Hang around, summer

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Column by Sarah Berkshire

By Sarah Berkshire

It’s tempting this time of year to yearn for fall. Rush along, summer, we’ve had enough of your grass-browning, makeup-melting ways.

But somehow I’m not ready to anticipate fall color, pumpkin patches or even those perfect-blue October skies. Heading into its unofficial end, I hope summer stays around a little while.

This summer has been the summer of Granny and I don’t want it to end. Every two or three weeks since June, my sons and I have packed up the car and headed north to visit my mother.

She has orchestrated the perfect Granny house. Her cookie jar is always full. Her three grandsons — my two boys and my nephew — have their own room and a closet full of toys. Her DVR is set to automatically record any new episode of Disney Junior’s “Octonauts.”

And best of all, Granny has a pool. A big pool with a fantastic diving board.

It seems all summer the cooler full of pop and juice boxes never empties and the stack of fresh beach towels by the back door never dwindles. And a collection of masks, snorkels and Puddle Jumpers — our favorite of child floatation devices — always is hanging on the fence upon our arrival.

These niceties and the pool shock boxes stacked outside the gate are evidence of the hard work and expense needed to keep the pool going. That and the fact that all the grandchildren can recite, “If you pee in the pool, Granny has to buy a gallon of chlorine.”

I remember when my mom and stepfather bought the house with the pool. It was the winter of eighth grade and I started asking when we’d open the pool about mid-January. The family made plenty of memories poolside over the years. But my little sister, who came along after the house, is an adult now, and it had been a while since little ones were in the pool.

This summer is the first summer my boys have been in the pool for long periods of time without an adult to cling to. The older one can swim around the shallow end without his Puddle Jumper. And the younger one is content to lazily drift and arrange his limbs in letter shapes. They just love the water.

Mom seems thankful for new emerging swimmers. That’s sort of her thing. She will teach you to swim and she will teach you to dive.

But more than that, she wants her home to be the place those little boys have a good time. With water warmed by a solar cover and snacks at the ready, she wants to sit at her patio table and hear brothers and cousins with high-pitched voices shout, splash and crack up.

She and I were lounging and watching the kids play during a visit at the beginning of the summer.

“Does this do it for you, Mom?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said, grinning.

For days like that, fall can take it’s time getting here.

Sarah Berkshire can be reached

at 270-505-1745 or sberkshire@