I remember well the summer of 1988. I was 8. It was hot, dry and brown. I would ride my bike through the orchard over cracks in the parched earth that were several inches wide. Severe drought conditions caused our well too much stress to do laundry at home. A once a week trip to the laundry mat meant a morning at the library for my sister and I. While aware of the conditions around me, what I remember most about that summer are the long, hot afternoons curled up in our bedroom lost in the pages of the latest Newbery Award Winner.
It’s another hot, dry summer. Although we have all tried to stay positive, it is hard to be upbeat in these conditions. Even our blog has suffered. I just can’t get excited about anything when its 102 degrees, the crops are dying and my electricity bill is nearing a record high.
Thankfully, I live with an 8 year old. And this boy knows how to do summer living: Baseball games (they didn’t win one, but you wouldn’t know that by talking to Aaron), 4 different Bible Schools,4-H camp, 2 weeks of swimming lessons, 5 4-H pigs and a debut as Louis at the Liberty Theater’s King and I.
Even in these conditions, I do find something of which to be grateful. Being part of a farm community where so many livelihoods are dependent on the whims of the weather makes for a well rounded childhood. At 8 years old in 1988 I was keenly aware of the ever present worry and whispered prayers for rain just as Aaron is. I can remember dancing in the rain when it finally came late in August. Here, among the acres of corn and beans, it is impossible to protect our children from the reality that times do get tough, tightening your belt is prudent and wise and that we don’t always have control over the circumstances that impact our lives.
But the beauty of summer living in Atchison County, is that when you are 8 and life give you lemons….well you learn the finer points hog farming, get bragging rights for numbers of ticks at 4-H camp and spend the evenings practicing Rogers and Hammerstein.
Summer living is still good living here at my house even when its 102 degrees.