Monday, June 28, 2010

Dog Days

The alarm went off, I stumbled to the kitchen, turned on the radio and the smooth, soothing voice characteristic of an NPR newsreader announced that it was 78 degrees in 6:20 in the morning.

Its going to be a hot one...making a day spent in an unairconditioned car more unappealing than I am going to that part of my territory where the weather is typically the mildest, where the roads are shaded and reminds me of where I grew up. Rochester, a place populated by part time artists and cranberry growers is, at least from this visitors' point of view, idyllic.

My kids are with their mom today and I am battling the temptation to call her and try to solve the inevitable problem of what to do with the kids in such hot weather. She does not have a pool, there are few ponds to go to, and my kids have few friends within an easy bike ride. ex going to have a fun day...

In thinking about Rochester and what suggestions I can offer my ex wife I find myself thinking about what we did when we were kids on days like this. I am not one to idealize where I grew up but if I am honest...where I grew up some ways almost idyllic.

One special particular comes to mind...a place that you could only find in a small town. On a back road, about five miles from my house, was a swimming hole, complete with a rope hanging from a tree from where we would swing out over the brook and drop into the cold water below. My brother Keith, my friend Mark, my friend Jimmy, and his brother George were frequent companions to this special place.

There, free from meddling adults, we swam, talked about baseball, and debated the merits of certain girls who shall remain nameless. There we found relief from the heat, escaped our parents, and were able to indulge in those pursuits which preoccupy boys of a certain age.

I wish I could whisper in Oliver's and Aidan's ear of the whereabouts of such a place near where they live. I suspect that there are none to be had...where kids can go and indulge in such summertime pleasures as I did many years ago. We live in a different time and such places exist only in our memories and our imaginations...and perhaps in Rochester.

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