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Summer is not over!

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CARTHAGE — Prowling the local stores lately, the thing that may standout to most to parents and students are the back-to-school aisles.

With the countless reminders that school is just around the corner, it may be easy to forget that there is still a month left of summer. But Carthage resident Talitha Workman stresses there is still plenty of time to get to — or start — a summer bucket list.

“We go into the summer with lots of ideas, and as summer slips by if it’s not written down, we don’t get to it,” said Mrs. Workman.

A bucket list is often comprised of long-term goals to do before one dies. But it can also refer to a short-term must-do list headlighting goals for a certain time frame.

Mrs. Workman’s husband, Chief Warrant Officer second class Gary Workman, deployed earlier this year. That is one of the reasons that the mother of four decided that this summer, she would write down everything the children wanted to get to.

“We kind of broke it up into bucket list and then goals for each kid. We also have a reading list,” said Mrs. Workman. “Some are simple day trips or little activities to do on a rainy day ... If they mentioned something they wanted to do this summer, I wrote it down.”

So far the Workmans have crossed off strawberry and raspberry picking, creating homemade pesto sauce and making an oobleck, a non-newtonian fluid which pours like a liquid but acts like a solid when pressure is applied to it. There are a total of 14 items still left on their list, including making a water wall, visiting Knoebels Amusement Resort in Penn., holding a Star Wars marathon, hosting an ice-cream social, making in-door S’Mores, hosting a water balloon fight, playing “messy twister,” picnicking in the park, doing lawn stencils, painting rocks, re-growing celery and completely chalking their drive-way.

“We thought we would do that with friends,” said Mrs. Workman.

Mrs. Workman said that the bucket list has been a great way to pass time while a member of the family is deployed. “With my husband being gone, time stretches on and on. This gives me motivation to do more fun things with the kids.”

But developing a list can also be helpful for non-military families.

“On boring days when there’s nothing to do, everyone is bickering or fighting and there’s too much TV time,” said Mrs. Workman, whose children range in age from just under 2 to 11. “This is kind of a way to avoid that.”

Many families may have an idea of things they want to get done each summer, but don’t write it down. Mrs. Workman encouraged writing things down as a way of ensuring those summer memories happen.

“I wanted to make sure I had a check-off list of fun things for us to do so that summer doesn’t just slip away,” Mrs. Workman said.

Summer officially ends with the first day of autumn Sept. 23. But most families plan summer activities up till the start of school. Sept. 3 for Carthage, Copenhagen, Beaver River and Lowville; Sept. 4 for Harrisville and South Lewis.

WHAT TO ADD TO YOUR BUCKET LIST

• A yearly camping trip to Raquette Lake is a must-do for the Camporale family of Croghan. Making a trip to Valley Brook Drive-in, Lyons Falls, and visiting Treats and ‘Tiques, Natural Bridge, are also on the list. Valley Brook Drive-in intends to remain open into October this year, providing good weather. Treats and ‘Tiques, 44028 State Route 3. Other local seasonal ice cream stands include Good Ol’ Wishy’s, 9779 Main St., Croghan; Mercer’s Dairy Inc., Utica Boulevard, Boonville; Family Ice Cream, 7388 Turin Road, Lowville; Z Ice Cream, 28415 Steinhelmer Road, Evans Mills; J&B Ice Cream, 36426 State Route 26, Carthage; Roxie’s Road Ice Cream, 307 State St., Carthage; Way Cool, Schoolhouse Road, Black River.

• Blueberry picking on family land, said the Covey family of Carthage. Blueberries can also be picked and purchased from Dodge Farms, 10667 County Route 79, Henderson (open 8 a.m. to dusk). Pickers are encouraged to call ahead, 846-5432, as the season will likely wind down in a week or so. The Covey family also camps at Whetstone Gulf, Lowville (open till mid-September for the summer season).

• Rob Palange, a follower of the Carthage Republican Tribune from Boston, said getting around to long-time goals has been a big part of his summer bucket list.

• Staff members at Carthage’s First Niagara suggested visiting Enchanted Forest Water Safari, Old Forge (open till Labor Day).

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