Summer, where are you going so fast?


Already morning sunlight is diffused and late afternoon shadows are longer sooner. At dusk, there is a spectacular show as the trees become the stage for fireflies that gather to perform their love dance, and the darker the night the brighter they shine.

Just think: fireflies have been texting and sexting and have had GPS since time began. Look how long it took us to figure those out (and I’m not sure it is a good thing we finally did.)

Moving quickly

But how can this be? Summer has not yet established a foothold and already swim wear is on sale and school clothes are on the shelves. The Fourth of July has come and gone. So has the longest day of the year. Mowing grass has become a chore rather than a pleasure, but later we inhale the perfume it sends.

Memory calls up the words and melody of a hymn sung in our choir many years ago: “Now the day is over, night is drawing nigh: Shadows of evening steal across the sky.”

On this quiet island, surrounded by the roiling seas of humanity, one season follows another, according to plan, as do the cycles of life. Soon the night insects will begin their song to lull us to sleep, and if there is a breeze the trees will join in the chorus. What a privilege to be a part of all of this and more.

Locust error

Speaking of insects, did anyone else catch Bryan Williams’ goof on the evening news recently when he announced the “13-year locusts” were serenading New York City? The 17-year locusts haven’t begun to sing here yet (and they are not in the 17-year mode) but when their rasping droning begins, you’d better check your Christmas shopping list.

Reading the daily newspapers (not the Farm and Dairy) has become a game of hide-and-seek as huge photographs take up most of the pages. Just for fun I measured one article at 34 inches long with no subheads. Early in my journalism career editors called such verbosity “diarrhea of the typewriter (today it would be diarrhea of the computer) and we were limited to a certain number of inches. It was explained that readers will only read so much before going on to something else. Amen.

Summer read

A compelling book for dog lovers: Oogy, the true account of a pit bull puppy having been used as bait in the dog-fighting ring, and his rescue by a family that encountered unimagined problems while he recuperated in their loving — and expensive — care.

Residents of the Canton area will be in for a long summer of incredible reading if they start on Ted Gup’s A Secret Gift. That is if they can put it down. More about it in the next column. (And you thought I read only animal stories!)

Happy summer — quick!


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A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Janie Jenkins retired in 1987 as a feature writer and columnist at the Youngstown Vindicator. In June of that same year, she started writing her column, "On My Mind" for Farm and Dairy. She loves all animals and is an accomplished equestrienne. Local history is also one of her loves, and her home, the former Southern Park Stables, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



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