Summer is children’s season

A Word to the Wise
By: Tom Rupp
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As I sit down to write, summer is in full force. It is early in the morning and already the sun beats hot. There’s a forsaken spider web on the chair out back. Even the birds have retreated into the shade. It’s going to be triple-digit heat today. Which reminds me of the lady who went into the drugstore and told the druggist, “Going to be 100 today.” He mistakenly replied, “Happy birthday.” Days like this remind me of summer days gone by. Summer seemed different when we were children. Summer days seemed to stretch so slowly. Each morning brought with it brand new possibilities. There was so much to do and so many games to play. Things ramped up even higher if we got our hands on a cardboard box, the bigger the better. They became forts that lasted until the next thunderstorm, which usually amounted to a day or two. And of course who can forget the ice cream man? I wrote about him a few years ago and won’t do so again. But I can still hear those bells and feel the cold air coming out of the freezer from the back of the truck. We didn’t have air conditioning but somehow seemed to manage. We moved up in the world when I had a mini fan for the bedroom, but that still didn’t keep me from sweating myself awake. Ah, those were the days. My mind then went to two poems. One by Longfellow is titled “My Lost Youth.” In it he writes, “A boy’s will is the wind’s will, and the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.” It is a reflective, somewhat melancholic piece. Toward the end, he writes, “Among the dreams of the days that were, I find my lost youth again.” The other poem is “The Barefoot Boy” by John Greenleaf Whittier. It begins, “Blessings on thee, little man, barefoot boy with cheek of tan … From my heart I give thee joy — I was once a little boy.” He also describes him as “outward sunshine, inward joy.” Time’s a-wasting. But before I go I sit here and reflect on simpler times, when I had more of a future than a past, when each day brought innumerable possibilities and the desire to play outside outweighed the desire to stay cool and comfortable and cocooned. I wonder if we have any big empty boxes in the garage. Tom Rupp may be reached at or through his online blog at