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Lynn Hummel: What is a perfect summer day?

July 1, 2013. After a person has experienced over seven decades of summers, he appreciates more each year how much of a blessing each summer is.

How many summers are left and what is a perfect summer day? We just returned from Sacramento where we visited Mary Lou. We weren’t sitting by a pool or lounging in the shade sipping lemonades. Mary Lou had oxygen tubes in her nostrils and moved about with a walker or wheelchair. This will be her last summer, and we all know it. There wasn’t much conversation about the weather or politics. But we had three perfect summer days with Mary Lou and her daughters looking at pictures of grandparents long gone, uncles, cousins, children, grandchildren and friends. The conversations were about important things: family, family history and friends.

Now we’re home again and having more perfect summer days. Today we have some of the standard ingredients of a perfect summer day: clear skies, warm sun, mild breezes, green grass and colorful flowers. Also, there was time to cut a robust lawn, enjoy the weather and watch a mamma Mallard lead seven fluffy little ducklings around the yard to pick up a few seeds and bugs, then waddle into the water for a cool swim and more snacks. But there’s more, much more. In two days our kids and most of their kids will be here. Even if it rains, we’ll have a few perfect summer days.

But it won’t be perfect for everyone, even in flawless weather. Lots of folks will be working all day long on the 4th of July and on weekends. Some will shuttle between two jobs. Families will be scattered, some separated. Hospital beds will be occupied. Folks will sit in wheelchairs and get oxygen through tubes. Men, women and children will be hungry, some homeless. Crimes will take place and accidents will happen. Young men and women in the armed forces, like the soldiers, sailors, marines, air force, coast guard and militia who fought for and earned the independence we celebrate, are far from home and in harm’s way. We can’t forget these brothers and sisters.

Enjoy and appreciate your summer. For some of us, this will be the last one. But remember this ? a perfect summer day depends more on the heart and mind then on the weather.