My amaz­ing fas­ci­na­tion with sum­mer

Record Observer - - Religion -

It comes as a great re­lief to me that win­ter is over and sum­mer has stepped up and taken its right­ful place. I really love sum­mer. I am fas­ci­nated with all as­pects associated with sum­mer.

Some peo­ple, like the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age, en­joy the as­pects of win­ter, pri­mar­ily the cold. I just do not like the cold. I will ac­cept a cold shoul­der oc­ca­sion­ally, but that is as far as I will go in the area cold.

Win­ter has no as­pects of fas­ci­na­tion for me. I do not like be­ing cold, shiv­er­ing and my nose tin­gling with frost­bite. Win­ter is cer­tainly not for me.

Dur­ing the win­ter­time, I have to wear all kinds of cloth­ing and coats and sweaters. In the sum­mer time, I can re­lax, sit on the back porch with a glass of iced tea and en­joy the but­ter­flies float­ing through the flowers. Ah, what a won­der­ful time sum­mer is.

This brings up the sharp dif­fer­ence between my wife and me. For some rea­son she loves win­ter. This may have some­thing to do with her grow­ing up in up­per state New York where it is snowy and win­try all the time. I re­mem­ber vis­it­ing once in Au­gust and just about froze to death.

But she en­joys chilly tem­per­a­tures. She en­joys when the tem­per­a­ture falls be­low 70.

I have a ba­sic rule in life. When the tem­per­a­ture falls be­low my age, I’m cold. Each year it seems to be get­ting a lit­tle higher.

The thing about sum­mer is sim­ply this; when it gets really, really hot, I sim­ply turn on the air con­di­tioner, which truly works. Not so much in the win­ter. No mat­ter how cold it is I can­not seem to get the tem­per­a­ture high enough to ward off that chilly, frosty feel­ing.

I know in the mid­dle of win­ter we have a hol­i­day called “Christ­mas.” Have you ever no­ticed how Santa Claus dresses?

He is ex­tremely over­weight, all that in­su­la­tion un­der his skin, plus he wears a huge red coat with a hat. Most of the time he is also wear­ing gloves. If he really en­joyed win­ter, he would ex­pe­ri­ence win­ter in the beauty of its raw­ness.

How­ever, sum­mer for me has many ameni­ties. For ex­am­ple, you can tell your wife that you are go­ing fish­ing and never ac­tu­ally get to the lake to do any fish­ing. Along the way, you see a nice area where peo­ple are hav­ing pic­nics and just sit­ting un­der some lovely trees. Bask­ing in the sun­light of sum­mer is worth all that it is made up to be.

Sum­mer is also the time for pic­nics.

It be­gins with Memo­rial Day, which is the first pic­nic day of the sum­mer. From then on there is a pic­nic day set for ev­ery month of the sum­mer. In fact, in July, I make sure there are two pic­nic days just in case I miss the first one.

The beau­ti­ful thing about a pic­nic is you can eat with your fin­gers. In the house, the wife wants me to eat with forks and spoons and all of that kitchen­ware stuff. Out on the pic­nic ta­ble I can eat as I am sup­posed to eat: with my fin­gers.

Sum­mer is the time to chill out. Dur­ing the win­ter you are run­ning here and there and try­ing to catch up with this hol­i­day and that hol­i­day. Sum­mer is the time to slow down and en­joy the sun­shine.

I am not sure why there are more hol­i­days through­out the win­ter than there are dur­ing the sum­mer, but I sure am grate­ful for the per­son who set up that cal­en­dar. Sum­mer is not cel­e­brat­ing this hol­i­day and that hol­i­day; sum­mer is en­joy­ing the out­doors as much as pos­si­ble.

Just the other day I was head­ing out the door and the wife called af­ter me and said, “Where are you go­ing?”

I thought about that for a mo­ment, smiled and said, “I don’t know where I’m go­ing.”

There was a slight pause and then she said, “Can I go with you?”

The beau­ti­ful thing about sum­mer is that you can go some­where with­out go­ing any­where. Noth­ing is more pleas­ant than hav­ing nowhere to go and tak­ing your time get­ting there.

If I had any­thing to do with it, and I cer­tainly don’t, I would make sure there would be sum­mer the year round. I will never, ever get tired of the sum­mer time.

Sit­ting on the porch one af­ter­noon the wife came out and said, “What are you do­ing? Don’t you have some­thing to do?”

I rocked back and forth three times with­out even look­ing at her and said, “I’m do­ing noth­ing and lik­ing ev­ery mo­ment of it.”

She then joined me in do­ing noth­ing and we did noth­ing for the rest of the af­ter­noon. I had things to do. She, of course, had things to do. But we just joined our hearts in do­ing noth­ing to­gether. Noth­ing is bet­ter than a sum­mer af­ter­noon when you can do noth­ing to­gether and en­joy ev­ery mo­ment of it.

I like with the preacher said, “I said in mine heart, God shall judge the right­eous and the wicked: for there is a time there for ev­ery pur­pose and for ev­ery work” (Ec­cle­si­astes 3:17).

If there is a time for work, then there should be plenty of time for rest. If I don’t get my rest, how can I do the work that I have to do?

The Rev. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship, in Sil­ver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or email jamess­ny­ The church web­site is www.whatafel­low­

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