Well, not quite yet. But there's always that first instant each year, usually on some evening in late August or early September, when I feel that very first chill, signifying that summer will soon be coming to an end. The cooler days of fall are not far away, offering just a hint of the not-so-distant winter. That change in the air always gives me a familiar, nostalgic feeling. There's just something about the changing of the seasons.
Something Kerry posted awhile back brought to mind some of my fondest summertime memories. Childhood memories like helping my grandma shell peas, chasing lightning bugs in the backyard, catching them and putting them in a jar and punching holes in the lid so they could breathe, catching junebugs and tying a string to them, riding around in the back of a truck. Back then, if someone had a truck and you were a kid, you always wanted to ride in the back. And the adults would always stick their head out the window and tell you to sit down. Like we were really gonna fall out. Well, there was that one time. But I digress.
Then memories turn to family vacations when I was a little older. Long-time readers (both of you) will recall my Opryland fascination, as evidenced by my Opryland tribute, my pseudo Opyland historical tours, and my reconaissance mission to the site of the Grizzly River Rampage. This is what comes from going to Opryland on your family vacation seemingly every year for like ten years straight. Later memories turn to beach trips. Three-day weekends of sand and sun, and the ocean breeze clearing my head. Nothing like it.
Another of my favorite summertime memories occurred over two or three summers when I was in my late teens. One of my friends (Ben from the LaGrange story) had a job operating the scoreboard and keeping the scorebook at the local softball fields. From April thru July for two or three years, several of us guys would hang out up there almost every weeknight. We talked about nothing, laughed about everything, sometimes even watched TV in the pressbox ('92 NBA Finals: Bulls/Blazers). The games would get over around 9:30 or 10:00 every night and often we'd go out to eat afterwards. It was the closest thing to a true hangout that I ever experienced. You never had to call anyone to ask if they were going to be there. You just showed up and someone was always there. There were always lots of girls my age there, too. I met several girls there over the span of those two or three summers. Some I called. Some I dated. Some I only smiled at. Then Ben had to get a real job and that part of my life was over, although it didn't seem like a big deal at the time.
Anyway, I hope maybe this brought to mind some fond memories for you. When and if you have time, I hope you'll read some of the previous posts I have linked to, I rather like a couple of them.
Farewell, Summer. Thanks for the memories. See ya in a few months.
"Purple hulls and pintos, I've shelled more than my share, as lightnin' bugs and crickets danced in the evenin' air..."