Rocks, road trips & (some) relaxing as the summer winds down

When the “back-to-school” commercials started in mid-July, I had that feeling deep in my gut.

It’s the one we all remember as kids. Of course, in my schooling days, we didn’t usually start until the Tuesday after Labor Day. That weekend was certainly the final curtain call of summer. A chance to get outside, play a few final games of bicycle tag or baseball (not sure how we survived the former) and watching the street lights glow while getting in that last bit of sunlight.


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With mid-August school starts now the norm, the timeline is a little different — but not that fleeting feeling as summer takes its last lap.

This summer was filled with trips — both in the car, on a plane and on foot to Poppy’s Ice Cream in downtown Lee’s Summit.

It was loaded with weird weather (what summer isn’t?), a few pleasant evenings, some nights at Kauffman Stadium and plenty of steps around downtown Lee’s Summit looking for rocks.

I absolutely love how excited Addy still gets when she finds a rock and is able to share that experience with others. The Lee’s Summit Rocks campaign is genius and certainly an indicator of our community’s creativity.

This summer, Addy was able to spend 10 days in California and visit Disneyland — something her dad has never done. While she was there, I was able to take five days to see my little brother in Maryland and get a tour of some incredible downtown areas from Hagerstown to Frederick to Washington, D.C.

The summer meant a little extra time before bed — something that we all promise we will remedy with our kids as the first day of school approaches. It’s fairly carefree, although some weeks it certainly didn’t seem like it.

Summer isn’t forgiving to a small business owner. But the advantages of owning a small business certainly outweigh any negatives.

Summer was a time for Addy to fine-tune her drumming skills, to go see a band that featured a female drummer (and sit behind her kit for a while), for visits to Summit Waves and the splash pad and to be a spectator as my daughter learned infinite social and emotional lessons around a whole new group of friends at Camp Summit.

As the lightning bugs gave way to the cicadas, summer’s spotlight slowly dimmed on all of us. But not before we could take in one last glance.

My memories of summer are filled with mostly carefree flashes of time with my friends, on my bike, with a baseball glove in hand or simply walking the neighborhood.

While I realize Addy’s memories will be slightly different, I certainly hope she is able to take the sights, smells and sounds of summer with her into her later years and think back with joy at a time when a season — even so briefly — gives us a little respite from life.