The joys of summer

Do you know how difficult it is to concentrate on work when the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you just know the fish must be biting at the lake?

I’m pretty sure there’s a reason why we don’t have windows we can see out of in the newsroom.

Unfortunately, my home computer is mere inches from a window to my backyard, and on Sunday afternoon, with a soft, cool breeze coming through, all I could concentrate on was the constant chattering of the backyard birds — likely the same ones who made a disgusting mess on my lawn chair last week.

These are the days of summer I’ve been waiting for — sunshine, not too hot and not too much wind. On these days, there aren’t enough hours of light to soak up all of the memory-making summer activities.

At the farm, the first cutting of alfalfa was completed and the bales stacked up (my great-niece, Kiera, on a trek with me to the back pasture one night, felt it necessary to wave at every single one of the inanimate large bales). While it made me laugh, I was even more delighted when, as we watched the rising waters of the Ocheyedan River flow past our pasture fence, Kiera declared there were “mermaids swimming in there.”

That was the same night my newest great-niece, Elsie, was born. (Some of our family had gathered at the farm to celebrate my mom’s birthday … from now on, we get to celebrate two birthdays on June 19.)

I’m pretty sure Elsie has a full wardrobe already, thanks in large part to the aunts and great-aunts. It was fun seeing the excitement in my first niece, Jessie’s eyes, over having her first niece to spoil. And, since the baby arrived just two days before her daddy Matt’s birthday, he will get to share Princess birthday cakes with his little girl for the next decade. (I can already see him rolling his eyes!)

With Matt and Kaitlin busy with the newest addition to their family, my fishing buddies — at least for two nights in June — were Matt’s younger brother Zach and sister Katie.

Niece Katie — she’s 7 — caught her first sheephead, a rough fish with shiny, silvery scales, on one excursion; and Nephew Zach caught his first bluegill of the season on the second outing. I, on the other hand, got skunked both nights. I’m thinking next time I’ll go to the lake by myself!

Finally, on the last day of June — yesterday morning — the folks and I made a quick trek to Fairmont to see my nephew Blake play baseball. I was oh-so-close to having a high-flying foul ball land on the top of my head, but Blake and his teammates won the game by the 10-run rule, so all was well.

Nephew Reece came back with us, and will get to spend the next few days at the farm. He’ll keep my mom busy in the kitchen, making sure there’s enough sweets for the sweet, and my dad busy outside with his constant requests for tractor rides, skidloader rides and four-wheeler rides.

Oh, the joys of summer … one month of memories is in the book; two more months await.

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