Never before have I ever wanted summer to be gone as much as this one. Listen, I appreciate life as much as the next person, perennially grateful for each day and every breath I take. I�m with the �Thank you, Lord!� program and have been a card carrying member for as long as I remember.
As far as the summer of 2011 goes, I say unapologetically, good riddance to bad rubbish. And that�s the truth.
Way back in May, sometime around Memorial Day, when all of us do our very best to inaugurate warm weather with barbecues and afternoons at the beach, those of us who live along or near the Missouri River began to be inundated with flood warnings.
Besieged with hypothetical data on how much flooding, when and where, we frantically began building our forts � sandbag levees to protect our homes.
Yes, we bonded like no other time in the history of our community, as friends and strangers alike, crossed city, county and state lines to offer a helping hand, refreshment and moral support. A site to behold, those flash mobs of caring that fanned out along the Missouri, as awesome generosity and caring assembled aside us.
Underneath the grandness of goodwill were frazzled nerves and spent energy, erasing comfort zones, toppling dreams and destroying our sense of place.
Most of us have never faced such a devastating threat. How quickly our storybook existence turned into a nightmare. Now, as the hint of fall begins to turn trees golden, we are frayed.
Here, where flood waters are receding, we are tired and ready for the first snowflake to drift down from an overcast sky.
We beg the mercury to drop so that we may welcome forecasts of colder temperatures and the sound of snow blowers in driveways. We say so long to ear-piercing crickets and cicadas, heat indexes of 110 Fahrenheit and severe thunderstorm warnings threatening to dump another three inches of rain on already drenched lives.
Omitting our customary cordialities toward summer, such as �Until we meet again� or �Farewell, fair weather friend,� we instead bid, �Hurry along, Summer.�
Packing away shorts, sleeveless shirts and sandals, we join a chorus of hard working Americans up and down the Mighty Mo � century farmers, business owners, hospital workers, grocers, teachers, pastors, maintenance workers, hotel concierges, bank clerks, co-op managers and the like � with voices raised prayerfully chanting, �Shoo, summer, shoo. Get out of here and fast! Be gone, and take your flood waters with you.�
In a hurry to forget all the pain and disruption this summer has caused, not to mention expense, we trudge through the mud wishing it were snow.
�Please, Winter, hurry� we chorus. �Bring your chill and freeze our already cold demeanor. Please, Winter,� we beg, �rush in and warm our hearts.�
2011 � Copyright Paula Damon.
A resident of Southeast South Dakota, Paula Bosco Damon is a national award-winning columnist. Her writing has won first-place in competitions of the National Federation of Press Women, South Dakota Press Women and Iowa Press Women. In the 2009, 2010 and 2011 South Dakota Press Women Communications Contests, her columns have earned eight first-place awards. To contact Paula, email boscodamon.paula@gmail, follow her blog at firstname.lastname@example.org and find her on FaceBook