"Summer Is Gone"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, September 24, 2016

Summer sure did fly by — seems like only yesterday I was writing about boating and kayaking and reviewing all the fun activities coming up. Now everything has slowed right down, almost to a halt.

The summer season is officially over, autumn arrived Thursday. Kids are back in school and stores are having sales on leftover summer clothes. They look kind of silly on racks right next to winter clothing already offered for sale. Other tell-tale signs that its autumn are the pumpkins, Halloween candy and trick or treat costumes filling the stores.

It’s not enough that parents have to buy new clothes because kids grow but more important — the styles change. There will be wails of, “I’m not going to wear that old thing,” so the clothes packed away when the weather changed are not going to be worn. Parents have to be wary of taking the kids shopping with them because they will choose the most expensive outfit saying, “I have to have it, because it’s the latest style.” You also have to pass up the bargains offered on the summer sell-out racks because by next summer those clothes won’t fit.

If you have a toddler in the shopping cart as you head out, be careful turning your back. When you get to the checkout, there may be some bags of candy you didn’t know were there. The dentist will be kept busy with the toothaches, but Halloween only comes once a year. I cannot figure out why the stores have to rush it and stock all those shelves with sweets so early. There is over a month to wait and by the time the youngsters are ready to hit the streets trick or treating the candy will all be gone and Christmas trimmings will take its place.

Did I say Christmas? Can you believe it? It will arrive in only three months, where does the time go?

We have to accept this wonderful, warm fall weather will soon be gone and lots of chores will need to be completed before it goes. While Mom’s busy outfitting the kids and hiding the Halloween candy, Dad needs to get started on his many responsibilities. One of the tasks to be done is never a favorite, but if done right, it may save a piece of equipment and ensure its maintenance.

The fuel needs to be removed from the lawnmower and other power tools. The latest suggestions say to add gas treatment, such as Sta-bil to the fuel tanks and start and run the engines. Once the treated, fuel is through the carburetor, shut down and let the engine cool. Drain the fuel and put it in your truck, tractor or car and re-start the engine and run it until the carburetor is dry. These steps will help you avoid destabilization (phase separation).

In the spring, when you wish to use your stored equipment, a dose of fresh fuel should be all that is needed. If the battery is charged, or pulling arm strong, the equipment should start easily and be ready to go back to work. A squirt of stabilizer added periodically should help keep your engines running smoothly.

As I see it, seasons pass too quickly. Just as we are really enjoying one, it’s gone and the next one arrives. Living in Michigan is great, however, because it does present all four seasons — spring, summer, fall and winter. I must admit having little recall of the final season of winter because I fly when the snow flies. I guess that is why all of those who do so are called, “Snowbirds.”

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