Dr. Ray Augenstein
Where did the summer go? In fact where did the year go? It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating our family Christmas. Then we turned around and noticed that, all the children were out of school. With the streets filled with the kids, who suddenly were let go from confinement, like a bunch of chickens, whose fence had been torn down from around the chicken yard.
When I was a kid, it seemed like summer would go on forever, our days were filled with excitement, and adventure. I remember the times we spent at the old swimming hole, and the vine we used to swing out over the hole and drop down from. The day that we dared the girls to go skinny dipping with us and the shocked squeals that came, as they commanded us not to look. Then they stayed over on the other side of the pond behind the bushes so we wouldn’t see.
The times we spent fishing from the pier and catching buckets of perch, then taking them home and mother cleaning them to have for supper. I remember the tree across the road from us that was bigger than a mountain, and we challenged each other to climb it to its very heights, and proclaim when we did, that we had climbed higher than anyone else had ever done. We were fortunate that we didn’t fall and break something.
There were the summer storms that suddenly poured down upon us, when we were walking home, and we would run to take shelter under some big oak tree until it passed. I remember climbing into the haymow, one summer, on our farm, where we had a canoe stowed, and crawling under it when it was raining and the sound of the rain on the tin roof of the barn lulled me to sleep. Aah summer, with all the magical adventures.
Now, I’m older, all my children are grown, and they have grandchildren of their own. I can no longer swing from a vine into a cold swimming hole, or go skinny dipping. I still enjoy going fishing, with my boys but I let them do the catching and cleaning, I just enjoy being with them and piloting the boat.
As far as climbing trees, I’d have trouble standing on a root much less on a limb.
My summers now consist of watching the children playing and enjoying their own summers. I derive pleasure from seeing them having fun doing the things I used to do. While in my mind, I am running with them, playing tag, and baseball and all the fun things you can do as child. I tell them to enjoy it while they can. Make it last, Kids, cram everything you can into your memories. Because then you will be able to live them over and over when you get old.
Now comes the autumn months again, with all the colors, and cool weather. I drove over to the west side of the state on Saturday and was amazed at all the trees that were turning colors. A sadness came to my heart when I realized that summer was almost gone, and somehow I missed it. Now is the time of harvest, with all the fruits, and vegetables bringing back all the memories associated with the gathering, canning and freezing, and preparing for the long winter.
Summer seemed like it was only one week long this year. It seems that winter ended on a Friday, by next Friday it will come again. Spring blew us a kiss as it went by, and then summer came just long enough to put the air conditioner in the window. Is time really going faster, or does it just seem that way when you get old?