I’m proud to be an outsider

The last sunset of August hovers on the horizon as I write this. If you really want to know how fast time flies, watch the sun set.
In the time it takes to realize how beautiful the purple-hued light is, reach for the camera, and turn back to the beauty, the magic of the light has changed.
I fully understand that the unequivocal speed in the dimming of the day sums up perfectly what time there is NOT to waste hesitating, fearing, and second-guessing in this world.
“The days pass so quickly here,” is a true statement in this world, too, “Dorothy of Oz.”
My grandchildren, the oldest now nearly 10 years of age, were all here for Granny’s traditional barbecued hot dogs and potato chip extravaganza on Sunday and as they darted about the farm yard chasing Frisbees, sprinted squealing through the water sprinkler, climbed the old tree, and ran around the barn in an energy burst—all I wanted to do was stop time and freeze frame all of my little peppers in the afternoon sun—forever in their youth, innocence, and zest.
With each successive day where temperatures hover in the zone between being too humid and the season of the falling leaf, more and more memories of my childhood come to the surface.
Oh, the days of black rubbers with the red stripe, used in robust playing fields called puddles. My mother called them “pig boots”—a term my grandkids think is hilariously funny.
I remember using all my superpowers while wearing my pig boots as I jumped up and down to empty a puddle of water in the yard. In those days, I wanted to be a hundred things when I grew up—a pilot, an actress, a psychologist—and a biologist. I investigated everything to do with nature.
I’d venture out along the creek bed plunking along in my pig boots picking up fascinating tidbits of bird feathers, clamshells, and pinchers from crayfish.
The pinchers stood out in deep green or fire red, small, fat, and long, sharp ones that, to a kid like me, were a collector’s item.
I stored all these marvels together in an old shoebox under my bed but, like most children with a short attention span, forgot about the box for a month or two. When I opened it after that, everybody in the house knew it—could smell it—in a New York minute.
I would sit for hours in the canoe in the middle of the reeds in the creek scooping up water spiders and investigating the world of insects. Still today, when I see a water spider, I think about those days of quiet, simple times I enjoyed so much.
I had fun shoving old broken hockey sticks down mud holes in gravel roads, walking the fields with a brown paper bag lunch and spending the day exploring the same fence lines I had traveled down the weekend before and the one before that.
I was an “Outsider.” To this day, I remain.  

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