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Summer's passing song

Lead Summary

By Christine Tailer
HCP columnist

Could it possibly be that summer is coming to an end?

It seems that just the other day, I was starting my seeds in the float bed, putting out the garden crops with the setter, and riding the back of the seed drill across the fields.

The days and weeks seem to have passed amazingly fast.

Just yesterday afternoon, as I took the laundry in from the line, I felt the late afternoon sun beating down on both the warm clothes that I folded and lay in neat stacks on the picnic table, as well as on my face and shoulders. I buried my nose in a stack of towels and inhaled. They smelled, unmistakably, of creek valley summer.

We had decided to go down to the river that evening, to listen to a country singer perform.

We knew his songs from the days of our youth, and we were excited to be able to actually listen to him sing some of our favorite songs, live.

Laundry all folded and put away, we headed out, the car's air conditioner keeping us cool on the drive down to the river.

The evening really could not have been more perfect. Boats gathered in the river. And, thankfully, we felt a cool breeze blow in from the water. We joined the crowd gathering around the stage. We found an empty spot off to the side of the stage, and set up our folding chairs. We marveled that we had never sat so close at a concert.

We talked as we waited for the show to start, but mostly we just watched the scene around us as the evening light faded, and then, just as darkness fell, our country music singer took the stage. The crowd, made up of folks, some of whom were even more gray-haired than I, clapped and sang to the familiar songs.

Our view was perfect. The silhouette of a young girl, happily dancing to the music, was outlined by the lights that shone on the stage.

But with each passing song, I felt the evening's cool breeze turn to a downright chill. I pulled my chair closer to Greg, and leaned into him for warmth. It had never occurred to me to bring a jacket when we left the creek, but I certainly wished that I had.

It also never occurred to me to leave. I was waiting for that one special song that I knew would be the last. As chilled as I felt, the night was still ever-so-perfect; the happy crowd, the familiar songs, the clear night sky, and the river dotted with boats, reflecting their lights on the dark water.

I sat, snuggled into Greg's warmth, until I heard the start of my favorite song. I got to my feet and walked up to the side of the stage. I reached out with my cell phone, just as the gray-haired lady beside me did the same.

We both held our phones steady for the perfect shot. Our success shone out in a flash of light and then we turned, and as we did, we smiled at each other. The music washed over us.

"This is lovely," she said.

"Yes it is," I agreed, as we nodded knowingly to each other, and then turned to head back to our respective husbands.

After the last of the music had faded away, Greg and I packed up our folding chairs. We walked back up through town to our car, walking briskly, to stay warm. Once seated inside, I reached down to turn on my electric hot seat.

As we drove home through the night, it occurred to me that time had passed ever so quickly.

The season was turning to fall. My car was equipped with an electric hot seat, and my hair had turned to mostly gray.

Even so, some things, like my favorite song, would linger in my mind forever.

Christine Tailer is an attorney and a columnist for The Highland County Press.

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