AND BLUE (BIRD).
AND PAPA TOO!
For as long as I can remember, we have been going over to the Auburn Dam Overlook Site to watch the fireworks display on the Fourth of July. Oh sure...there have been a few years when we just didn't want to make the trip over but this year, living so close, it was easy. And it wasn't very crowded either which made it feel nice and mellow.
There were lots of families with their kids; some had come prepared with BBQ'd food, some with glow sticks wound around kids heads, necks and arms. Some played loud music with a beat (ahem!) and some just came with their chairs and sat and watched the show. The fireworks, as usual, weren't the only show going. People-watching can be an awesome event and one that I never seem to get tired of. Ah...the sounds and scents of summer!
I was thinking last night as I watched groups of young girls dressed up "to impress", prancing, preening and flicking their hair with one hand while walking and talking to their friends, about my summers long ago.
Summer was always a time for just "being". We would skate board in the neighborhood (geez I wish I still had that skateboard...it would probably be worth a fortune being one of "the originals!), swim and soak up the sun during the day, and generally think about boys and how tan we were almost every day. Shoes were optional and even if you did choose to wear shoes they were either flip-flops or sandals. Those were carefree days; nothing seemed to matter. The sky didn't get dark until really late, there were smells that seemed to be only associated with summer (suntan lotion, chlorine, sand) and reading was a pass-time that was a luxury. I would sleep in really late and not have a care in the world. All I had to do was get my chores done for the day and I was free to do whatever I wanted with the rest of the entire day.
Summertime holds the same feeling for me today but in a really different way now that I am older. I still like to sleep in but I also feel like the chores I need to get done can wait until I am ready to do them. Retirement has that distinct benefit. Reading still is a luxury however. Somehow I feel guilty about sitting on the chaise or the front porch and just reading. Is that due to years of conditioning regarding schedules at work? Now, there are no obligations that "have" to be accomplished every day yet I find myself imposing restrictions upon myself. There is yard work to be done. But at this age, yard work is a pleasure, not a chore. At what age do you allow yourself to fall back into that child's mentality of not having a care in the world? Ah...to be a child again.
And those bluebirds? They are enjoying the benefits of summer right now too. They are so noisy and ready to leave the nest it seems. Don't be too anxious I say! Before you know it your childhood will be over and you will have to be on your own, fending for yourself. Sometimes we don't appreciate what we have until it is gone. Luckily, some of us get a second chance called retirement. Kick off your shoes and go barefoot! You'll be glad that you did!