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Summer — finally here

Ray Augenstein

Ray Augenstein

It’s here!! Summer that is. I woke up this morning and the lady on the weather channel announced that it was the first day of summer. My question is what happened to spring? I had imagined that with all the global warming, we would have popped right into a hot spring and to a sweltering summer. It didn’t seem to happen.  I still need my blanket at night, and all my night attire to keep warm.  True, I do use the air conditioner during the day, but not because it’s so hot we can’t stand it, temperatures in the 70’s  I figure that if we have it we might as well use it. So I turn it on and let it circulate the stale air in our living room.

Summer time to me used to mean excursions to the parks and beaches.  When I was a kid, I used to live on the beach of Lake Michigan, We never had an escort or lifeguards to watch us.  This was in the olden days when they let us exist without some adult around to watch us. We would let our parents know where we were going, but they never went with us. We would walk the mile and a half from home to the beach and rush into the chilly water, to get quickly acclimated to it. Summers meant Hot Dogs, Ice cream, and picnics.  It meant impromptu ball games in the street, whether we had 3, or 10 kids to play with us. It meant mowing lawns, (not with a motorized mower.) and doing other chores for our neighbors to earn a little spending money.  Summer was a magical time of year. I don’t remember it being too hot, too rainy or too short.

After I married and had children, I tried to make summer a magical time of the year for them also. I introduced them to the joys of camp out, picnics, and beach fun. The drives in the country to see the sights of fruit trees blossoming, and the fields of wildflowers. The joy on our children’s faces to observe the newborn calves, and the little animals. Ahh summer through the eyes of a child.

Now here it is, the autumn of my life, our children are grown and have grandkids of their own, but I still enjoy the thrill of summer. In my mind I imagine myself running barefoot down to the beach to swim, or laying in a field of hay looking up at the cloud pictures passing before my eyes. Summer, the perfect time of year. Don’t even make me turn my thoughts to fall. I think I will pick my favorite girl, my wife, a bouquet of flowers from my neighbor’s garden, they won’t miss a couple.

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