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Life's little lessons

Summer is . . .

The smell of my hands after picking tomatoes off the vine,

Shucking corn and shelling peas,

Hiding out in the muscadine vines.

Summer is . . .

Popsicles on the back steps and ice cream for dinner,

Cucumber sandwiches, fried green tomatoes, and an ice-cold watermelon rolling in a red cooler.

Finding new ways to eat squash, or to give it away,

Practicing spitting melon seeds with accuracy.

Summer is . . .

Watering the lawn,

Mowing grass,

Pulling weeds,

Watering the lawn,

Mowing the grass,

Pulling the weeds . . .

Summer is . . .

A wall of rain dancing across the lake until it marches right over us, then waltzes away,

Sudden thunderstorms,

Sitting under shady trees,

Basking in a rare, cool breeze,

Thankfulness for the cloud that covers the sun for only a moment.

Summer is . . .

My ski scooching from beneath me so swiftly that I skid and bounce across the water,

My bathing suit bottoms floating nearby,

Gazing at the boat as it disappears over the horizon because the watcher didn't watch.

Summer is . . .

The boat breaking down,

Mama saying she never wanted to get the boat, anyway, in a few choice words,

Daddy threatening to throw Mama over port-side.

Summer is . . .

The thick scent of the salt marsh hanging in humid air,

A bucket of snipping blue crabs caught on a chicken neck and a string,

Jelly fish stings,

Sand in shoes, towels, shorts, and . . . other uncomfortable places,

Sunburns and shrimp tails.

Summer is . . .

Glass jars churning with fireflies, lit up like lanterns,

Throwing rocks in the twilight to make bats swoosh and dive,

Trying to hear each other over the din of the crickets,

Playing in the dark yard, listening to the murmur of adults talking on the porch.

Summer is . . .

Air conditioning going out,

Flies coming in,

Life in slow-motion.

Summer is . . .

Family vacations:

Are we there yet?

How much longer?

He's touching me, she's looking at me, he's making that sound again.

Hot asphalt, roller coasters, and water slides.

Summer is . . .

Lazy afternoons, pool-side,

Reading tabloid magazines and bestsellers,

General lolling about,

Lifeguards shouting, "Don't run!" and lathering on SPF in the sun,

Hours upon hours of "Sharks & Minnows" and "Marco Polo" and "Alligator Eyes."

Summer is . . .

Telling campfire stories with a flashlight under the chin,

Starry nights and tents and sleeping bags,

Sticky faces smeared with black marshmallow goo.

Summer is . . .

Ant hills, bare feet, stickers, flip flops, tube tops, and last year's school pants cut off for shorts,

Bathing suits, sprinklers, fire crackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers,

Red, white and blue,

Mosquitoes, bug spray, citronella, no see-'ems, and gnats.

Summer is . . .

Jimmy Buffet wasting away in Margaritaville,

Bob Marley promising every little thing's gonna be alright,

Buffet agreeing that come Monday, it will,

And the Zach Brown Band crooning that life is good today.

Summer is . . .

Baseball, baseball, baseball.

Summer is . . .

Too hot, too humid, too short.

Summer is . . . HERE!

(Lucy Adams is a syndicated columnist, freelance writer, and author of If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny. She spends her summer in Thomson. She spends spring, fall and winter there, as well. Write Lucy at lucybgoosey@ and visit her Web site,

Web posted on Thursday, June 03, 2010

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