Seventy summers gone by

I was born just after the vernal equinox in 1953, and while Summer and I were walking the land this morning, it occurred to me that I just finished my 70th summer, and Summer (the retriever) had just lived through her first complete summer, having been born one month into the summer of 2021.

As summers go, it was pleasant enough, not memorable in the way the summer when I fell madly in love for the first time was, or the summer of 2019, when I sat in an airport 1,000 miles away from my newspaper, watching the radar on my cellphone while the worst windstorm in more than a decade barreled into northeast Wisconsin, and me unable to cover the damage and cleanup in person like a reporter is supposed to do.

It’s awesome — in the literal sense of that word — to realize you’ve experienced an annual event for the 70th time, and it didn’t even occur to me until 10 days after it ended. I am not at all ungrateful, just slow on the uptake.

I have been gifted with so much, not the least of which is health and longevity to spend this many years wandering this old world. It’s not for me to know how many more summers I may get to experience, but I aim to savor each and every one of them.

For now, however, I intend to savor every day of this grand Wisconsin autumn that surrounds us now.

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