Rants and Raves

I begin today with an "I-just-need-to-get-this-off-my-chest" moment.

What the heck is going on in the Southern part of these United States that is forcing schools to start classes in mid or even early August?!?

During my blogging break, I stopped writing. (At least publicly.) I did not stop reading. And I was shocked -- shocked -- at the number of people sending their kids back to school the second week in August.

Up here in the Northland, we have an actual-to-goodness state law that forbids school from starting until the day after Labor Day -- which is the day God designated for kids to return to school. It's the way things should be. Memorial Day is the beginning of summer, Labor Day is the end of summer. End of discussion.

So maybe someone could enlighten me as to how this makes sense? Especially when it appears to be most prominent in the states where August is most miserable, and most of the schools don't have air conditioning? (And yes, I'm aware of all the testing and standards required by schools these days, and truly, I feel for the teachers. But maybe they should eliminate a mid-winter break or two and let kids actually enjoy the twilight days of summer?)

For cryin' out loud, people. I can't wrap my mind around this one. I think if I lived in The South, I would boycott this particular mandate. (In much the same way I boycotted the stupid -- yes, there's the family word -- red left-hand arrow lights at empty intersections in San Jose. By the end of our two years in that insanely trafficked city, I actually started willfully running red left-hand arrows when no one was coming the other way. Which is why it's a good thing we left the Bay Area. I never had road rage until I moved there -- and I haven't had it since.)

And now, a few paragraphs of blood-pressure-reducing bliss: Can we talk peaches for a few minutes? Specifically, mid-August juicy peaches straight from the western side of Colorado?

Holy luscious cow, Batman. They are that good.

For the past three years, I've been able to obtain these amazing, fuzzy orbs of perfection from our (formerly local) Youth for Christ ministry. They bring them back from a Colorado adventure trip each year and sell them by the box to raise funds for the coming year.

The first year, I bought one box (approximately 20 pounds) and brought it home. I washed a baseball-sized peach and had it for lunch -- and before the juice on my chin was dry, I was on the phone with YFC to ask if they had any extra boxes. They did. I bought two more. Immediately. And thus began the annual Eating of the Peaches Festival in the Love Well household.

How good are these peaches? So good that I don't offer them to my children. And if they ask to try one, I tell them they won't like it. So good that I spend a week making peach jam and peach pie filling, and I never once tire of the smell of peaches and sugar in the air. So good that my husband is bitter with me for months when I take one of his fresh peaches and turn it into pie. (He's not a desert eater, and he'd rather have them raw.)

This year? The peaches were supposed to come in the week before we moved. I literally arranged my calendar around the Blessed Arrival of the Peaches, planning to spend my last fives days in our home beside the lake doing nothing but dealing with the peaches.

And then -- disaster. The peaches came a week late, when I was knee-deep in packing paper and had moving tape stuck in my hair. (Side note, but who invented that tape?!? It kept folding in on itself, even though I had an official dispenser, and it refused to be coaxed back into the real world by my fingernails. Maybe we should send some boxes of that to Iraq and Afghanistan.)

I dutifully picked up our three boxes (read: 60 pounds) of peaches from Youth for Christ and hoped they'd make it through the move without constant refrigeration. (And yes, I know you aren't supposed to put peaches in the fridge. But if you leave 60 pounds of peaches sitting out for more than three days, you too will live through The Great Fruit Fly Plague, as we did in 2004. I seriously tried channeling Moses and Aaron to help me rid my house of the evil insects.)

I hoped to get to the peaches as soon as our clothes were out of the boxes. I even gave away the remaining jars of peach jam I had from last year to clear cupboard space for the bountiful harvest I would soon produce.

And then -- another disaster. Turns out, my husband and I can go through a lot of Colorado peaches in two weeks. We now have only ONE BOX of peaches remaining in our extra fridge -- and my husband has threatened my very life (and I'm pregnant with his offspring, let me remind you) if I even think about taking "his" peaches and turning them into some peach abberation. (His term, not mine.)

Does anyone know if there's a black market out there for Colorado peaches? Because I'm desperate. I have no peach jam in the pantry for my toast, no peach pie filling waiting to be the very promise of summer on a cold winter night. ARGH! What am I going to do?!?


  1. I feel for you Kel, I really, really do. Maybe some friendly Coloradian....Coloradon....ColoradoResident will happen upon your site and donate some peaches to your poor pregnant self.

  2. The way I understand it, is they are trying to finsh the semester before "christmas Break", if we are still able to call it that. That would give the highschoolers, a chance to come back from Christmas break and start a new semester. Instead of leaving for two weeks in the middle of the semseter and then take finals after being gone for two weeks.
    I do agree that is rather hot and have you seen them practice for football season in the heat?

  3. Hi! Found your site from Big Mama's and I couldn't agree with you more about the kids going back to school before Labor Day. My kids started the week before Labor Day, only to then be off for the three day weekend. Makes no sense!
    Hope you find some more peaches!

  4. OK, so here in Tulsa??? School started for my kids August 9th!!!! Is that not crazy, or what? I agree, when I was raised, school ALWAYS started the day after labor day. It's kinda disgusting to have to buy the "new school outfit" for the first day - and buy TANK TOPS!!! We get out May 16 - but that really doesn't make it seem much better. This summer, our break off of school was only 8 weeks. I love my kids - I'm sad to see them have to return to school. The desire of my heart is to one day homeschool - but we're not there yet...

  5. You are VERY funny, Kelly. You had me laughing through this whole post.

    Just wanted to come by and say thanks for the visit to my blog. So glad I did--that was a great way to start the day.