Friday, June 5, 2020

Yes, It's Summer

I know - the solstice is still a couple weeks away. But as far as I'm concerned, the first day of summer is today. I've been done with school for about a week now, but my kids still had school (online, but still . . . ) until yesterday. We spent their first official day off the way we often do, weather permitting: with a bike ride.

We packed a lunch and loaded up the bikes and headed to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath in the national park. It was hot and humid, but there are lots of shady spots along the path, and a light breeze, so it made for a pleasant ride.

The Retro-kids, leaving the old man behind.
 The mock orange bushes that line the roads and paths all over the park have just blossomed, and their sweet smell is like perfume blowing on every breeze.

After stopping to eat our lunch under a shady tree, we went to Szlay's Farm Market for ice cream. Today was their opening day - another event that marks the "real" beginning of summer.

"Grumpy" teenager.
"Happy" teenager.

We filled a basket with fresh fruit to take home from the market.
We stopped along the boardwalk over the marsh to get a look at an absolutely huge snapping turtle.
I was trying to get an idea of a measurement on this guy. His head was easily larger than my fist, his shell more than a foot across, and he must have been 2 ½ feet long from nose to tail.
There was something familiar about that scene above. So I looked back and found this picture, taken from the same spot five years ago. What were they looking at? A huge snapping turtle, with head larger than my fist, and a shell more than a foot across. Could it even be the same turtle?!? Holy cow.
I can't get over how much the girls have grown. But our bike rides are still such a big part of our lives together. I don't know how many more of these we'll have before they decide they've got other plans for how to kick off summer break, or they discover boys, or move away . . . Damn, those are sad thoughts. I simply have to make the most of it while I can.


  1. An interesting post as usual, and touching family photos. Enjoy the company of your girls; mine just went from 2 to 19! I have fond memories of our Saturday morning routine when she was 2 1/2 to 5 or so, taking out my beater, early Raleigh Technium sports tourer fixed gear, and towing her around in our doublewide trailer on grocery runs, museum runs, or just runaround runs (closer to 2-3, our morning began with a stop at a nearby dollar store to pick up helium baloons, then off to the Rio Grande bike path for a ride, during which she always fell asleep).

  2. I miss riding bikes with my 2 kids so much - those privileged years fly by so quickly. But I had the enjoyment of giving my only grandchild her first bike last Christmas. At 4 yrs old, she can already ride several miles per outing. By the time she turns 5 this fall, I hope I will be able to join her for 5-10 mile greenway rides.

    What a wonderful outing you had with which to kick off the summer season!

  3. You should be happy that you are so blessed.
    Nice bike riding in the park. Maybe that why Dr. William Chumley wanted to go to Akron in the movie Harvey in 1950.