Major League Baseball is about two-thirds of the way done and already the second stringers have been out on the grid.
Last Sunday it was the Cincinnati Bengals and the Dallas Cowboys taking the field in some kind of NFL Hall of Fame debut while the sports commentators on another channel were still wrangling over MLB wild card standings and whether the NFL season should be extended to 18 "real" games.
I say: Go for it.
Meaningless preseason NFL outings will continue to pop up on the tube in the coming weeks, prematurely heralding the new fall season like the northern crocus that sprites through winter snow in hues of violet and yellow to announce spring's ensuing arrival.
Change is on the horizon.
It's still a weary walk from my couch to the steamy garden but preseason has commenced in the NFL, prodding me to think that maybe it's time to shake off my air-conditioned hibernation and venture outdoors.
To be sure, we have not been all that slothful. The never-ending to-do list has been rife with inside tasks as of late, the kind we tend to put off when fairer weather beckons. The old man has been kept busy tackling old bathroom grout and installing living room moulding while the smell of fresh paint lingers in the master bedroom since we finally got around to covering the final blue remnants of the previous owners with a warm, creamy taupe.
So maybe now is a good time to pull out the seed catalogs and start thinking about preparations for the winter garden?
It's a hopeful chore — to make plans for what will be sewn in the hay-strewn beds; to defy the still, thick summer air and head outside to pull weeds and tame the confederate jasmine that's been running rampant with summer's neglect.
She is a rebel for sure. Growing wild and unwieldy with the recent rains; crawling out of the confines of her arbor to the roof and across the living room windows where she shuts out the afternoon light and stirs memories of the haunted house of my youth.
Scary stories abounded back then about the old, gray house just one street over that was covered in weeds and lanky shrubs, which grew unkempt with the age of its harmless tenants who just couldn't keep up anymore.
So it is for her own good and yours, too, that you take the shears and head out into the summer sun to trim the jasmine while the old man gives it a pass, opting instead for another day of air-conditioned hibernation and a game of meaningless football.
Michele Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6251.