Friday, June 27, 2003
Summer's a great time to collect sea shells · it's also a good time to collect memories. The long days and lighter schedules allow more leisure time for taking a walk or playing catch, and many times such informal, unplanned activities with family members are fondly remembered years later. Another good source of memories is annual summer events · day trips to the beach, camp, opening up the summer house or family trips. There's something about the repetition of these summer rituals that can give them added meaning.
Carlisle has many annual traditions, and two of my favorites fall close together at this time of year: last week's Strawberry Festival, and Old Home Day coming up on July 4th. Both these local events are wonderful opportunities for people to have fun, enjoy good summer foods, and "catch-up" with friends and neighbors they haven't seen in awhile.
For young kids, Old Home Day can be an adrenaline-packed event. Over the years, my children have taken Old Home Day quite seriously, spending considerable energy on questions like: will they be able to ride in the bike parade without training wheels? Will they catch any candy tossed from the parade? Will they find a frog in time for the frog jumping contest? Will they win a ribbon? And finally, will they be lucky and win a cake in the cake walk?
I think Old Home Day can be important to teenagers too, even if they are busy with other things and no longer participate. Comfortable, multi-generational traditions like Old Home Day can form part of a solid base of happy memories which can help teens as they face the many pressures of growing up. It's valuable to give them a sense of belonging to a group wider than their family and school friends.
Growing up in New Jersey I enjoyed our small town's similar fourth of July celebration. The details weren't all the same, of course. For instance, we didn't have anything like a cake walk. There were fireworks, if enough people gave to the fireworks fund and if the ground wasn't too dry. And living on the Delaware River, we had a sunset boat parade in addition to the regular parade in the morning. The boat parade was a simple event, really, but a magic one for a small child standing on the river bank, watching the glow of the boats' lights mingling with the sunset reflected in the water.
What are some of your favorite memories of summers gone by? What new memories will you reap this coming season?
The 40B barrage
Francis: Well, Hazel, I see in the Mosquito there's another one of those 40B projects coming to town. Getting to be as regular as Santa Claus.
Hazel: Oh, for the love of Mike, Francis. There's got to be some good coming out of these things whatever they are. Sure 'n' there's a lot of talk in the paper about 'em. Maybe it's a community planning tool and they'll keep it goin' 'till there be 40. I just really don't understand. We've lived in this town for nearly forty years. Why all of a sudden be there all these 40Bs? Used to be folks' kids lived on in their family's house and raised their kids and it was kind of like a quilt 'cept the patches change once in a while as there was a wear or tear in the cover. An' folks could do with their land pretty much as they saw fit.
F: What's that got to do with the price of anything? Times is different. We used to have a herd of goats right here in the center and that wouldn't fly these days. Times have changed and so have we. Seems like everything is important.
H: That would seem to be the case. There are an awful lot of meetings and not a lot of resolution. Posturing, we called it in the barnyard. Anyways, what about those 40Bs and who really cares anyways?
F: Well, I think I do. But I have a heck of a time figurin' out what it is that I care about. On the one hand, I am sick and tired with these McMansion things people talk about. Can't say as I've ever got too close to one so maybe I shouldn't talk. But some sure look like they don't belong quite where they're set. And I sure don't understand how young folk just getting started can afford that kind of space.
H: So, maybe we got to press for 40B(a)s instead.
F: You mean 'a' for affordable?
H: I don't mean 'a' for airplane!! I can't hardly read my book but what I feel like I gotta duck some evenings!
F: So, where does all this regulating start? You don't want so much noise; I'd like to have neighbors I could get to know and watch their kids grow up. I like deer but I hate 'em in my garden. You'd like to look over that garden fence and not see a private parking garage. It's so complicated! How do we save what's got to be saved, build what's got to be built and know which is which? We need affordable housing but we want conservation land. Something has to give.
H: Most of this kind of talk makes a grown man grumpy! The only way it's going to give is if we can find land that can be all things to all people. Kind of like a politician. It's seems like that's the only way our kids can stay around and maybe somebody will still want to farm. On the other hand, seems as though no matter how much complaining there is at town meetings, there's no problem selling or building homes here. Must be we've still got what other folk want, even if we're dissatisfied.
© 2003 The