GENDUSA COLUMN: Welcome summer with a sunny spirit

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, June 2, 2021

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The pool is open, kids are squealing, gardenias are blooming, and the fish are hungry.  Summer is back. I believe it has been gone a very long time. I wasn’t really sure we would see it again. However, now, I want to yell like a preschooler coming down a slide, jump off the diving board, and cover myself in gardenia perfume! Yes sir, summer has decided not to quit on us! Hallelujah!

I plan to relish every single day of heat, each flower that blooms, and every bite of ice-cold watermelon. I vow to thank the good Lord daily that my family survived to embrace each other and the joy of another summer. We all should know by now that seasons can disappear, that people and life can change, and we are never assured of what new evil killer may lie ahead.

Some people are still arguing over elections, vaccines, science, masks or anything they can create to yell about or make political. However, they better not mess with my summer! If they want to complain and fire fury, may their air conditioning break. If they’re going to rain more violence and chaos on our country, may their thunderstorms be frequent and only in their backyard. If they want to spread untruths and lies, may the locusts enter their houses in swarms and leave the rest of us alone.

I am exhausted from all the woes and conflicts of the last 18 months. But, unfortunately, some folks love to be embroiled in discord. Sadly, some media outlets know that to be true, and some politicians encourage such behavior to receive a vote. So, why not let the sounds of summer and our children’s laughter squelch their nasty noise that permeates the air? Isn’t our little one’s happiness and a healthy summer more critical than conflict? So, may I suggest, turn the rhetoric off. You will feel better, I promise. 

Every summer, my grandmother toiled in her garden, fished in her pond, and loved picnics better than most anyone I knew.

She didn’t own a fancy grill, nor did she care about cruises or far away destinations. Instead, she enjoyed pushing the park’s merry-go-round for her grandchildren, catching the big bass or eating fresh corn from her garden. 

She taught us all that we reap what we sow. If we spread sorrow, we will reap anguish for years. So, don’t go planting any sorrow or sorry behavior in my garden if that is how you plan to spend your blessed summer. Plant them instead in your garden of weeds.

If you do not like to follow the rules for travel this summer, walk to where you need to go. Don’t interrupt my glorious happiness as I travel to see my children.  Walking to the North Pole to cool off for a while seems a good idea since summer may be too hot for your uncontrolled rage.

Seriously, however, I do not wish for locusts to swarm anyone’s home or that someone needs to go to the north pole, but selfishly unruly, untamed, unfiltered, and unkind actions must find a way to end.  This is the only way to enjoy the gifts God has given us all.

It is past time for us to be filled with gratitude for the sun, for the stars, for the air we breathe, and for the land we cherish. If I had one wish today, it would be for everyone to just enjoy each day filled with appreciation. 

I know we don’t live in a perfect world with all good people.  Evil flies around us like a mosquito trying to bite for a sip of blood. However, the only thing I know that kills a mosquito is a good repellent, and the only repellent I know for evil is goodness.

Goodness is based on thankfulness and caring for others. I believe if we are appreciative of a day, we might night ruin it. If we are grateful for our freedom in America, we should strive for unity, understanding and respect for each other. If we are thankful for the blessing of our children and grandchildren, we need to work toward giving them a future of peace.  If we believe in God, we must do what he asks of us.

Yes, I am grateful for summer in more ways than one. This summer, I am well, and I will finally see a child I have not seen in 18 long months.

I will watch my grandchild turn sweet 16, take walks near the river, and look to the heavens above, and thank God for simply living.

Embrace your summer and be filled with gratitude that you can still watch a flower bloom and enjoy an ice-cold watermelon.