Tuesday, July 5, 2011







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!


  1. Oh I loved this post...it really took me back to summers as a kid. Pretty much did the same things...and I can remember reading Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins books voraciously. Thanks for taking me back.Sounds like you had a wonderful 4th...and the little one seemed to not mind the fireworks.

  2. those are very cute blue birds and sounds like you had a bit of fun...summers were a whole lot more fun back in the day...but i often get to play still with the kids i counsel

  3. I love this post Teri. I think that you and I had similar childhoods... wonderful, safe, free and barefoot.
    Retirement gives us back that freedom but we've been adults for so long that it's hard to break the habit of work and the need to complete something before we play.
    I've been retired for about 4 years and now I have so many things that I want to do that I will never get everything done.... but it's OK because I only have a limited amount of years now and I'm the boss. I can pick and choose or I can just be.
    It's time to be the child again... and return to those wonderful long days of summer when all the world was waiting for you to wake up and come outside to play.
    Lovely post.

  4. Oh your description of summer when you were a young girl brought a rush of memories! I remember those lazy days of tanning and swimming and thinking about boys! And the days seemed to stretch into forever. I'm practicing for my retirement this summer as next year will be my last full year at work. Like you, I don't feel pressed to do anything, which is the feeling I'm hoping becomes paramount once I am released from my work schedule. I have a "bucket" list a mile long. Let's hope I can retrain the days to stretch into forever once more ;) Thanks for a great post.

  5. Summer is lovely and brings a lot of joy. My favorite part of summer for many years now has been the fact that I could stay outside till 10 PM if I wished to. Such a luxury compared to winter months with its 4 PM sundown.

    Glad you are having a lovely summer :)

  6. your fireworks photos are amazing !!


Blog Archive