The last weekend of August is here. Some of us are thinking, “finally!” while others are thinking, “already?” Yes, it’s been quite a strange summer. I hope you were able to make the most of it. If there’s anything left on your summer bucket list, this is the weekend to check it off. In the words of C.J. Carlyon, “Sometimes too late is just in time.”

Sometimes too late is just in time. C.J. Carlyon

Friday

Clock out and tune in; live music starts at 6:00 pm. Tully and Allen will have country and classic rock at Indian Island Winery, while Sam Kuusisto has the jazz, R&B, and pop at Chankaska Creek. Or travel back to the 50’s ad 60’s with the classic rock of the Gold Star Band, who will be performing at The Landing on Madison until 9:00 pm. Or maybe you’re ready to grab the mic. Brad and Betty will put on B&B Karaoke at the Prairie Saloon & Grill in Kasota 7:00-11:00 pm.

Saturday

There’s something for everyone this Saturday! Sweet tooths, stop by North Star Donut’s donut truck parked at Cub Foods on Madison from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. They’re serving up their famous apple cider donuts fresh from scratch. Then from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, bike lovers can watch dirt bikes race to the top at the Kato Cycle Club Hill Climb. Located at the Kato Cycle Club off 169, tickets are $10 but only $5 if you arrive on a motorcycle. Personally, I plan on grabbing my donuts on the way to watch the hill climb. Two birds, one stone!

Fitness enthusiasts can check out the Kato Athletic Company Open House & Block Party. Starting at 10:00 am, visitors can explore newly renovated facilities, try a FREE CrossFit class, play games, and enter giveaways. Plus, Charley’s Restaurant is providing their Authentic Tacos & Drinks Bar. So even if CrossFit isn’t a good fit, there’s always tacos!

Game gurus and players have so many moves to make. Atlantis Hobby is hosting an open play from noon to 4:00 pm, all games welcome, then from 4:00 to 7:00 pm they’re hosting KeyForge with 100% payout! Bring your own deck or buy one in the shop. 2:00-6:00 pm is Yu-Gi-Oh! Remote Duel hosted by the Dork Den. Contact Andrew M. for the link then swing by the shop afterwards to pick up your prizes.

What do you know about buffalo? Fellow naturalists will enjoy an evening at Minneopa State Park with the class “American Bison” presented by DNR Naturalist, Scott Kudelka. Register by 5:00 pm on Friday to reserve your spot.

Sunday

Enough snacking and spectating! Time for a not-so-lazy Sunday. It’s the last day to complete your North Mankato Connecting Commerce Virtual 5k and post your selfie or time with #connectingcommerceNM. Just in time, because BENCHS is hosting their Running for Rescues 5k Sunday morning. After hiding in the air conditioning all week, Jolene and I are excited to hit the trail. Packet pick up is at 7:00 am and the race begins at 8:00 am.

Still got gas in the tank? Head to the New Ulm Country Club for the 20th annual Schell’s Bottle Opener. Register with a team of 5 and hit the course. After golf there will be raffle tickets, entertainment, German food, and of course, Schell’s beer.

Bonus

It’s 80 degrees, but Pumpkin Spice is already being served. There’s still time for sunbathing, but Halloween candy is on the shelves. As if back to school season weren’t difficult enough, teachers, students, and parents are juggling last minute changes. It seems everyone and everything I know is in transition: new homes, new careers, new family members, new challenges. It’s a season of change. Transitions can be hard.

There are three phases to any change: reaction, exploration, and adaptation. Instead of getting caught up in our own resistance or discomfort, it’s best if we learn to loosen our hold on what we know so that we can explore the new.

The easiest way I’ve found to loosen up is with humor. I’m positive Noah and I would not have survived so much remodeling stress if we didn’t pause to laugh at videos like 5 Stages of Remodeling (forwarded by a friend who’s also remodeling) or if my aunt hadn’t shared this disgusting and delightful remix on Facebook. So, this is your reminder to loosen up with a laugh. Whether it’s online memes, your favorite funny movie, or just joking with friends, when it comes to facing change, there’s no better companion than humor.

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  • Molly Butler

    is a writer, gardener, and animal lover. She returned to the Mankato area after completing her MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University.