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Pat’s Bits & Pieces- Summer – Sunny days and starry nights

Pat Maurer, Review Correspondent

With June winding to a close, these three short summer months are really flying by fast.

Of all the seasons, I think summer is most fun and of course, shortest of all. There’s nothing new about that. Summertime is always “fast time” unless you are a kid of course.

Kids always seem to be able to make the most of summer vacations and can always find something to do even if it is just catching minnows in the edge of the river.

Warm sunny days seem to invite a swim in the river for the granddaughters, although this year with one in her teens and the other fast approaching it, it doesn’t seem to be as inviting as it used to be for them.

After all they are growing up and would much rather head to the lake and the boat and skis then wade in the river out here at G-ma’s house.

We are planning trips to Herrick Park with the rafts as often as possible in the next couple of months. I even bought a season pass so we can go anytime.

When the weather is a little cooler it is a great time for bike rides and walks. We have a couple of bikes here for them to enjoy this year. As the year’s pass, that activity doesn’t appeal to me as much as it used to, so I let them go and have their own adventures.

Besides, I really should be working around here. We have a long, long list of projects we want to accomplish this summer. We are always so optimistic when we make that list too, but camping and other fun things always seem to get in the way of actually getting them done. Our list this year is still just sitting there waiting for us. Thank goodness for Farmer’s Markets. I didn’t even get a garden planted this year, and Jack has been busy just keeping the mowing done on this mammoth yard.

While that list waits, gathering dust, every weekend in July is now filled with other things, much more enjoyable, that we need to do. Summerfest has already started, and there are fun things planned for the next week all centered around the Fourth of July. I can’t miss any of that!

That takes care of the holiday. After the Fourth, it is vacation time for the Maurers and hopefully a long weekend up at the camper. Then my All-School Reunion is coming up, the annual Richardson Reunion and a few other little “trips” that are already in the planning stages. One I really want to add to my “fun” list is a canoe trip down the Au Sable River near the camper. That is a wonderful ride. There is a pristine 15 mile stretch called the Mason Track” with no houses, just woods and wildlife and for about four hours you could almost be back in the good old days. If you can, the best time for that trip is mid-week if you don’t want to share the course with hundreds of “other canoers.”

Working at home is much less stressful than the office used to be, but in the evenings, I still enjoy sitting outside under the stars and listening to the river bubble over the rocks. There is nothing that can take away the stress of a long day of computer work like a few minutes doing that – if the mosquitos don’t drive me back inside again that is. Even when no one is around, just stilling by the river qualifies as a good time.

It’s not just the way things look or even the sounds that make summer so special. Every season has a different scent. Fall always has the faint tang of burning leaves. Winter is cold and sharp and clean. Spring is lilacs blooming and the smell of new things growing.

Summer is lush and green, the smell of wildflowers alongside the road when you go for a walk and the scent of fresh cut grass in the air. At night after a soft rain the air is so fresh you can even smell the water.

Maybe I will take the girls to the beach this afternoon for a bit. Guess the list will have to wait again.

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