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Letting Go of Summer

Labor Day – the unofficial last day of summer and this makes me a bit sad because I love summer – I love the long days stretching out before, it’s like a promise….a promise that things are still possible. In reality, probably not any more so than winter, but I choose to believe it. This summer, I really hate to let slip it slip away. It’s my last year of high school football, a summer full of music now silent, a summer venturing farther westward. A little time spent where I landed briefly growing up, a place of high school and white sands, hot winds, and now a busy snake of oil field trucks now coming through, kicking up the next oil boom.

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I had visited Judge Roy Bean’s place as a child, the down and dirty law of the west. Next to Judge Roy now is a new, but rustic looking museum along with a revitalized downtown waiting for visitors that don’t know about it to come. Purple street signs, giant cactus…

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Next to Judge Roy Bean is also the grave of a gunfighter who apparently, as he became older, he also became less quick with the draw, making gunfighting, like beauty contests, bad business to be in as one gets older.

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Making it through the desert, we found an oasis in the Ft. Davis Mountains…

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Along this part of the journey, there was cooler weather, small town Texans, expensive bistros, and cow-herding sheepdogs. Where else can you visit where the shopkeeper puts a sign on the General Store that reads: “Be Right Back”?

All good things must, as the ambiguous “they” say….come to an end….or end temporarily at least. There will be other summers like ones that have gone before. I can still pull up memories of family reunions, hot sand and bitter grapes on my grandparents’ farm, driving the streets as a teenager with Fleetwood Mac and Peter Frampton blaring on the radio and also open highway stretching in front of me like a promise of an outside world, that I have now waded through and came up a bit short. If we are lucky, maybe there is still time on the horizon, more summers to come, time to linger in the sun, time to breath in those hot, star-draped nights, time to discover and make more promises, explore new places, time to prepare life atop an empty nest, to become more compassionate, optimistic, time to find out what really matters, and to truly appreciate a good, long summer.

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