Friday, September 07, 2007

How I Spent My Summer

There definitely is something different in the air. Perhaps it is the softening of the light. The shorter days. The magnificent sunsets. The children standing on the corner across the street from our home waiting on the bus. The familiar sound from oh so long ago, "BUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS". No relief from the heat yet, but the cooler mornings hint of things to come.

The past three months have flown by and I remember them as a blur of activity. The last month I spent an enormous amount of time at my parents house helping out with things. Routine is the word of the day, every day in my Mothers home. When it was 2pm, it was nap time and subsequently quiet time for all.

One afternoon found me without a book. Now that is actually an oxymoronic statement seeing that I was in my mothers house. She is a retired librarian and the house is loaded with books. Yet, I found myself insistent on finding a biography of Beryl Markham she was reported as having. What a chore as I scoured all the book cases in the house twice and could not lay my hand on it.

"The garage!" I though in inspired desperation.

I did not find the book, but I did find stashed on the bottom shelf of her storage area (left side!!) a large box of old National Geographic.

I am addicted. I have read a multitude of them almost cover to cover except for the bug stuff, it does not interest me. The very first one I picked up was dated late 1970's and was explaining the cyclic nature of weather. It seems that we were on the end of a very cold 50 years! Amazing stuff.

I have read the 1953 issue (amazingly an unadorned black and white cover with a gold border) about the first men to set foot on the top of Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary and a local from Napal named Tanzeng Norgay. It was fascinating stuff and furthered my passion for reading ALL OF THEM!

Sunken treasure outside Bermuda (1964), Saudi Arabia (1966), Robert Redford (1976) retracing the footsteps of Butch Cassidy over the west and meeting the real Butch's sister! Could St. Brenden have discovered the Americas 600 years before anyone else in a boat made from hides? Well, some Irishmen reenacted the route and by God the answer would be yes! New Orleans (1971) still recovering from Hurricane Camille in the area and at that time an alarm was spoken about the Ninth Ward. Eskimo's in Canada.

When I was a kid my Mom received two magazines in the mail, Time and National Geographic. I recall turning the pages and being in awe of all the natural beauty in the world. I vividly remember an article about a 17 year old kid making a solo journey around the world in a sail boat. I remember a cat as his only companion.

Oh the places you'll go!

This summer found me in Sweden, Norway, Egypt, Ireland, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Bermuda and many more.

And I never left my Mom's living room.

And that's how I spent my summer.


Lisa :-] said...

Think of all the young people out there who can't even pick out their own state on a map. Too bad National Geographic isn't required reading in every school.

Cynthia said...

Now, that is a treasure. I've always loved National Geopgraphic. I blame it for instilling wanderlust in me and satisfying it until these feet do hit the road.

Chris said...

Wow I remember when that yellow bordered magazine would arrive in the mail, peaking out from beneath the brown paper sleeve in which it arrived. I wanted to open it and see it but I wasn't allowed until my parents had read it first (what? They think I'm going to spill my koolaid on it;)

Anonymous said...

I remember that kid doing that sail around the world! I know travel faciniated from an early age and it could be in part to my parents traveling with me at a young age and of course viewing the world from National Geographic. I couldn't wait to open that magazine.