Monday, August 13, 2012

Late summer happenings

I find that the older I get, the more I ask that question, "Where did _____ go?"

As in, where did the time go, where did last week go, where did the years go. You know what I mean.

Summer, by its true definition, is weeks away from being over. But by its more common definition in my world, summer's drawing to a close. As I walked Ralph the Dog this morning, school buses were humming through the neighborhood.

It's too early for school to be starting and I fought that battle for years as my children went through school here. In the county just to the north of us, they started on August 1, having adopted the dreaded "balanced calendar" that provides for a shorter summer break and more frequent breaks during the year.

It's an educational fad whose proponents say enhances the academic experience, but lack any empirical evidence to back that up. We were able to to fight it off when they tried it in our school district and it was not even a difficult battle because of what I just said -- the evidence was not there.

I still think it's too early but I'm thankful it's no earlier than it is.

And that's my rant about that.

 Speaking of things that start too early, Wife and I deposited Younger Son back at Auburn University over the weekend for his second year. He moved into an apartment with three other guys and classes will begin later this week. Not that anyone's counting, but this was our ninth college move-in.

And I'm asking myself that where-did-the-time-go question. When he arrived home in May it seemed like so much time lay before us and just like that, in a flash he is gone again.

Wife and I still have to catch our collective breath when leaving one of our little chicks behind.

Saturday, when we left him after a very smooth move-in, just happened to be our 28th wedding anniversary. Knowing that keeping ourselves busy is key to getting through these sad/rough patches, Wife had suggested a few weeks ago that we go to nearby Callaway Gardens, a huge resort area of natural beauty (gardens, of course) just across the state line from Auburn in Georgia.

We had a great time enjoying the serenity and beauty. The Southeast was blessed with a respite from the oppressive heat over the weekend which made it even more enjoyable.

On Saturday we explored the grounds, including a huge butterfly exhibit that was fascinating. We drove to a small town nearby and ate dinner at a crummy restaurant but that did not deter our enjoyment.

Sunday morning we enjoyed a breakfast that made up for the bad dinner the night before. Then we got outside of our comfort zones and rented bicycles. We rode for about two hours and had the time of our lives. I felt like a ten-year-old zipping along the trails, standing up on my bike and taking my hands off the handle bars. (Wife allowed as to how I was also acting like a ten-year-old).

It was a nice way to celebrate 28 years of marriage and ease ourselves into the adjustment of Younger Son once again being absent from us.


And of course I'm asking myself where this summer went and how in the world 28 years have zipped by since we got married.

Note to self:  get on a bike and act like a ten-year-old more often. It's good for the soul.