Monday, September 1, 2014

Unofficial End of Summer

Many days and weeks have passed since I last blogged and for that I am truly sorry, friends.  My best wishes to blog on a weekly basis died a quick death.  I wish I could write while I run.  Running has become a frequent occurrence again despite the August heat and humidity.  Words lap onto the shore of my brain as I place one foot in front of the other steadily recounting events, struggles, laughter from the day.  All of these thing good blog material.  It's as if when my feet stop my brain shuts down.  Imposed writers block due to inactivity.  My body craves movement; thrives on it apparently.  Do you think my professor this fall will accept my breathy dictations in place of nicely written research papers? Most likely not. 

I'm sad to see summer go.  I love the heat, the humidity even.  Not the oppressive stuff that makes breathing difficult.  Feeling the sunshine kiss my skin with heat.  Afternoons at the beach. Working in and eating the goodies from my garden.  The summer colors in my flower beds. I just love the summer.  Maybe I wouldn't appreciate it if it was summer-like all year long.  I doubt it. I just love it!

So anyway, I spent the last unofficial afternoon of summer 2014 with my husband, sister, and dad down at our tiny hometown's annual Labor Day festival.  Dad, Dayna and I all usually go together, and this year Rex joined us, and my mom brought my niece and nephew for a while. Every year we eat the best roast beef sandwiches, play Bingo for a quarter a card until we win or run out of money (my sis and I save quarters most of the year for the occasion), buy raffle tickets and usually end up winning something like a tool set, a free pizza from a shop in a neighboring town, or a cash from my dad's business.  We usually have a good time talking to folks we haven't seen and most likely sat next to at Bingo last year.  Some things don't change.  Some big things do change.  For instance, I know fewer people every year.  This fact doesn't surprise me as much as hearing my dad say the same thing.  Is it sad the people I recognize are his age?  I've seen my share of men wearing white crew socks with sandals and jean shorts for quite a long time!  

All of this makes me think about how lucky I am. We really live in an alternate reality from much of the rest of society.  We are the stereotypical white, middle class family.  Two working adults, two kids, two cars, ranch style house, blah, blah, blah.  I'm like an ostrich with my head in the sand when it comes to seeing what others have to struggle with. I have a husband who takes care of us. Parents who taught us how to make an honest living by working hard, even when we feel like giving up. Parents who taught us respect. Who taught us to live by the Golden Rule.  Why does this feel more an anomaly than a norm these days?

Perhaps I'm being too harsh in my assessment.  A tad bit judgmental? Maybe so. But this I know for sure: I have great memories of that little town and the people in it, many of whom I talked to today.  I was married in the little Catholic church in front of many of those people I talked to today as did many of my friends and family.  These memories can never be taken from me despite the changing demographics and landscapes. No amount of volunteer work or civil service will bring back the school, the elevator, the blacksmith, or Bauer's Grocery Store, much the same as my dad can't bring back his family's pharmacy or doctor's office that were gone long before I became a citizen.  I can, however, continue to support my little town's Labor Day tradition by eating roast beef and playing Bingo down along the river at the tiny VFW hall.

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