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Sue's Views -- Enjoy sights, sounds, smells of summer

Admit it. When you got done with work on Friday afternoon and it wasn't raining, you let out a sigh of relief. And when Saturday morning dawned without precipitation, you hardly knew what to do with yourself. Check that -- you have a list of things you've been waiting to do once it stopped raining and you hardly knew where to start.

Despite the fact that I have a list of home projects that covers several pages, I took the weekend to enjoy the place and time, the sights and sounds of the summer of 2008. Let me explain.

Last week, during one of many conversations about the weather, someone commented that the summer solstice is coming and by next week, the days will be getting shorter. Good grief, I thought, don't wish away the summer. So, I took it as a warning to pay attention and appreciate the sights and sounds and smells that are summer.

On Friday night, I watched the fireworks at Cyrus. I marveled at the display and how wonderful it is to just unfold a chair in the middle of a street, lean back and be awed. Somehow, I can't imagine fireworks are as spectacular in the big city, having to compete with lighted skyscrapers and other distractions. Out here, there's nothing but the blue-black night sky in the background.

On Saturday, my son was at a swim meet and my daughter marched in the Cyrus Days parade with the Girl Scouts. So for the first time in over a decade, I was able to watch a parade without having to point out where candy landed. Oh, I briefly considered stepping out and grabbing a Bit-O-Honey that landed near me, but the toddler I was sitting by got so much more pleasure from finding it than I could from just eating it.

After the parade, my daughter came and sat on my lap, ever so briefly. And as I kissed her head, I noted that she smelled like sunscreen and coconut shampoo ... a quintessentially summer combination of smells. Later, when my son came home and allowed me to almost hug him, he smelled like chlorine and I swear he had grown a couple of inches since that morning. Kids and corn both seem to like sunshine and warm weather.

Later that day, I was riding my bike and could smell the lilacs and hear a coach yelling encouragement during baseball practice at the park. There was a lawn mower somewhere in the neighborhood and I smelled a charcoal grill. Wow, Norman Rockwell couldn't have painted a more perfect summer day.

Summer begins at 6:59 p.m. on Friday, June 20. For us in the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice is the longest day of the year. Whether you appreciate the early dawn (as you know, not my thing) or the late sunset, it is a day to be marked and appreciated.

If we've learned anything from the wet spring we've had, it is that summer is precious.