Dog Days of Summer
By Preston Young
Most of us look forward to summertime. Summer means warm weather, longer nights, colder drinks, and fun times. It’s already August 11th and all I can think to myself is how fast this summer has gone by. It is true when they say the older you get, the faster life goes. I realize this more and more each year as I get older and older. I was thinking about how much different summer is now versus when I was kid and realized there are many differences between the two.
When I was a kid, summer meant no school, no worries, no responsibilities, and no obligations (other than the occasional summer reading book). This was our time, as kids to hang out with friends, get dirty, stay up late, and do whatever else we wanted. There was no job to clock into, no classes telling us to finish assignments and no brain to let us know we needed to sleep. Now, summer has a different feel, it just doesn’t feel as separated from the rest of the year like it did before. It’s just another couple of months in the year that have the same feel as every other month throughout the year. As a kid there was so much time to waste, now, not so much.
Growing up, I lived in a cul-de-sac with many other kids my age and our days were spent playing outside from sunrise to well past sunset. Fortunately, I still see most of the kids that lived in that neighborhood and we always talk about our long days playing wiffle ball, kick ball, and any other activity you can imagine. My most favorite memory was on the hottest days setting up a lemonade stand at the end of the street, making what I thought at the time was a lot of money. Now, I make sure to stop at every lemonade stand I see while driving because I know how it feels to get “customers” and make a few bucks at that age and, seeing the kids smile reminds me of how much fun I had doing the same thing as a kid!
Now that I am a college graduate, my summers are completely different. However, this doesn’t mean I enjoy it any less. So, Rachel and I decided to plan a weekend where we can feel like kids again. Even though the weather wasn’t perfect, we spent the weekend by the pool, and diving off the diving board. We had the typical cookout foods, hotdogs, and hamburgers. We even made cherry snow cones to cool off, which our bright red mouths stained from the snow cone syrup definitely made us look like we were five again. We finished the night making s’mores by the fire and you bet I felt like a kid again. Our puppy, Mason also went for his first swim and fortunately for us, he loved it! We bought him a baby float and he just hung out, and floated around enjoying the dog days of summer.
My biggest takeaway from a weekend like this is to take a step back, relax, take as many pictures as possible and most importantly, cherish every moment. Time is a gift, that is often in short supply and nobody should spend time on anyone or anything when that time is not valued. Jim Croce said it best “Unfortunately, you can’t save time in a bottle, there is no time machine, at least not yet. You have to use the time you have when you have it. It’s the most precious commodity you have.”