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Repent, repent! October is here!

Photo / NOAA

So that familiar chill is in the air and that can only mean one thing: You forgot your wedding anniversary again. But for the rest of us survivors, it also means the annual turning-of-the-earth-away-from-the-life-sustaining-sun-and-plunging-us-into-an-abyss-of-eternal-darkness-and-soul-numbing-cold.

You know, October.

This time of year is always a flurry around our house as we prepare for winter's onslaught. We bring it on ourselves, though, because the summer always seems to slip away faster than an oiled-up giant rubber duck promoter. Every time we look at our list, the "to-do's" turn into "to-don'ts":

Well, we have a free Saturday, so let's see ... hmmmm, stain the deck? Pull up carpeting? Renovate the kitchen? I guess we co-o-o-ould accomplish one of those ... OR! We could take a day trip to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, then play mini-golf at a funky sculpture garden!

Guess which one we picked?

We have the best intentions and certainly things need to be done around here, but in reality, what's more important than family time? After all, God only grants us a week and a half of perfect summer weather here in northern Minnesota. (And even with that, He blasts us with pests like mosquitoes. And tourists.) Some may call this "laziness," but I prefer the phrase "Play now. Work waits." OK, that's technically the definition of lazy but you see my point. I'd rather enjoy free time with my family and not put them through a lot of sweating and cursing (and that's just from trying to find the rake).

Of course, there's always a price to pay for June-August time spent on fun and that bill comes due in October. We battle the elements every weekend as we scurry to get the deck refinished before temperatures plummet faster than Trump's post-debate poll numbers. After that it's a fistfight with the garden, ripping out weeds and yanking potatoes from the clutches of a soil death grip. In the middle of all these skirmishes, we have to rush down and button up our camper before Old Man Winter moves in, along with a dozen squirrels and the Mouse family from Sturgeon Lake.

But, as you can see, our family willingly trades a leisurely summer for a frenetic fall. Every. Single. Time ... OOPS! Gotta go! Thermometer dropped another degree and I haven't finished stripping!!

What? I'm talking about the deck. Get your minds out of the gutter!

Although these work pants are kinda itchy ...

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at