By Simon Ambit
For those who read the Guidelines article each week, you know that I love the outdoors and that I am a happy husband and father. I try to combine these interests as often as occasion permits. Naturally, one of our favorite and routine family activities is camping, making October a bit of a bitter sweet time for me. You see, October is the apex of the hunting season swing; a time I love even more now that my children are getting mature enough to hike along with me. However, the bottom half of October also ushers in the winterizing of the sprinkler system and the camp trailer.
To prepare these systems for winter, the incoming flows are shut off. We drain out as much water as we physically can and then we hook up the air compressor and flood the system with forced air, purging it of any water. This ensures that when the temperatures drop to sub-freezing during the frigid winter months, the system remains dry, safe and in proper working condition.
It is a rewarding feeling knowing the systems are buttoned up against the cold and are safeguarded against freeze damage. But, it is always sobering to know that as the antifreeze glugs down the drains of the camp trailer that there will be no more outings in the trailer for the next four months. As the forced air chases the final water droplets from the nozzle of the sprinklers, you realize that the next backyard water fights and slip-and-slide competitions are postponed until spring.
I realize that these are necessary measures of safety and loss prevention. If we were to continue on without these measures, if we were to try and operate these systems the same in the winter months as we do throughout the balance of the year, the results would be a detriment.
I believe that our individual lives are the same way as we go through differing seasons. As those seasons wax and wane with time, age, circumstance, etc., there will be things that come and go in our lives. For example, the graduate who no longer has to spends late hours doing homework, the youngster who rids herself of the training wheels and can now explore new terrains on her bicycle. It may be the retired man who no longer punches the time clock or the experienced mother who rejoices in her youngest child being successfully potty-trained and gives her last box of diapers to the young couple across the street. It could be the patient who just received the disheartening results from the cancer lab or the woman who joyfully celebrates her one-year anniversary of being smoke-free.
We must ever hold onto the core values that keep us strong and firm, but understand that with different seasons in our lives, there may times that we must purge ourselves of things that may hurt or damage us. At other times, we may need to embrace new goals, innovative ideas or improved methods of doing things. Life is good, enjoy the season!