Charles Kocher, Pilot staff writer

It's Labor Day Weekend!

There's no denying it, even if I try to ignore the dates. The Pilot crew is slicing watermelon for Sunday's Slam'n Salmon dinner. The huckleberries are ripe. School starts next week.

It's still a little dark on our "deck" bedroom when the dog wakes me up at 6 a.m. The piles of dry alder leaves are drifting across the driveway.

And it's football season! (Watch for special changes in the Pilot's Football Contest!)

Where did the summer go? Or rather, why haven't I done everything that I thought possible over the summer?

The fish pond has not been cleaned out and the hammock is still rolled up in the garage. Now the hot tub needs attention before those chilly fall nights arrive.

Last summer's deck construction is over, but the aftermath is not. The front garden still needs soil and plants replaced, and several walls need fresh paint.

There's only one bag of blackberries in the freezer. But that's OK, we need space for the hog coming soon from the butcher.

The real pressure is from the eventual rain. There's firewood to store under cover. We need to build a shed for the goat. The gutters and downspouts need my attention.

Then there's the biggest, most-pressing chore of all: tearing off the garage roof so it can be repaired and replaced.

So, like many others, I will be trying to pack in as much "summer" activity into the next six or eight weeks as I can.

Get out on a trail and swim in the river. Pick more berries and roast a few more S'mores. Fly the 12-foot kite I bought at the Kite Festival on a beach somewhere.

Tear the old roof off the garage, and use the momentum to build a new roof for the goat.

Harvest the beans and paint the walls while listening to a football game or two on a sunny Saturday.

Needless to say, this morning will consist of prioritizing all this and more over a couple cups of coffee. After all, it is a holiday weekend.