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I love the summer.

When Memorial Day weekend rolls around, the sense of anticipation I felt as a child kicks in, and memories come flooding back.

Early summer mornings my mom and I would crawl between strawberry rows, dew-moistened straw sticking to the front of our legs, picking berries before the birds ate the fruit and the sun made the work too hot.  We would talk about anything we had on our minds; the quiet of the morning made us feel like we were the only people in the world.

Our farm kept us busy.  Afternoons were spent weeding the garden, picking vegetables, shelling peas and lima beans or husking corn. The days stretched out into long evenings chasing lightning bugs and nights playing flashlight tag.  It felt like summer would go on forever.

I still love the summer, but now I feel a mix of emotions every Memorial Day.  Because summer, more than any other season, reminds me how quickly time passes.

Grandparents, aunts and uncles who were so much a part of my summer childhoods are gone. Summer days spent fishing in the pond at my maternal grandpa’s farm or eating popsicles on the front porch of my paternal grandparents’ house are wonderful memories.  But I realize my own grandchildren are almost the same age as I was when I was making those memories.

Summer is one of the short, but very sweet seasons that have lots of wonderful things packed into them: graduations, weddings, reunions, picnics and parties.  I want to savor the summer – spend time on the deck with my husband, talking and appreciating the beautiful weather.

But at the same time I want to complete yard projects, visit for hours with my kids and grandkids, and invite friends and family over for a cookout – all at once.

All of these wonderful things, packed into a short period of time, heighten my awareness that time is short, and a choice made to do one thing today means that I am giving up something else.  I have a much greater awareness that time is not unlimited and our time spent with the people we love isn’t either.

This summer, savor the season, and set aside time to make summer memories with the ones you love.