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July 28, 2016
My favorite month is sun setting soon. Why? Middle of summer, my birthday almost half way through and it is the height of sunshine and warm days. Ok, as a kid they were warm, now they seem hotter, but still...
Time to catch frogs, skip stones, swim until your arms fall off, sparklers, fireworks, picnics, vacation, and travel to far away places. Driving through Washington state, where the trees were taller than any building this child had ever seen.
California redwoods so big, a dance hall with a bar inside one. The wonders of the West were jaw dropping and shut this mouth, because no words could describe the beauty, and majesty all around.
Each summer we traveled a different route to California. Dad had a war buddy there. They were at the Battle of the Bulge together. Those events bind you in a way that sometimes cannot be expressed by ordinary men.
Dad earned a Bronze Star. His company was pinned down, and he would stand up in the trench they were in and wave his arms at a machine gun nest in a second story of a building of the town they were attacking. By doing this artillery was able to pinpoint the building and destroy it.
One year we moved to Sacramento, CA. Ron and I had many adventures. Being the new kids on the block, we were tested by the other kids, and after a few fights, we were welcomed as new blood to this gang. Doesn’t get better than that.
School came and we were way ahead of the other kids. Teacher’s wanted to advance us, put us in higher grades. Mom was adamant; “NO! If we move back to Wisconsin, they will be behind. It will not happen.” We didn’t care, we liked the kids, the school and the teachers.
It was the first time we left a classroom and the hallways were outside! Cool! You could see jets flying over, here trains whistling in the distance, and an easy escape to the playground.
Mom got homesick. Did not like being so far away from family. One day we packed up and left. No good-byes, no sad partings, just gone like a strong wind pushing us home. We never went back.
It was the end of one aspect of our childhood. But new summers, new July’s called us to embrace our new friends, new adventures, school and returning to some old friends too.
This habit of wandering every summer grabbed me. I liked it. Never staying long in one place, but somehow staying in the same town, we moved from apartment to apartment, until mom put her foot down. By high school we had found a nice compact, and comfortable house, near a Catholic church/school and the new Catholic High School, Newman. Named after Cardinal Newman.
There was no more wandering until the end of those four years. Glad of that. Leaving high school closed one chapter, but opened another. But of course, that is another story.
Good-bye July, come again next year. I will wait for you. Please hurry, you hold many memories that embrace this heart.
I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.