish that you figured out how to preserve the freshness of your favorite summer fruit. Strawberries, for instance, come and go so fast. This year, I’ve eaten more than I saved but in case you have to know how to preserve them, here is a link to assist you:  https://foodsafety.ces.ncsu.edu/home-food-preservation/.

As I close, I will say that these are just a few things that may be on your bucket list and among several that I found on the internet.  The list itself gave me great new ideas for things to do and ways to see more sites, whether here in North Carolina or in other states.  Here is the site that I visited: http://www.countryliving.com/life/g3537/end-of-summer-activities/?slide=1&thumbnails=.

For these and other end-of-summer activities, simply Google, “summer’s end bucket list ideas,” and you will get a ton of ideas.

Toi N. Degree is a family and consumer education agent for Rowan County Cooperative Extension.  You may reach me at 704-216-8970, or email me at toi_degree@ncsu.edu