Can you hear it? That's the sound of summer slipping away, my friends. As much as we want to deny it, tomorrow is the first day of wait for it August.
You've only got so many more weekends before Labor Day, people. Before we know it, the kids will be back in school, it'll be getting dark at 6 p.m. and - dread of all dreads - Cedar Point will be closed for the season.
I know, I know, I am a little obsessed with "America's Roller Coast." My pal Nancy Haskins of Liberty has, in fact, dubbed me, "Cedar Patty" due to my deep affection for the park.
Recently, Kerry, Kyle and I unhooked our camper from its stationary site, scooped up our niece Kelly and trucked on up to Sandusky for a weekend of summer fun.
What we hadn't planned on, however, was it being (as we were constantly reminded by fellow park-goers) the hottest two-day streak in some 60 years.
Luckily, the administrators of Cedar Point sent forth a decree to offer free cups of cold water to anyone and everyone who asked. This worked well for my family members, who were being drilled with safety orders by their commanding officer - um, demanding was more like it.
"Kyle, put more sunscreen on, you've been in the water ... Kelly, you're looking flush, drink more, I don't want you getting dehydrated ... Kerry, your nose is getting burned!" I barked for nearly eight straight hours on our first day at CP, which was spent in the Soak City water park.
No wonder they sent me off to the Lazy River ride alone, oh well.
That was nothing compared with the dismay awaiting me on my morning beach run the following day.
As I rose with the sun and headed for the sandy shores of Lake Erie, I was thrilled. "Ah, a nice, relaxing run up the coast," thought I.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull, however, had other ideas.
At first I thought it was imagination.
"Hmm. Is that bird ... circling ... me?"
All doubt was swept away as it came dive-bombing at my head. Seriously. Literally. Had I not ducked, the gull would have clipped my ball cap.
"What in the ?" I was thinking aloud when bazinga! He swung around and came at me again. And after I'd shared my popcorn with so many of his friends just the day before - hmpf!
People, I am so not exaggerating this time. I totally had to fend him off with a log of driftwood I found on the beach.
I cannot imagine what the little girl and her grandma who were sifting for shells thought as they saw me swinging wildly at the air, babbling incoherently about the absurdity of a bird that attacks indiscriminately and doesn't even know the ocean from a lake.
Either way, it didn't dissuade me from hopping on the Millennium, Maverick, Mangum, Gemini and ooh, the new fabulous Windseeker ride with my peeps. At 301-feet tall, it's almost like going for a ride on a swing - from a cloud.
And naturally, no Cedar Point experience could be complete without several trips aboard the Mean Streak - a staple of the park and arguably one of the best remaining wooden coasters anywhere.
Yep, you haven't really lived until you've experienced the traction-inducing, thumpity-thumps of the Mean Streak, which leaves those of us upwards of age 40 feeling as though we've just endured multiple, consecutive rear-end fender benders.
Let's just say it was an Advil afternoon and leave it at that, shall we?
So, to recap, get to the Point soon lest you risk missing out on potential heat stroke, savage attacks by seagulls and mild whiplash for another year.
Man, I love summer!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org