Summer in the 60s
The 1960s started out gently enough as I became aware of the world. Our yard in the summer was a glorious gathering of kids and dogs, grasshoppers and crickets, ants and butterflies, fun and exploration. I knew every inch of our yard, and most of the neighbor’s yards, too. Summer meant going to the lake every day, Vacation Bible School in our backyard, and days and days of riding bikes, roller skating, playing at the creek and borrowing comics from Mrs. Ross, who worked at the drugstore and had stacks and stacks of Archie and Casper comic books on her front porch that she let us trade one after another all summer long. Sure, we fought with our siblings, skinned our knees, (I broke my girlfriend’s nose when we tried to ride tandem on her one seat bike), and got into trouble here and there. But it was mostly pretty good. It was a time to rest up from school and problems and go find the goodness waiting for us in each new day.
Each year grew a little more complicated as I grew to understand the mature problems of my parents and siblings. Glimpses into the even bigger world came from black and white television; my first memories of television are the funerals of JFK, MLK, and Bobby Kennedy. As the decade ticked away, it became an era of upheaval for women as they turned away from traditional roles and the college students came of age in a time of war, becoming hippies and yippies with flower power and peace signs everywhere. And then came 1970 and the Kent State killings, and Vietnam, and on WLS radio, between the top hits of the day (and they were great!) were the draft numbers being called out, my sisters tense as they listened for loved one’s numbers.
It kind of reminds me of today and the season we’re in right now. Here we are in glorious summer. Our backyards have become important once again. The simple things in life have taken on more meaning. (I’m so glad.) But for some of us there are some pretty big problems in our lives right now, the least of which are likely related to the ramifications of a virus that is limiting, dividing, and hurting us all at the same time. We have wars and rumors of wars, right here in our cities, and there are funerals for victims of violence on television once again. Rebellion and politics are all mixed in it together and there’s enough anger in people to be frightening at times. Again. Amidst all this are the other problems that don’t stop, never did and never will until Jesus returns.
So where does that leave you and me? I can only speak for myself, so I will. Summer is going to come and go, and fall with all of its unknowns is not that far out there. But I do not want to lose what God has in store for me this summer because that would be foolish. It’s time to go find an ant hill and study those amazing ants again. Sneak up on a butterfly. Stick my nose in that flower and smell, really smell that flower. Go squirt the hose on my husband since my siblings aren’t around. (Consider this your warning, Frank.) Listen to some oldies, find something good and fun to read, and rest. Just rest in my Father, who is and always has been and always will be, the one in control.
by Jill Cristao, Director of Connections and Communications
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