One Score and Eight Years Ago
The grass is intensely lush these days, taking benefit from days of rain last week. In fact, so much rain fell that I couldn’t mow the back 40 – that is, the back 40 square feet or so along my fence. The ground, lower than the rest of the back yard, was still too soggy days after the rain had stopped.
While I was out mowing, I noticed a sure sign of fall: football practice in the park, replacing baseball practice. It’s still summer, of course, but it’s declining summer, when the days are placeholders for cooler moments. Noticeably shorter days, tired-looking tree-leaf greens, and football practice.
Last year, I was in Cincinnati when my nephew Sam took up residence to start graduate school. This year, I was able to offer a bit of help to another nephew, 18-year-old Robert, who moved into one of the downtown dorms of the School of the Art Institute last weekend. It was on August 25, in fact, 28 years to the day after I flew to Nashville to start my freshman year at Vanderbilt. So I’ve thought of that strange day and strange first year more often in recent days than I usually do. Mostly, it makes me smile, and I hope Robert has something like the experience I had.