Fall Chaos--Publisher's Note

Next week, the kids go back to school—which means the seasons, they are a-changing.

In our home, this change is abrupt. The languid pace of summer shifts quickly, literally overnight, to the barely controlled chaos that is morning bus stop runs, homework, soccer games, car pools, and everything else that comes with using two cars to get seven people where they need to go on time (and with all the things they need to do whatever it is they’re doing).

As you well know, the change can be jarring. Teenagers who’ve been getting up at the crack of noon suddenly find themselves hitting the snooze button at 6 a.m. Elementary school kids who’ve grown accustomed to jumping out of bed at the crack of dawn, jumping on their bikes and racing them around the cul-de-sac while the rest of the world sleeps, are now making lunches, brushing their teeth, combing their hair and putting on matching clothes. Ugh!

And parents. Oh those lovely parents.

We’re all secretly (or not so secretly, depending on how the summer went) looking forward to a little peace and quiet, but first we have to get through the whole “change-of-habit” thing. My wife tells me she spends the first two weeks of school repeating in her mind this simple command, “Stay calm. Be patient. I just need to get them on the bus. Stay calm. Be patient. I just need to get them on the bus.”

Luckily, we’re all in this together. This change of the season chaos is happening everywhere—in businesses as we re-evaluate fourth-quarter plans and begin budgeting for 2015, in parks and recreation departments as they change over to their fall programming schedule and, especially, in parks and recreation maintenance staffs as they prepare fall sports fields and begin dealing with things like falling leaves, dropping temperatures, closing facilities and so on.

To help, we thought we’d tackle this last topic in depth. Inside, you’ll find a well of stories on ways our readers (your peers) have found to make the change-over a little easier, a little smoother.

I hope you like it—as well as the other goodies we’ve included this month. And, I hope your change-over chaos is short-lived.

Remember, “Stay calm. Be patient. All you have to do is get them on the bus.”

I guess the last part doesn’t quite work, but the first two might be helpful.

Till Next Month…

Rodney J. Auth