This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer.
Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have served in the U.S. military. We often remember others who have passed on.
The three-day weekend also serves as a time for families and friends to gather for a picnic or cookout, to get outside after a long winter.
This winter, of course, seemed longer than most. It's as if we went right from winter into summer, from having the heat on to needing the air conditioning. Ah, Wisconsin.
As you kick off your summer, at a Memorial Day event or at a get-together, keep safety in mind.
Local law enforcement is making a push for seat belt safety with the Click It or Ticket program. If you or a passenger in your vehicle aren't buckled up, you can be stopped and fined for failing to wear a seat belt. It takes so little time and could save your life.
Don't drink and drive. Period. If you plan to drink, stay home, find a designated driver or plan for another way to get home. Don't risk your life or others'.
If you plan to be around water, wear a life jacket or vest, and make sure your children do, too. If you teach them when they are young to put one on when on a boat or near water, it will become a habit that could save their life. Even experienced swimmers can drown if knocked unconscious. Wear the vest.
And be sure you teach your children to swim. Lessons are inexpensive and can begin from near infancy. Knowing how to swim doesn't take the place of a life vest on or near open water, but it can help your children be safe at the neighborhood pool.
Wear a bicycle helmet. Here's another one to start your children with when they are young. Buy a helmet for yourself, too. Wear it whenever you ride. Your children look to you as a role model. Protecting your brain from injury in a fall or crash is easier with a helmet on your head.
These are common-sense things - easy things to do - to keep you and your family safe this summer. Take a few minutes and a few dollars to buy the safety equipment and use it to stay safe.
It's summer in Wisconsin. All too soon, it will be gone. Be sure you're here to enjoy every minute of it.