It’s high season for the tourism industry. Local business owners know they must git while the gittin’ is good. Local citizens like you and me sit in long lines of traffic. I drive by fields dotted with huge round bails of hay earmarked for livestock to eat this winter. Crops and lawns are in much need of a soaking rain. The summer’s heat is beginning to take hold of our minds and bodies. That summer haze has set in, distorting the view of our majestic scenery.
Many of us have our ears pinned back filling the long summer days with work. It is both a blessing and curse to have been taught a strong work ethic. My grandfather Wiley Lamons often told my brothers and me to take pride in all that you do and give your employer value for what you are paid. He also lived what he preached. That’s the good thing. Maybe I wasn’t listening when he told us the other side of the story. That’s what Pap called sharpening the saw.
The story goes like this: Two neighbors were cutting wood. Both men took pride in how much work they could do in a day. The first gentleman cut wood non-stop all day long. The second gentleman stopped periodically throughout the day. When dark fell, both men had cut the same amount of wood. What was the difference? The second man took time to sharpen the saw!
Take time out this summer to enjoy life. Reconnect with all that is important to you. Take a vacation with your family. I think you’ll see that your children are all that you dreamed of and more. Get away from the daily grind and you’ll see what it was that made your spouse the apple of your eye.
Create memories for yourself. Find someone down the road that has a garden. Ask them for some fruits or vegetables. Buy them if you have to. You’ll not only get to know someone from your community, but appreciate what good food tastes like. If you’ve never been in a garden, you’ll see what a special place it is and why many people see it as their sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle.
There’s nothing like eating a homegrown tomato sandwich on a hot summer day. To this day it is one of my mother’s favorite treats. Slices of tomato on “light bread” with mayonnaise and seasoned with salt and pepper. Make sure to wash it down with a cold glass of sweet tea. All of us southerners know that good sweet tea is nectar from the gods.
Eat a watermelon from one of the local fruit stands, it’s my wife’s favorite. There’s something special about spending time eating good watermelon with your family and friends. It makes me smile watching the children spit seeds.
Find a shade tree and read a good book. Listen to your favorite music. Watch your kids play in the pool. Listen to the laughter around you. These are good things.
Whatever your tastes, summer has a lot to offer. Slow down just a little and enjoy all those things that make life work living. My prayer for you is that you too will take time to sharpen the saw this summer.