One thing about summer and hot weather...kids. Kids playing in the park, kids swimming at the pool, kids on bicycling on the sidewalk, kids here, kids there, kids everywh… well, you get it.
There were even some kids at Magdalena library’s big Frontier Festival last Saturday, playing old-timey type kids’ games and activities, like ring toss, walking on stilts and learning how to make a Jacob’s ladder and cat’s cradle with string. All those games that have kids laughing.
Maybe we all long for those old times every now and again, when people found ways to amuse themselves without having to plug in something or charge something up. And even knew how to make music on their own, whether with a piano, mouth harp or just whistling. As a matter of fact, I caught myself whistling while working the other day at the office. It was…I dunno…a song playing on the radio or just a little tune that made no sense.
It just occurred to me, you hardly hear anyone whistling these days.
Or for that matter, yodeling. I mean, who covers Slim Whitman’s Indian Love Call these days? Thankfully, nobody. But I’d like to think somewhere out there here in the 21st century at least one cow puncher can yodel Eddy Arnold’s Cattle Call.
Anyhow, I’m thinking we need more whistling in the world, like hearing somebody walking down the street whistling the Colonel Bogey March from The Bridge on the River Kwai – an all-time favorite Alec Guinness movie – or whistling the Andy Griffith theme while fishing down at Escondida Lake.
Where was I? Oh yes, I was talking about enjoying seeing those kids playing in Magdalena.
To be honest, I’d never appreciated kids until I became a father, and with Father’s Day coming up next week I was pondering on being a father…of a father.
It’s all about being grown up, and I guess I’m talking about once you’ve reached that 35-year-old mark. Around 35, I figure, could be the ideal age, give or take. It’s like, you’re both old enough and young enough. Old enough to have learned from your mistakes but still young enough to make new ones. It’s when you now really understand what your parents meant when they said, “You understand when you’re older.”
However, if you’re not sure you’ve grown up, here are some signs:
1. You have, at least once, said “oof” as you sit back on the sofa.
2. You now understand what your parents meant when they said, “You’ll understand when you’re older.”
3. You hear your favorite song in the elevator.
4. Debt goes from being this fairy tale to be paid in a land far away, to your daily reality show.
5. You start cushioning all vacations with an extra day off for recovery time.
6. Things crack when you bend down.
7. The thought of buying a new sofa or kitchen appliance makes you as giddy as a 12-year- old girl at a Beatles concert. (Wait, what century is this?)
8. Facebook goes from being a hobby, to an obsession, to a chore you dread.
9. You watch the Weather Channel.
10. You start holding menus really far away from you…then slowly bring it closer…but, ahem, “don’t need glasses.”
11. Sleep goes from being your nemesis to your best friend.
12. Doing the dishes becomes a relaxing getaway.
Oh, and one more.
• You say more appropriate things than inappropriate things.
You also know you’re grown up when you become painfully aware of the so-called generation gap. And heaven forbid you don’t want to come across as an old fuddy-duddy. Of course, with me just saying that makes me one, because that term’s pretty much gone the way of other terms like nifty, neat-o, heavy and calling girls chicks and guys cats. I found out you’re even pegged as out-of-touch if you say to someone you are “web surfing.” Same goes for “calling long distance.” And here’s a blast from the past: Dear John letter. I suppose now it would a Dear John text. Or Instagram. Or a tweet. My brain hurts.
But I digress from my digression.
I almost let this slip by me, but last Monday, June 4, marked five years since Magdalena's Trujillo Well went dry. It didn’t actually go dry – that same well is happily pumping water as we speak – but for some reason in June 2013 its submersible pump wasn't getting to the water table. It was quite the experience and lasted for several weeks.
The old saying, "you don’t miss your water 'til the well runs dry," was made abundantly clear and since then everybody's tried to be water conscious. It seems more people are putting in rainwater catchment systems, too.
Just don’t get me started on the San Augustin water squabble. I guess it doesn’t need to be said, but Barry Goldwater once put it this way, “A man from the west will fight over three things: water, women and gold, and usually in that order.”