Sunday, June 20, 2010

An Endless Summer Day

Yesterday was one of those perfect New England summer days; bright sunshine in a cloudless sky, 90º and dry, with just a bit of a cool breeze blowing in off the ocean to provide a little natural AC. Our plan for the day had been to knock out the yard work early and then attend a graduation party in the afternoon, and that would have been enough, but as often happens on beautiful summer days, a few unexpected opportunities arose, and we made the most of them.

By noon we had the lawn looking like emerald corduroy and the pool sparkling like a sapphire in the sun. As we were wrapping up, one of our sons arrived with his significant other, which was a pleasant surprise. You have to take your moments as they come when you have grown offspring, so although we needed to get cleaned up and gone, we decided to join them in the pool for a little while.

We soaked off the sweat of our labors in the pool, and then out came the lemonade, and then the Bocce set… This was turning into an impromptu party and I was tempted to blow off the rest of the day and stay right there by the pool, but we didn’t. We left the kids to have some peace by the pool, did a fast shower and change, and were on the road by 2:30.

The graduation party was great; family, friends, food and tunes. The hosts live about a block from the ocean and that salt air smell just added to the vibe of the day. While we were there we made the acquaintance of a fine Scottish couple, himself in kilt, that were a pleasure to talk to, and who, as the party went on, turned out to have a serendipitous connection to us. In the course of conversation it came to light that the gentleman had worked for the same airline that my Dad had, and knew him. This being Fathers Day weekend and all, it was a bit of a goosebumpy moment. We had just been swapping stories about the Grampster with our son back by the pool, and then we meet a total stranger that knew him. A kilted total stranger, at that. A cool and yet slightly surreal encounter. Lang may yer lum reek, Jonas.

At this point the day was already memorable on quite a few levels, but we weren’t done yet. We had parked within eyeshot of the ocean, and as we walked to the truck we made the decision to catch sunset at the beach. We opened all the hatches, cranked up the tunes, and took a long, slow, sunset cruise down Shore Drive.

The beach, the water, the people out for a Saturday night stroll, us singing along with Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” as we slow cruised, priceless. I could feel my internal clock running backwards, and the rest of the ride home went by in the blissful blink of an eye.

We had just gotten home and we were starting to unwind when the peace of the long day was broken by the window rattling sound of big time fireworks. We had completely forgotten that there was going to be a fireworks display in the park down the street from our house. As the pets all bolted for cover, we bolted out to the front yard and watched as an impressive fireworks display played out just above the trees. A fitting end to a magnificent day.

Sitting here now and looking back over the day, I still find it hard to believe that we squeezed in all that we did, but that’s what summer is all about. Long days spent living in the moment, and rolling with what life gives you.

I leave you with this quote from Annie Dillard;

“Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you.”

Here’s hoping yours is well spent. Happy Fathers Day.

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