And the livin’ is easy

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1937 Plymouth
1937 Plymouth

I must have been about 10 years old month when in late June Mom, Dad and I were on our long drive to visit cousins in Arizona. You’d think that ’37 Plymouth two-door wouldn’t make it to the next state.

Anyway, in route we stopped in Tennessee to spend a few days with relatives of one of Mom’s best friends back in Defiance, Ohio. I recall going for a walk by myself near the Fite’s family farmhouse when I came upon a pond, not even big enough to call a small lake.

It was a busy pond, edged with cattails and ripples left in the wake of small fish jumping for bugs on the surface. The song that came to mind then was the old ballad, “Summertime.” Here I am more than 60 years later, and that tune runs through my mind.

When it’s warm these days, you can find me on our back porch, reading or making notes.

The scene I look out on is our half-acre hill. A stone-covered path leads the garden house where the first owner, a surgeon, is said to have studied his surgeries. These warm days the yellow, violent flowers and dark red plants and large rocks line the path.

At the top of the hill sits a bird feeder, one of several that stand in various spots closer to the back porch. This serene view nicely calms my spirits. News from abroad reminds me of the stories I used to comment on for the morning paper here.

As always, the U.S. Supreme Court’s term has just ended. Most notably, the court has declared gay marriage in all 50 states. Some Republicans are talking about pushing for a constitutional amendment to nullify the court’s ruling. I predict this move will soon fizzle and be forgotten.

But the court did uphold the use by the state of Oklahoma of a certain lethal injection, which in some executions has caused the prisoner great suffering before he died.

I still fail to grasp the rationale for about half the states to execute some prisoners. Years ago, a Supreme Court justice declared that the death penalty was broken, unfixable. Still, some states will continue to spend the millions of dollars to take the life of one person – even in a few cases where the person’s guilt remained in doubt.

I suppose it’s just a coincidence that states that still “tinker with the machinery of death” have the highest murder rates. Just a coincidence. I guess the country will have to leave the death penalty debate for another season.

Here in Fort Wayne, the flood waters from our three rivers have receded. Most everybody’s electricity has been restored. But all that rain we’ve had recently has granted us the most green and lush yards. It’s so easy on the eye.

Meantime, today is my last day wearing a boot to give my injured heel a chance to heal. Next week I see the podiatrist and hear what the next phase will be in my recovery.

Despite the heel pain and the frustration not being able to jog, we’ve gone ahead to plan our Alaska vacation at summer’s end. That happy interlude gives me something to look forward to. Indeed, it’s an adventure to get excited about.

Mark Twain said that travel is the enemy of prejudice. My world travels have certainly demolished my pre-conceptions and notions of what other people are all about.

So as the rest of the season unfolds, I’ll lounge comfortably on our back porch, watch the birds fuss among themselves at the feeders and know that sooner or later, I’ll be back jogging in nearby Foster Park.

Yes, it’s the good old summertime and “the livin is easy.” Indeed.

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