By Corey Baumgartner

Summertime is here. No matter what adventures await you; whether you’re tackling long awaited projects, hanging your hammock, or lacing up your hiking shoes, I hope to offer some rutty advice to help you have a successful summer and life.

My first piece of advice is to live your life above the snake line. What’s the snake line? It is a line, or elevation, that snakes cannot live above. While the elevation varies among experts and species, the analogy can provide you with wisdom from the mountaintop to your laptop. Because you will find all kinds of snakes in between. You can encounter snakes while your hiking, camping, or surfing the web. While not all snakes are dangerous, it’s better to keep your distance than get bit and find out for sure, right? I hope you will choose activities, destinations, friends, media sources and websites, that are above the snake line. When you do encounter snakes, get to higher ground, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Next, as fire season has unfortunately already returned, it’s crucial to be proactive with your property and your life. This can be done by creating your own fire line. A fire line is meant to stop, or at least slow the fire down, so you can have a better chance to get it under control. The landscape of your yard, and also your life, will have seasons where they are more susceptible to the dangers of fires. The more you can do to prevent a fire from starting, and growing, the less chance you have of getting burned, and your precious property damaged, or destroyed.

Fires have one goal—find more fuel, no matter the cost. Therefore, the less fuel you feed the fires in your life, the smaller the fire, and the easier it will be to put it out. Clear away the combustible debris in your yard and your life. Do you have lots of dry grass and weeds—i.e. bad habits, etc.—that could fuel fires of frustration or even depression? Learning to communicate better, forgive, and having a sense of humor, are great fire suppressors. They not only create fire lines but help put the fires out. And thank you to all the firefighters, and all other protecting personnel, who give their all to keep our homes and cities safe from the dangers of fires.

Finally, there are two more lines I want to elaborate on. The starting line and the finish line. Ironically, they are often both the same line. However, your finish line cannot exist until you’re willing to leave the starting line. No matter the distance, or obstacles ahead, you cannot reach your destination, or overcome challenges, standing still at the starting line. You may fall down. You may even get pushed down. Get back up. Keep running your race. Avoid the snakes and don’t add fuel to your frustrating fires. May this be your best summer yet.

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