Posted by: suek2001 | September 7, 2015

“So we gotta say goodbye to the summer”…

It’s Labor Day…and that means the end of summer..emotionally for a lot of people…

This is a weird labor day  because it doesn’t fall on or right near my birthday…So,  for once, it’s just Labor Day…

There will be plenty of posts about how we must thank Labor for being the backbone of America.and the 40 hour work week….I should know, I work today at my job…making sweet money to pay the rent on my awesome apartment..

This blog will be a farewell to summer…I kept wanting to write some summer reflections but never got around to it….as I couldn’t think of a cohesive way to relay some of my memories…

I will say the meaning of “Summer” has changed over the years..and the definition of a great Summer has changed as well…For me, almost all my summer memories begin around 1980..

I had just moved to Florida..My Mom was trying to carve a new life for us when she got a letter from my Aunt Betsy…The family relations had been strained for a few years but my Aunt took a chance and asked Mom to let me fly to Minneapolis to stay with them for the Summer…

It was a gamble at the time but it paid off in yearly visits…So, for most of the 1980’s, my summer was spent with my Aunt and my Grandma..various road trips happened..I cannot even list them all…

The thing that comes back to me is not seeing the Rocky Mountains…or taking 24 pictures of Old Faithful…or riding an alpine sled down a mountainside…

it’s the little things…like corn on the cob…I can see see my Grandmother boiling corn in this big kettle in that tiny “one-butt” kitchen…

She would let me set the table so I felt I could contribute….and we would watch through the small window in the kitchen..as Betsy would be the one standing over the grill, broiling up hamburgers….It would be 80 degrees and we’d sip lemonade waiting for her to finish…

I can still hear my Grandma’s voice yell out “Betsy??? Are they almost done? Make sure you flip them over and check the meat”…

They had such a co-dependent relationship….then we’d eat…and that corn would be just as buttery and sweet as I hoped…

I had corn on the cob several times this summer and the taste brought me back to that….and then dessert on their sunporch in the evening as we’d look for the moon…We’d have either fresh strawberries and ice cream or a root beer float….and I would play with their four cats…..

Oh those nice Midwestern summers…

I took a lot of them for granted..I took Betsy and Grandma for granted….When I was ten, I thought they would always be there…

They are now gone….and I am trying to rack my brain to see if I ever thanked them for all they did..

As an adult, I have a better idea of what things cost..gas…hotels..airline tickets…and food..Things may have been cheaper then but my being there ballooned their budget on every level…

Yet, they still wanted me to come…They always worried about my eating habits…worried that I got enough sleep..and were careful what to watch on TV around me…

It took me years to appreciate that Betsy worked nights at a gas station during the summer, so we could have money for trips to Montana, Colorado..and Canada…

It took me years to understand how much my Grandma loved me and showered me with love and affection..something she didn’t do with my mother…

It took me years to see how worried both of them would be that if I complained once about any harsh treatment of me, Mom would cancell the agreement that they al had established…

All of these realizations came later…after they were gone…

So,, now whenever I look at old photos, I can’t ask them the specifics of the location…or get their reflections on that particular day…

I can only thank them for the blessings their Summers were to me….and be thankful for the memory of corn on the cob…

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