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Summer: A Time For Rest From Tardiness And Marmalade


One of my favorite months. Actually, every month has a special holiday or seasonal weather that I like, but it is June that I find exceptional.

This blissful month follows the end of school year and I always loved the end of a school year. You would think I was a teacher or something. No, I was a mom who looked forward to the end of getting my sleepy kids out of bed and the rat race to get them to school by the first bell.

Summer, to me, meant me getting time to reboot. It was a time to let my cherubs sleep in and take the day as it comes. Oh, how I love summer! No more homework, teacher’s conferences, signing permission slips or scrounging for something good for their school sack lunch in the fridge.

My kids still have an inside joke about their dad fixing peanut butter and orange marmalade because he didn’t have strawberry jam. The mere mention of marmalade or a picture of it can bring a smirk to my grown kid’s faces faster than anything.

For a majority of their years in the school system, I always drove my kids to school. My oldest daughter was thrilled to get a car her senior year and drive herself, but her younger sister preferred me to drive her through her senior year, because she could put the finishing touches on her make-up.

One school morning, there was skiff of snow that had fallen and it was actually the first snow of the season. A fourth of an inch had covered our sloped drive-way and thinking I was going to start the winter season by being on top of the snow, I gave it a quick shoveling.

My daughter had taken her spot in the shotgun seat and positioned herself to start her daily primp on the way to school, when my smooth-bottomed Haflinger clogs slipped out from beneath me and I fell, hard on the icy cold pavement. My shovel went flying and I heard my daughter yell from the car, “Mom, come on! I’m going to be late!”

The thought of her being tardy sent me hustling to pick myself off the slick, wet concrete, except-I couldn’t move. The slightest movement sent an electrical shock that emanated throughout my shoulder. I had never felt anything like it before but I knew it was warning to me to lay still and I yelled to my daughter to call Dad who was already at work.

There I was on the ground, helpless and at one point, my daughter tried to help me up and soon found out that was fruitless. Until help arrived, I wasn’t going anywhere.

My son, who was in 3rd grade, had already went ahead to his bus stop because he liked riding with the swarm of boys his age that lived in our subdivision. I could see his friends walking past me on their way to the bus stop, as I lay on the snowy ground. They turned and looked at me with bewildered looks. Embarrassed, I just smiled and waved, like this was just a normal thing I did on a school day.

Later my son told me that when they met up with him at bus stop, they told him, “Hey, your mom is laying on your driveway!”

Finally the Calvary arrived, my husband. He helped me up, shocking pains all the way. The mission? Get me to the hospital? Once inside the car, I said no, we got to beat that school bell and get her to school! (See why I love summer?).

I can’t tell you how many speed bumps we went over on our way to the high school but the electrical shocks in my shoulder counted every one!

Eventually, our daughter got to school and I got to the E.R. The school never did excuse her tardy that day, however, my broken shoulder healed perfectly and she went on to graduate Valedictorian.

Then there are the school activities that come along with school.

We were all hurrying to get into the car to get our oldest daughter, who was in 8th grade at the time, to a required play. Our family cat climbed up into the car. I scooted him out and as always, expected him to hightail it away as we shut the doors and started the engine. I threw it in reverse and clearly backed over something, and that something was our precious ‘Sugar Beet’. (We named her that because my husband rescued her as a cold and hungry kitten from a sugar beet field).

We made it to the play but had to ultimately put our family cat to sleep. We lived in a part of the country where we were trying to say our goodbyes to our cat at the vets, and in the next room there was a grizzly bear getting tended to.

So the craziness that comes with the school year makes life go fast and summer, starting with June, always seems to slow life down a little. Not much, but a little.

As I step in and help with my grandkids, we have the whole month of June to enjoy before back-to-school ads start after the 4th of July. Time to reboot!

Written by Gloria Hart

Gloria Hart

Gloria lives in Dickinson, ND and lives her life with a grateful
heart and is blessed with three grandchildren.

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