Summertime still keeps whizzing by

By : 
Dr. Jan Meyer
Biker's Diary

In the summer of 2015, I wrote about how fast summer goes. At that time I wrote, “It has always seemed to me that every year I mentally note that summer is almost here when Memorial Day rolls around. June doesn’t move by very quickly — and neither do I — but nonetheless it does disappear. Suddenly it is the Fourth of July, and I realize that before I can really get a handle on it, Labor Day will arrive. And that happens whether it has been a good summer so far or not.”

This summer I can reaffirm that.

Then I continued, “This year, the season seems to have been about perfect. Who could complain about the weather? Maybe someone might think it has rained too much, others maybe just a few miles away might think too little. But we don’t have a drought this year, so it can’t be too bad anywhere around here.”

And I think the weather has been about perfect this year too. I guess I love all kinds of weather, because even those days when we didn’t see the sun were good weather days for me.

“While for many people weather might be it, one of my favorite things about any summer is going to events. And this year has been grand. One weekend there was a community band concert on the seminary lawn across the street from our condo, complete with an ice cream social. The next day there was an art festival, which was just around the corner from us. We could attend both events without getting into a car. At the end of the street, the owner of the little corner grocery store had set up a food stand in its parking lot for hot dogs, chips and sodas. All we had to do was sit down on their folding chairs, or on the stone fence around the perimeter, and enjoy the country/folk band while we ate, or whiled away the afternoon. At one point the group announced a contest: the first one to name the musical from which their next song originated would win an ice cream sundae. I did it! That same place sells hand-dipped ice cream every Monday through Thursday — outdoors.

“Another night, friends and I attended a concert performed by one of my all-time favorite choral groups. Prior to its start we sat outside to have our dinner, on the patio close to the Mississippi River. I’ve been to the farmers’ market at least once, sometimes twice, a week, and I am like a kid in a candy shop: my refrigerator overflows! It is summer eating at its best.”

Almost all of those things have happened this summer too, even though sandwiched between being really “under the weather” and the feeling-good days.

I missed our annual Minnesota Twins game with friends; I was sick and stayed home. But earlier we had, on the spur-of-the-moment, gone to one. Back in 2015 we brought luck to the team as they won. They lost this time, so we must not have done something right! We haven’t made it to a Lynx game yet this summer; maybe we can still do that if the rest of the time doesn’t go too fast!

I wrote back then that “I have not been a big fan of professional sports. But for the last few years, going to a game now and then has taught me something: both baseball and basketball are more complicated than they look. In my youth, one of the summer pastimes was playing softball in the school girls’ league. I have always thought that it was simply a game of chance, or luck: the pitcher hoped to get the ball across the plate, and the batter hoped to connect in some way with the pitch…. Now, I have noticed that not only is there more than luck and chance involved, there are actually strategies. Of course it helps that I have opportunities now to ask questions!”

I think it also has to do with the magic of summer, and I draw the line at pro-football. Even grocery shopping, which I really don’t like to do, seems easier in the summer.

“I have always thought that Minnesotans will do anything, summer or winter, as long as it is outdoors. I still feel that way, but clearly summer outdoors requires a lot less effort — and clothing than do the winter outdoor activities. Maybe that’s why we for the most part seem to be a little more enthused about summer.”

I stand by that observation, and hope we Minnesotans continue to be outdoors people, year around.

Back then I commented that summer that year had been just about perfect. “It reminds me of the popular song from Porgy and Bess: ‘Summertime, and the living is easy. Fish are jumping….’ I just wish it didn’t go by quite so quickly.”

I still wish that, but then I wish all time would slow down a bit. I’ve learned that the old adage, “Time passes fast when you’re having fun” could be changed to “Time passes fast even when you’re not having fun!”