Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Summer”

Summer Solstice

SunIt’s that time of year where summer is “official” on the calendar.

Here in the US it is that time again to think seriously about summer. For many of us that happened back at the end of May when America celebrates Memorial Day. But for the science of it all, summer begins now.

It sill churns up all the great memories of what summer meant when I was a kid: hot summer days at the beach, baseball season starts to really take shape, get ready for Independence Day celebrations and barb-e-ques ahead, hop on the bike and ride to places to enjoy the out-of-doors (does anyone really call it that anymore?).  There was kind of a feeling of anticipation of what the adventure of summer would bring.

Anticipation for the “lazy days“: Like my mom and dad planning a family vacation. Even the summer songs on the radio would be upbeat, softball leagues would be gathering at the neighborhood park, the dog-days of August were lurking in the post July heat ahead-. The world seemed brighter– may be because the days were longer and the nights seemed more available to extend the day’s activities.

As I have gotten older, some of that still remains. I think I worked hard to make sure my kids could feel those same remembrances, but now they are older now and creating their own.  I asked my teenage daughter (who is days away from NOT being called a “teenager”) – where would you like to live as you continue your journey into adulthood?  Her answer: “somewhere where there are seasons”.    Her younger years were in the mid-west US, but these past many years we have lived in Texas where those season changes are so much harder to recognize.

Summer solstice is here. To everything there is a season. Time to capture this one and enjoy it.

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Memorial Day & The Beginning of Summer

US FlagWhen I was a kid this holiday weekend signified the beginning of summer.

Memorial Day ( in the US) is a day for all of us Americans to remember the fallen military that have made this country great and to honor those who are  living and dead, that fought in wars big and small for the freedom that every person should have.

It is also the time for some fond recollection of a time when school would be wrapping up for summer break, graduation time and celebration  for those who were done with school and ready to move on. It was a time of dreams and opportunity. The anticipation for the beginning of summer came with a lot of images.

There would be songs on the radio that would become anthems for that summer and forever trigger those memories for so many years to come. In my younger days we would sing along to the AM radio while cruising in the car (oh for gas to be that low priced again). It was the soundtrack for growing-up. The music of fun and romance.

There was also sun and fun at the water with friends, with towels and “sun-tan” lotion ( I still remember the smell of coco-nut). Just spending time under the sun for the entire day, with cold beer and Frisbees. Taking the long walk down the beaches to find driftwood (among the dried up fish and noisy gulls), and chilling on the shore with wet sand and water hitting at your toes.

As the summer progressed there was much to look forward to. The heart of the baseball season, the 4th of July parades, picnics and fireworks. Traveling up north to send time on in-land lakes fishing , running the boats and sitting by the night-fires. There was a lot of magical times.

Of course I remember them fondly, and yes— a bit more cloudy now I suppose. More of the good than the bad. More of the sounds and smells, of the times that were captured in the adolescent mind I guess. But they were great, and we all knew they wouldn’t last forever so  many of us embraced them as much as we could. We spent those lazy days stoking our dreams of fortune and fame ( I was in a rock band back then – imagining that big break that never came). Daring autumn to wait while we took in the moments of memories.

But all of that wouldn’t be possible without the fine men and women who have been part of the armed services during the entire history of the US.  Those dedicated people who ask so little and give so much. They allowed some of the rest of us to dream, to embrace the times of freedom and opportunity. Thanks to them, celebrating Memorial Day in America.


Summer Begins

In the US this weekend is special, it is Memorial Day weekend. On Monday we are to observe a holiday that is dedicated to pausing to recall our veterans of the military who have fought for our freedom. It is one of the most important holidays we have as as a federal holiday, as there are so many fallen men and women who have blazed the trail for our country. They should not be forgotten.

It is also the unofficial beginning of summer. Even though summer solstice isn’t until June – this holiday weekend seems to be the launch of summer, and for all things that it means. My memories of this Memorial Day weekend have always been steeped in tradition and anticipation. Over the years it came to signify the end of the school season and the beginning of some serious length of days off. Of course once you are out of school it’s different. But the ghost of that feeling is still there.

Other summer memories of smells, sound and sun kick in as well. Barbeque on the grill meant that smell of lighter fluid and briquets that had a pungent petroleum smell that always ended up in good eats! The sun-tan lotion that smelled like coconut. The cold brew taste of beer and the music that was pure-pop, originally on some little tinny radio on AM but later blasting thru the latest size of boombox. The Beach Boys begat the psychedelic pop of the late sixties, that brought on the dancing music of the seventies and the punk of the eighties and grunge rock of the nineties, but there was always something that would wrap the sounds of the summer in a package. 

So for me the summer begins, not so idyllic as it once was, but summer none the less. Some promise of some “summer vacation” where there could be some “summer fun” (cue the Grease song). Some days when it will be too hot to go out but we will anyway to take in the summer. Nites on the patio with a cold sweating drink, time around the pools or at the beach. Perhaps some time onboard a boat on the cool water of the ocean or lake of your choice. What ever it is, summer is here. 

The bookend to that will be that weekend at the end of summer. The unofficial end on Labor Day weekend in the US when we all begin our journey to the fall season. Bring out the warmer clothes in anticipation of those crisp autumn days where we can enjoy trees changing colors and fire pits with a warm glow. But until then, it is time to soak up the sun. May it be a wonderful summer.

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