The start of the 2013-14 school year is still several weeks away, the stores are full of school supplies, and they're advertising back-to-school clothing, electronics, you name it.

Of course, electronics were not part of the mix when I was in school, not even in college. We weren't supposed to have anything more sophisticated in our dorm rooms than coffee pots and popcorn poppers, although those rules were bent or broken.

Now, I envy the students who are excited about starting the new school year, and I understand their excitement. But until I got to college, I was not one of those students.

The start of school was something I knew was coming, but I didn't usually want to think about it, especially in the lower grades.

College, though,  was different, especially if I'd spent the summer on the farm. It was nothing against my parents, my upbringing or the farm itself--I just knew by then that farming and I didn't match up very well, and I was ready to find out where the future was going to take me.

So here comes the school year, ready or not, and please keep in mind, while you're in the store, about the kids whose families can't afford school supplies.

You can help make the start of school much easier for a child by buying some extra supplies and leaving them in the collection boxes.

Thanks much!