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Today is the first day of the eighth month on our calendar. I point out this obvious fact because August is one of my favorite months. Unlike February, when I am sick of winter and unlike May, when stray frosts thwart my garden plans, August arrives in a flourish of nature’s delights and local traditions.

The Platte County Fair occurs during the first week in August. Fair week is all consuming and includes watching the rodeo, cheering on our 4-H kids, enjoying the talent show, checking out all the exhibits, eating a greasy burger, and drinking a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Some years I enter garden vegetables and flowers in the horticulture competition, hoping for a ribbon or two. State Fair begins the week after, up in Douglas which is 60 miles north. The events are similar, but the competitors are from across the state. The quilts and other crafts are my favorite exhibits.

Douglas, WY

Douglas, WY (Photo credit: Tamela Rich)

The garden really hums in August. Daily, I pick veggies to eat fresh or freeze for the future. Pickle time is not far behind! My cutting flowers are finally blooming—gladiolus, dahlia, snapdragon, zinnia and more. Hollyhock and sunflowers, which I save for feeding birds in the winter, are standing tall and adding charm to the back yard.  As the garden matures the plants shade out the relentless weeds; hence, more time to enjoy the harvest

In August I forget about my July birthday. Some years I obsess about how old I am getting. However, on the magical day when I can mark off another year, I forget all the stress and enjoy—until about 6 months from now when I obsess once again.

Other reasons I love August?

Campgrounds empty out by the end of the month.  I love that families enjoy camping, but I seek a serene, less populated camping experience. After school starts, campgrounds are populated by generally are quieter folk. Many small reservoirs around begin to attract migrating birds and I always see some white pelicans and a few stray Sandhill cranes. Those sneaky birds try to drift by, but I am on the lookout.

White Pelican Wingspan

White Pelican Wingspan (Photo credit: TexasEagle)

The small town where I live offers limited cultural opportunities; the nearest events, like concerts, are 70 miles south in Cheyenne.  In August, though, I will enjoy several live bluegrass and country bands playing in the City Park. Nothing beats a cool evening and hot music. Well, except football. My purist friends oddly take pride in not watching preseason football. I guess the games do not count in their book. For me, preseason football quenches my thirst for football, and I feast on the endless commentaries about how the season will unfold. This year I will also enjoy digging out my Broncos #18 jersey that I got last Christmas.

Denver Broncos logo

Denver Broncos logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

August also brings the opportunity to slow down. Weddings,  Vacation Bible School, and the many other summer activities generally are over.  In the peace and quiet of late August I start thinking about Advent sermons.  Yes; Christmas is right around the corner for ministers. Advent, the prelude to Christmas, is an important time and offers the chance to create sermons that resonate for modern people, which takes time,  effort and planning.

Fair time, fresh vegetables, migrating birds, concerts in the park, football and quiet planning time: how sublime. May you have an august month of your own, filled with blessings.

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