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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Summer's Last Stand by Gail Roughton

Technically speaking, down here in the Deep South, Summer's a heck of a long way from making its last stand. That won't happen until mid-September at least, and there's no guarantee it'll happen until October. And even then, it won't go without a fight. Summer doesn't go out graciously down here, it makes its exit kicking and screaming and still manages to sneak back onstage for encores. 

Summer's not defined merely by the outdoor temperature, though. Summer's made of those lazy, hazy, sleep late days cherished by all kids who've already entered the hallowed halls of the American education system. The days of summer vacation that stretch from roughly the end of May to the first of August. Being a child born in the 50's who entered the education system in the 60's when school started roughly around Labor Day and wrapped up generally the first week in June, it's really hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that the first day of school seems to creep up earlier and earlier each year. Down here in Middle Georgia, most school systems started back this last week. 

It's been a great summer for me. Really, really great. And notwithstanding the fact that I don't really like to travel or spend the night away from home, I love day trips. I love riding the back roads, looking out the windows at the scenery, at the small towns still busily living their small town lives along their routes. Fortunately for me, that's a love my husband shares and we've indulged it a good bit this summer, driving up to Lake Sinclair, re-visiting a few of the State Parks we remember fondly from our own childhoods and introducing them to our grandchildren.  

Middle Georgia's only a three to three and a half hour trip from the beach (just perfect for us Day-Trippers), even taking the back roads and not the interstate. Leaving early in the morning puts you on one of Georgia's premier beaches by mid-morning, giving families plenty of time for a beach play day, followed by a seafood feast at any number of seafood restaurants, and topped off by a drive home down the same back roads, when the changing angle of the sun shows you the passing scenery in a totally light than you viewed it that morning.  You know you're close when you see that gorgeous bridge in the distance, when you can watch the shrimp boats moving up and down the shoreline.

Last Saturday, we made a final summer trip down to Jeckyll Island. We'd been to the beach already this summer, but this time, it being the weekend and not a weekday, the kids got to go and not just the grandkids.  And when you watch your children watch your grandchildren walk along the sand, you know you've made memories that span three generations. For them and for you.  I'll miss summer. I won't miss the heat index, but I will miss the freedom inherent in the very word, the promise of high adventure and new places.  And speaking of high adventure and new places....

You ain't in Kansas anymore!

Gail Roughton on Amazon 

Published by Books We Love, Ltd. 

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