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Savoring the remnants of summer
By Gloria Diaz
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Fort Wayne Reader
I felt like I didnít have much of a summer. I know a lot of people say that, but because of my job, I felt like I didnít even have time after work to do stuff. So when I passed my commercial driverís license test, I decided to take advantage of the last weeks of summer to be a bum before I started work. Enjoying myself meant doing a variety of ďsummerĒ things, one of which was going swimming. I like swimming outside, but because some idiot decided to have school start BEFORE Labor Day, it meant I couldnít swim at my favorite pool, because it closed in mid-August. So I headed to Roush Lake.
Thanks to Rich Reynolds, for years, I never paid attention to the local weather people. But stupidly, the night before, I watched the forecast and figured Iíd go swimming a few days later, since I was going to Cedar Point a couple days after my last swim date of the season. They predicted afternoon thunderstorms for that day, so I thought Iíd sleep late, then do a bit of housework. However, there was barely a cloud in the sky all day, so I ended up starting my day quite late. But I guess I should be thankful. If Iíd started any earlier, I probably would have gotten a sunburn. So thanks, Indianaís News Center, for an inaccurate forecast that may have saved me from turning red, then shedding chunks of skin like a leper.
Roush Lake is the scene for a friendís annual birthday party, and since I knew the beach was open through Labor Day, thatís where I was headed the Wednesday before the holiday weekend. I have to say it was ideal. Because the kids were in school, I had the beach pretty much to myself. There was a guy sitting on a picnic table reading a book, but I was the only other person there. It was a beautiful day.
But being at the lake made me realize that summer was winding down. To me, summer is the best time of the year, the season with the most promise, the most romance. I look forward to it every year, and dread when it ends. It doesnít matter that summer comes back every year; towards the end I start to get depressed.
At the lake, I was surprised at how still it was. The occasional boat sped by, but the chirping of birds was noticeably absent. The crickets, however, were loud and clear. The water was perfect; pockets of warm and cool. And I was the only one there. It meant I could swim laps without dodging anyone. I also challenged myself to swim beyond the ropes. I was glad I did it before a security guard busted some people for going past the line about a half hour after I did. I appreciated his concern, but considering there werenít very many boats out there (I counted two) and they were staying away from the swimming area, he really didnít have much to worry about.
I swam and rested. While resting, I buried my feet in sand that felt like damp suede. There was a slight breeze and the temperature was perfect. I gazed out over the water at the trees on the opposite shore. I wanted to savor what it felt like; I wanted to remember what itís like to have time to appreciate summer the way it should be appreciated. Unfortunately, by the time you realize summer isnít endless, thatís when it sinks in how precious time is. Thatís why it was so important for me to swim one last time this summer. The housework will always be there; the errands will wait.
Because I had to go swimming. I just had to.