My father who lived an extraordinary life, used to say, “When you look back on your life, you realize that all you really have is a lot of memories.”
What brings these words to mind is the realization that the long, hot summer is upon us. With school out and the excitement of the Fourth of July behind us, we now have arrived at what often are referred to as the dog days of summer — humid, steamy, and languid — that have burned indelible memories into our mind’s eye from our earliest childhood into adulthood.
For those of us who live in the Greater Boston area, numerous vacation spots, from the mountains and lakes of Maine and New Hampshire, to the pastoral serenity of the Berkshires, to the world-famous beaches of Cape Cod and the islands, are within a short distance.
The Greater Boston area itself is full of summertime pleasures and recreational opportunities, whether it be a visit to the 15 beaches maintained by the state, boating in our beautiful Boston Harbor and nearby environs, concerts at numerous venues, or taking in the vibrancy of the Boston waterfront scene.
However, what summertime always has meant to us — the time we spend with our families, friends, and children — reinforces the notion that the best things in life are free.
While life itself is short and passes all too quickly, summer is even briefer. There are just eight weeks from now until Labor Day weekend. All of us will lament, “Where did the summer go?” when we return to work and school on the day after Labor Day.
Let’s make sure that when we do so, we can look back on a summer that created memories that will last a lifetime for ourselves and for those whom we love.