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A lot has happened this summer at Casa Tasos
Mike Tasos

No way I’d consider myself a weather junkie.

But I am educated enough that I knew when retired meteorologist Ken Cook came on TV with no coat and his shirtsleeve rolled up, it was time to batten down the hatches.

And if the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore and I happened to be getting on the same plane, my destination was about to experience a degree of devastation.

Here in the South, we’re used to massive lightning and thunder. At least as possibly used to something that is scarier than the “after” Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.”

The massive strike that targeted Casa Tasos on June 29 was different. This was one of those that made you think that Thor had sent a personal gift from the gods, bypassing UPS, and dropping it on the front porch.

And that’s what happened. Sort of.

According to data, that knockout punch landed 200 feet from the house. It was like Dec. 24. Only instead of gifts, affected homes were treated to different forms of bad presents whose wrapping would have been charred.

Last week, right there on the front page of the Forsyth County News, was a picture of a three-story home engulfed in flames.

First reaction: It could always be worse and I should be grateful.

Our home only lost three smoke/carbon monoxide alarms, two garage door openers, two television sets, two surge protectors and one modem.

All were replaced quickly except for the modem.

Dealing with AT&T, trying to get some customer service was a case study in rudeness, over-promising/under-delivering, and just a general lack of consistent communication. From a communications company.

The topper came last Monday, after waiting some six hours after the scheduled service appointment, I received a text stating no technician would be dispatched that day. There was no apology. I guess I should have been grateful that the wasted day had made me miss Greg’s game. Any anger I had expressed to several agents finally gave way to resignation.

I’ve always marveled at someone who blathers about never doing business with a particular business, always comes back. Albert Einstein said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, then expecting results.”

Welcome to our home Comcast/Infinity. Can I get you some coffee?

It’s been quite a summer. There’s been a whacked off toe, a tuckered out air-conditioner that had to be replaced, items frying at the house that had nothing to do with chicken.

The mosquitoes are there usual obnoxious selves. I have no idea what good they do except for encouraging pest control companies to pester me about the benefits of spraying to kill the nasty things.

Those bloodsuckers probably have us outnumbered so we better behave.

There have been no live snake sightings. Ergo, no snake bites.

Lots of disappointment that I wasn’t allowed to keep my toe, which after leaving me, went to the pathologist. Plenty offers from friends and neighbors to pony up $100 to see the toe and get photos.

To heck with those in the big brick building on Dahlonega Highway. You go ahead with starting school on Aug. 2. I’ll stop for those yellow buses and never go more than 25 mph in a school zone.

But I need a little more summer. Maybe a few more Braves games on a school night. More mid-week movies.

Besides, we have to get ready for the World Series, college football. We know that the fall will be gorgeous. Can’t wait for all those gorgeous colors.

We’ll blink and Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here.

So, I’m encouraging you to squeeze every bit of summer possible. Take a late summer trip. Looking at it from a parent’s perspective, one more Disney trip won’t hurt.

The school year is like an NBA game. The good stuff happens at the end.

As oldest son Chris prepares to study in Barcelona beginning in December and our youngest, Greg, heads into his senior year, I can attest it’s more important to make memories before the kids grow up than it is to getting to the bus stop on time while the mosquitoes are swarming and the temperature is sweltering.

Besides, I might try to get my toe back and rent it to the kids for show-and-tell.

Mike Tasos’ column is published every other Sunday. He encourages you teachers to take a little more summer break too. Keep those substitute teachers busy. You guys know you don’t want to play for keeps in 25 days. Comments can be sent to He is also on Facebook.