Fredericksburg Features

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Savor summer

By Donnie Johnston

The Free Lance -Star


I enjoy all the seasons,

for that matter, and appreciate that I live in an area where they change.

 When you get tired of one season, another comes along. But I especially enjoy summer.

I heard any number of people complaining about last week’s heat but I wasn’t one of them. Hot weather is just part of summer, and I don’t change my lifestyle when the thermometer rises into the 90s.

The garden still needs hoeing, the yard still needs mowing and other outside chores still need doing. So I do them. If it gets too hot I just sit under a shade tree or take a ride up on the Skyline Drive, where it is always 10 degrees cooler than down in “the flats.”

As the song says, the living is easy in the summertime. Every week seems to produce a new vegetable in the garden and a new dessert on the table. Cherry cobbler turns into raspberry ice cream and then into blackberry cobbler. And when the blackberries have played out the peaches are ripe. You can’t beat a parlay like that.

In the summer the days are long and you can get more done outside before dark. But don’t discount those warm summer nights. Some of the fondest memories I have are of hot summer nights when I sat by the radio out under the old maple tree listening to baseball games with my Uncle Bill. Baseball is another of those things that make summer special.

There are still many hot summer nights when I go out for a walk about midnight just to feel the night air, hear the night sounds and look up at the stars. Summer nights are alive with nature’s activity.

Some of my most romantic memories take me back to long walks on quiet summer nights. Once a girlfriend and I stopped at a bridge on a secluded back road and spent 30 minutes just watching the moonlight shimmering down on the water below. 

I’ll never forget that.

Just riding around with the windows down and the radio on made for some romantic summer nights, not to mention lying on a blanket just looking up at the stars. And oh yes, those evenings at the drive-in movies! Summer nights were made for lovers.

Summer is a time for spontaneity, and I am spontaneity’s biggest fan. Too many planned events don’t work out. Doing things on the spur of the moment is much more fun. Like getting hot and deciding to go get a banana split to cool off, or jumping into the car and riding down to the river to get into that refreshing water.

We don’t do those things in the winter, but we do in the summer. We don’t need big coats or snow boots in the summer. A light shirt, a pair of shorts and tennis shoes are all the clothing that is required. And on some hot summer days even that sometimes seems too much.

 Summer is a fun time and it should be enjoyed. Some people just want to complain about the heat and the bees and the snakes and all the bad things associated with summer. Not me.

 I want to enjoy every minute of the hot weather. Air conditioning is nice but warm summer nights when the temperature doesn’t drop below 75 are better.

That bridge with the shimmering moonbeams down below are still there, and if I can find another 22-year-old girl who wants to take a ride, well

Summer is fun and summer is romantic. Stop complaining and enjoy it!

Donnie Johnston: