Sunday, August 23, 2009

Closing Days of Summer

The baby martins have grown up and flown from Woodsong with their parents for other climes. Most everyone I know had their children/grandchildren start back to school this past week. Although friend Pat did tell me they still start after Labor Day up in Wisconsin, where some of her grandchildren live. I know schools now have air-conditioning and that we need to help our children keep up with the harder working students in other nations, so I try to refrain from griping about August school startings. Yet I am very glad my own children did have to start their school year as early as so many seem to do now.

I thought August ought to be for final outings and cramming in summer pleasures and that Labor Day was a perfectly lovely way to end summer schedules. Both as a child and as a parent, I loved summers. I always felt sadness when my children started back to school even though I felt their excitement and rejoiced in that.

The only exception I remember was one summer when someone came around a blind corner on our graveled country road and ran into us with a farm truck; we had to put our car in the shop for weeks. That same summer, the lawn mower kept breaking down, and finally the lawn was almost a foot high. I just wanted that summer to be over. I can imagine that some of those whose homes were severely damaged by the May 8 derecho feel the same way about this summer. Many homes still have tarps on their roofs waiting for the roofers to get to them. We will all remember this as the summer that streets were busy with pickups with attached trailers full of tree limbs. Nor was it was uncommon for limbs to have fallen off on our streets from those pickups.

Last weekend was busy with too many things we wanted to do, but this weekend our schedule was free. We enjoyed meeting Gerald’s brothers and my sisters-in-law at Triple E barbecue down at Lake of Egypt for supper Friday night for fish and/or barbecue ribs. Their bulletin board has personal for-sale items and ads with pictures of horses and dogs. Wait staff and customers were mostly in jeans and T shirts, and at least man had a huge belt buckle proving how good he is on a horse. The room was noisy and full of people glad to be off work for the weekend.

While we ate, brother Keith got a phone call telling him that their granddaughter Lauren had just won an very impressive sum of money for roping up at Lake Saint Louis. Having completed her internship at an area hospital, she will soon be back at an out-of-state university to finish her nurse’s training, but she made a killing this weekend on her horse. Her older sister Tracy, recently graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, has moved to Oklahoma with her three horses, where Tracy is also working in her chosen field for a dentist.

On our way home, Gerald’s phone call about our granddaughter’s softball tourney down in Georgia did not bring such good news, but Gerry’s call last night relayed Oconee High School had three wins yesterday. I get some hints from Facebook how grandkids’ school days have gone so far, but I still need to touch base with their mothers to hear first hand. Although autumn won’t officially start for almost a month, summer is over—whether we like it or not.

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