Sweet Summertime

     Long days, going barefoot, pool parties,
 beach time, grilling, blooming flowers, watermelon, flip-flop days, screened porches, sweet tea, twilight, lightnin' bugs (fireflies if you aren't from the South), porch swings, front porches, family, vacation, sleeping late, ceiling fans, shorts and t-shirts, lightning flashing in the thunderheads on a hot summer's night and just mowed grass.  Oh wait, 4th of July, parades, flags flying, fireworks, corn hole, picnics, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, strawberry pie... these are a few of my favorite things. Can you guess that summer is my favorite time of year?
     It's sad, I know, that in the fall I count the days until the winter solstice arrives because I know the days will grow longer, not much, but one minute each day doesn't go unnoticed. And then, I don't know why, I'm always surprised to realize that even though the days are longer the cold and snow are making an appearance on all the weather forecasts and just the mere mention of that in Virginia causes schools to close and grown-ups to suddenly be afraid to drive.  So I begin to long for the first day of Spring.  When I read what others are posting on Facebook about how they love and adore fall and the beautiful colors of the leaves, all I can think is yes, but they are dying, the leaves are dying, the trees will soon be barren. Those beautiful colors are deceptive, fleeting and leading each one of you autumn lovers right into cold weather, snow, short days and cabin fever. Really, is that what you want? Okay, right about now my grandsons, Todd and Trey and their dad, Buddy along with my friend, Tina, are all saying yes, that's what we want, because they all love snow. So okay, you cold weather friends go ahead. But not me, give me the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas and I'm good.
    Last Saturday, June 21st at 12:38 p.m. the first day of summer began, but it was also the longest day of 2015 with a total of fourteen hours and fifty-four minutes of daylight. I don't like that! Not even a little bit. How can we already be going downhill?  I won't look at the clock to see the loss as I did back in December to see the gain.  But it will come within a few short weeks. It will sneak upon on us like a thief in the night, taking the long, hot summer days away from us a few minutes at a time.  But today I've only lost maybe a minute or two of daylight since Saturday so I've enjoyed this summer day.
     I started with coffee on my screened porch,
washed and dried a couple of loads of beach towels from the pool party that we had yesterday, spent time with three of my grandsons that are visiting with us for three weeks, had a lazy lunch and went for a swim in the pool until four of my grandsons took it over for a game of pool basketball.  I also watered my flowers since the high today is supposed to be 99. But one of my favorite things I did today was to start decorating for the 4th of July.  It is my second favorite holiday. My love of this country, the good ole USA is third only to my love for God and for my family.
     I'm proud to tell my age. I was born in 1948 in the post WWII era when patriotism was celebrated and America  was proud to have liberated many people
 from the horrendous atrocities perpetrated by Hitler and his Nazis. My daddy served in WWII in the Philippine Islands.I grew up in a home where the people who lived there appreciated their freedoms.
 It was a different time.Was it a perfect world?
 Of course not.
     I grew up in small town America in the state of Arkansas. I don't think there was anyone in our town that was wealthy, at least not the way we measure wealth today. Everyone worked.  Maybe day labor on one of the many farms in the surrounding area, or teaching school or working in one of the cafes in town. But we worked to feed our families and we loved our country. Many homes displayed photos of their loved one who had served in the war effort. It was talked about and those who had served were proud of their service. My love of country started in my home, was taught in my school and celebrated with festivals from time to time. So, I've loved my country's birthday for many, many years and I am happy that it happens in my favorite season...Sweet Summertime.  So go find a flag, hang it proudly, heck, hang several, be proud to be an American in the land of the free and the home of the brave!  Happy 4th Y'all!



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