It's been a long, long winter.
And every time we thought it was finally just about over, WHOOSH, back it came, complete with gray skies, cold north winds, and cooler-than-normal temperatures. We struggled through a wintery March, a frigid April and a month of May that flip-flopped between hot and humid, and cold and clammy, and back again. Truth be told, I still haven't gotten up the nerve to put away absolutely all my wintertime wear, though I have finally packed up my long underwear and fur line gloves and pulled my dazzling ensemble of shorts and T-shirts from the bottom drawer.
Because now it's June.
Now it’s summertime.
School is finally out. Baseball and swimming lessons are in full swing. The park is filled with the joyous laughter and excited shouts of families and children. The grass is green, birds are on the wing, flower beds are blazing with color and light, and the soft warm nights sing their sweet summertime song outside bedroom windows.
And, because it finally is summer, my mind is quickly turning towards dreams of places to go and things to do.
"We've gotta start doing some daytrips," I said a few weeks ago.
She knows that my absolute favorite kind of travel is the type that involves an early departure, a long, leisurely drive and something--or a whole list of things--to look at and learn about along the way. Sometimes the objective is more than a little hazy, with the journey itself the real thing. And then other times, there really is a plan of sorts and a real destination in mind.
These trips have been a part of our lives for as long as we've been together, starting back when a long drive to see and experience something new and different was just about all we could afford as entertainment and a break from a week's worth of work. Now, those kinds of trips are a virtual lifesaver for me, as I battle with a crazy kind of cancer that can often leave me mentally exhausted, physically devastated and even kind of discouraged at times.
She does a lot to keep me kicking these days, whether it's by convincing both me and my doctors to press ahead with some of the treatments that that I need to endure, or by simply providing some good reasons for sticking around.
"Let's hit the road," she'll say.
And so, we do.
Often, She drives, while I navigate and doze by turns in the passenger's seat. There are probably things she'd rather be doing, I know. But she, instead, sacrifices her own plans and dreams to spend time doing something she knows I enjoy as I slowly regain strength and a renewed zest for living.
"Where should we go?" she asks.
And then she smiles.
Because there are so many places we want to go. There are so very many things we want to see.
Some are astonishingly beautiful, while some are historic and cultural.
And some, of course, are a little quirky.
And that, my friends, is what makes it all so right.
Because it’s summertime.
Because, finally, it’s June.