Posted by: Jim E | August 20, 2011

Joys Of Summer…And…The Good Life…

Wow…it’s already August 20…and at least half of the summer is over…well, at least for those in the northern climes…for us in the South, at bit more…it’s in the 90’s today and possibly will hit 100 tomorrow…so it is hot and along with that…it’s humid…that may be a “downer” for some of you…but for Arkansans, it’s pretty normal…hot and humid is the name of the game in the summer…we had a few days in the 80’s and that’s almost jacket weather down here…it’s sans shorts and on go the jeans…anyway, it is still very much summer in Little Rock…

Summer is heavy on nostalgia…there is almost a magic about it…you know, when you have just gone through a winter…there is a no shortage of thoughts about summers past…what we did or didn’t get to do and what we “will do”, this summer…(hope you got to do some of those things)…trips, camping, friends, relatives…by a river or a lake…fish, swim or just watch others do it…just all kinds of things…I remember years ago, I saw a “Dennis the Menace” comic in the paper…I know I cut it out…but over the years it has disappeared…there was Dennis…laying on his back in the grass, his leg crossed over his other knee…hands behind his head…looking at the sky…there were big billowing “fair weather clouds” in the blue sky…next to him was little “Joey”…and Joey’s question was understood by Dennis’ reply…Dennis said, “Just watching the world go by Joey…just watching the world go by.”…

Now, why did I cut that comic out and why do I remember it so clearly (if not accurately)…Oh, probably 30 years or more since it was printed…Well I’ll tell you…I’ve been there…I’ve done that…and what boy or girl who has spent any time away from a TV set or computer screen or cell phone…has not done that…it was on Mr. and Mrs. Olson’s front yard…one of the many times “Joey” would have caught me “watching the world go by”…do you know…clouds…those fair weather clouds…they look like things that you and I know…I mean, a cow, or cowboy…a horses head, or a saddle…a giraffe…or his friend an elephant…I mean, did you know that???…have you ever looked up and looked and studied the clouds…God makes them in all kinds of shapes…ships, cars, submarines…fat people, skinny people…just about any people you can name…and somehow, those days were special…”just watching the world go by Joey…”…

And how about on top of that bluff overlooking the railroad track about a mile from home…it may as well have been hundreds of miles…the bluff was about 40 feet above the tracks…and it seemed that I was much closer to the clouds than that 40 feet…I could almost touch them…kinda like whipped cream…only they were a train, filled with people…they waved…I waved back…and when I looked back the train was gone…in its place was a semi-truck and the one next to it, was a Indian chief with a headdress…now, have you ever been there…okay, not on the bluff…not in Mr. and Mrs. Olson’s front yard…but in your world…and when people like “Joey” would go by, and would wonder…”What in the world is he/she doing?”…and you could say…(yes, you can say it)…”Watching the world go by…just watching the world go by”…

So summer is special…special memories…some that have already happened this summer, that you will never forget…and some may be coming up in these next few days…I can remember just outside our basement house door…on the cement walk…my bike upside down and tightening or oiling or fixing something on my bike…or making something with my Grandpa or working on his car or a sticky door…was all that being lazy or not involved or not being engaged, maybe…but there was a freedom that most don’t have today…we sat in the grass or on a curb or on the slanted door to the basement at Feld’s store, drinking a Coke and checking the bottom of the glass bottle to see whose came from the furthest, or is it farthest, away…was it Chicago or Cleveland or Minneapolis or was it Hawaii or a foreign land, or like this one from Pocatello, Idaho…and “Joey”, we daydreamed…we used our imaginations to do incredible things…go incredible places…see incredible things…we fought in wars…rode the prairie…were train engineers…road in boxcars across country…didn’t have to go to Hollywood, or Paris, or Berlin, or New York, to be there and experience it…what a childhood…it was no doubt, the good life…

So what is the good life…well, most of us are living it…sometime we just don’t know it…on the back of Country Extra magazine, July 2011…they always have a saying that make sense to most of us…this time it said: “The good life starts when you stop looking for a better one.”…I guess I would have to say, I have had a good life…some wins, some losses…some ups, some downs…but as I push 70 I feel I have been blessed beyond what I could have asked…and certainly more than I probably deserve…but I am thankful for it…so wouldn’t you know it…I’m living “The Good Life” and I guess I knew it all along…I have enjoyed it all…and these years, just talking with you…spending quality time with the love of my life…watching my kids and grandkids grow into what it is God has for them…and meeting each day and each challenge of life, walking with the God who has led me through all these years…it may not be a trip to Disney World, or Paris, or Hawaii…(heavens I learned as a kid…I can go there any day I want…and no full body scan)…

So you enjoy the rest of your summer…and the rest of your “Good Life”…and I will enjoy mine…because, “The good life starts when you stop looking for a better one.”…

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Responses

  1. Like the quote 🙂 I’m back at school now we have 10 special needs students this year. Never a dull moment; they bring me so much joy and make me realize how blessed I am. Have a great week!

    • In my former life I was a principal…and we had special needs kids in our building…little steps, sometimes tiny steps is what it is about…you don’t just have a job, it’s a ministry to kids and parents…keep on going, I know how that job can literally take all the energy you have on any given day…thanks for all you do for those kids…and keep taking pictures and showing us your world…we are on our way to Minnesota…our kids and grandkids…and the Minnesota State Fair!!!…

  2. Your summer memories are a great read, Jim- and I remember drinking Coke from bottles. There’s something about a cold glass bottle that makes drinking on a hot summer day a better experience than a product dispensed from a can or a plastic 2-liter.


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