Pin It

Turning the corner 

Rounding that banked, frenetic, cluttered curve that takes us from September flat out into fall, I'm gauging the transition, wondering what summer events will end up as my kids' keeper childhood memories.

Summer's unexpected delights are already becoming grainy snapshots: catching a rogue mini-wave, riding it high into the shore, noticing at the last second that you're flying side-by-side with someone you love who caught the same wave. Watching a tadpole grow legs and become a frog. Tackling a wildly enthusiastic puppy who's just smashed through the back-door screen to get closer to the action. Picking tart fresh apples, doubling our favorite ingredients in Melissa's recipe and baking apple crisp before bedtime.

Endless nights (with no homework!) allowing Harry Potter read-aloud marathons. Siblings on the road singing out better-than-the-shower harmonies on "God Only Knows." And, in addition to all this bucolic bliss, taking a raucous group water-thrill ride at Emerald Pointe.

For all the scripted, choreographed outings we take, it seems like there's some kind of Rule of Family enjoyment dictating that the real fun-quotient is inversely related to the amount of planning that precedes the event.

In the waning of the Harvest Moon, nature provides the best show these days, totally on her whim. Spontaneity rules the land. A family of deer scampering across the road, ignoring all the solid yellow lines. Waves of fireflies, silently energizing the dusk. Finding, while making breakfast, an egg with a double yolk. Grasping autumn's airborne diving, spinning leaf bounty. Arriving for the season, a V of Canada geese. Grabbing a sweater to go out at night and wish on falling stars.

The favorite, enduring family snapshots aren't the posed frames. Give me the bad-hair days, the weird backgrounds, the out-of-focus aunts and the animals (all of us) in motion. Stock up on film as the evenings cool and oatmeal replaces cornflakes, and thermoses replace water bottles.

All the while, never to be denied, looming ever larger on the horizon of equity loans and allowance advances, the State Fair, the Mother of all Just-One-More-Please's, is already on the calendar.

Holiday mail-order catalogs already washing over us beg the final question in fall's trajectory: Is Halloween this weekend?


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

More by John Valentine

Facebook Activity

Twitter Activity


What a nice story! I have a dear old friend, a true "elder" also, who as she grows old and …

by Eklutna on Maya Angelou, 1928-2014 (Front Porch)

This was a very touching piece, and I appreciate you sharing your experience, Grayson. It takes a very humble, kind, …

by sibel yaman on Race home (Front Porch)

Most Read

© 2014 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation