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By Barbara Burns
I wonder about a lot of things. Just barely into summer (this is the third day, to be exact), I wonder how I ever withstood the heat and humidity of summer in the Catawba Valley. Two answers come to mind.
Global warming accounts for higher temperatures all year long. In a nut shell, itâ€™s hotter nowadays â€” much warmer than, say, 50 years ago.
Another reason is that children tolerate heat a bit better than someone my age. When I was a child, our house wasnâ€™t air conditioned, and I canâ€™t remember ever wondering why it wasnâ€™t. Heat wasnâ€™t an issue then. Now, well, I would be ecstatic to not need air conditioning.
I wonder where children can go to swim for free. I wonder where they can swim supervised by lifeguards, in safe and supervised locations.
I wonder where they can go swim â€” and after half-a-day in the pool â€” buy a frozen Zero candy bar ... for 25 cents or less. I havenâ€™t eaten a Zero since my childhood days at the pool.
I wonder why children and their parents donâ€™t catch lightning bugs together. I remember summers as a child. After dinner â€” or supper, as we say in the south â€” we all went outside. Mom and Dad sat in lawn chairs â€” real lawn chairs made of metal, not flimsy aluminum and webbing. As twilight fell and the skies darkened, we pulled out the empty mayonnaise jars â€” glass, not plastic â€” and poked air holes in the top â€” metal, not plastic. After we added a few drops of water and a handful of grass, we were ready to begin the hunt for lightning bugs. We tried to catch and trap as many as we could before we had to call it quits. Our goal was to have enough lightning bugs to light up our darkened bedrooms.
The jars never made it that far, and the mission turned into a trap and release program when Mom and Dad told us to let the poor things out. After all, their purpose in life was not to be a night light in someoneâ€™s bedroom.
I wonder whatever happened to society that caused us to have to lock the doors and windows in our homes â€” day and night.
Whatever went wrong to humankind to cause us to have to lock our car doors â€” even in our own driveway?
Why do we drive on a parkway and park in a driveway?
Perhaps the hot, humid days of summer give us good pause to stop and wonder a great deal about the world we live in.
Barbara Burns is editor of Outlook and a columnist for The Observer News Enterprise. Her column appears in the Thursday edition of The O-N-E. Reach Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org.