Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summertime Rolls And The F Word Version Of Kerouac's "On The Road"

As the last days of summer are passing as quickly as dollars through my bank account while back to school shopping, I wanted to take a second to reflect on how sweet summer really is.  To set the mood of this post, queue up my favorite summer anthem, "Summertime Rolls" by Jane's Addiction. Now that the mood is set, let’s go for a swim....

 Summer has different meanings during each phase of our lives. For example, when I was 14 I had, quite possibly, the greatest summer of my existence. Life was pure innocence and all we did was skateboard, listen to bad punk rock, fish, and swim in the river (OK, there were a few weeks of indentured servitude in the corn fields mixed in with youthful bliss). Responsibility was basically non-existent, but we were old enough to have a sense of independence and moped licenses.  The combination of the two crafted the perfect non-repeatable "Sandlot" summer of my youth. With the bar set high at 14, I have since had summers of vagabonding from town to town throughout South America. I've spent summers playing 4 to 5 nights a week with a band.  Finally, and most exciting of all, living through summers working 60 to 80 hours a week and having the season blaze by me like quality forest fire. 

Although recreating the great summer of 14 is basically impossible, there is a certain bliss that is found when the weather stays warm and Mr. Sunshine hangs out a bit longer. Having a family of my own has caused me to do reality checks from time to time in-order to insure that I do not get so lost in work and life priorities, that I fail to help my kiddos have the kind of experiences that I did, and will forever remember. 

Reading Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" in my early 20's, fueled my already overindulgent sense of wanting to take in the world, and I did. The theory of Kerouac's life experience is sound, but different stages of life require different types of involvement.  Being realistic and no slight on Mr. Kerouac, beat poetry and living with migrant workers is not on my almost 40 year old ticket. At this stage in my life, "On The Road" consists more of "road tripping" in our minivan and slinging idol threats about leaving my kids at the next truck stop, than an introspective cross country hitch hiking walk about.

While I will always look back with fondness and envy to the summers of my youth, I do not wish to be 14 again.  There is, however, no reason why we as a justifying the F word nation, cannot create amazing summers! We can have memorable summers, not only for ourselves, but also for our minion clan.  Please post a comment at the bottom of this post about something you did this summer that justified the F word!

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  1. Hiking, camping, swimming, avoiding Lagoon, demolition derby, floating a river in a raft while the kids swam by, kids driving golf carts on old rexburg roads, but the pinnacle had to be when the 2 year old went on the 30 foot zip line sans harness.