World Peace

It’s another hot day. It’s already nearly 80 degrees and it’s 4:30am. Yesterday hit 100 here with a “feels like,” according to weather.com, of 108. Even for me, a lover of heat, it was too hot and humid. I slept without any clothing, which I hate for sensory reasons, but I just couldn’t tolerate the temperature of my bedroom.

One thing I miss about growing up in Amherst, MA was that we had a swimming pool in our backyard. My sisters and I (and our friends) made use of it a lot and even my parents would get in during the hottest summer evenings. Some of my fondest memories are nights where after I’d already gone to sleep, I’d awaken to the sound of splashing and the soft glow of the outdoor pool lights. I’d go to the bathroom down the hall and look out in the backyard on my parents taking a nighttime swim to cool off. Sometimes, if they’d see one of us kids, they’d allow us to get out of bed and join them for a brief refreshing dive in the water. It always felt like we were sneaking around doing something slightly against the rules and even though I’d be all excited once toweled off and back in bed, sleep was still sometimes easier to attain because my body was finally more comfortable.

Amherst also had a lot of swimming holes. As a teenager, my friends and I would also make use of those to beat the summer heat. I remember many fun nights swimming in Puffer’s Pond after getting off work at the General store in town, A.J. Hastings.

Where we live now, public swimming facilities are nearly non-existent, at least that we know if. There are a couple of large ponds to the north and south that are open to the public, but both are a bit of a drive and we’ve been reluctant to try them after little success parking and getting into similar sites when we lived in Connecticut. It always seemed like you needed to be there to secure a parking spot by the time the sun rose. I’m clearly uninformed about the situation at these places here in Massachusetts since we haven’t even tried. It’s certainly possible that there’s ample parking. Maybe we will try sometime this summer; I’m keen to think a non-holiday weekday would be best if we’re looking to grab parking and avoid an overly crowded situation.

The town fireworks were Saturday night even though the holiday is Wednesday. It will be nice to have Ben home for the day since we have now crossed the July 1st threshold, which signals the start of the fiscal year and limited availability for time off. Other than the holiday, it’s a relatively normal week for me which is nice because last week was full of appointments and next week is as well. I think I have one every day but Thursday next week. Yikes.

My fun project for the day will be choosing some books from the library for the month. The regular library system allows for an unlimited number of books checked out per month (although I think there are limits on how many a patron can have out at one time, depending on the media type). This digital system of ebooks, audiobooks, and videos only permits ten total items per month per user. I have a wish list of over 68 books right now, so selecting just 10 puts the adventure in choosing that a child feels on the one time a year his or her parents allow the purchase of a candy at the store. What to choose when the choices are all so enticing…! I already know my first pick will be the third in Debbie Macomber’s newest trilogy of navy-related books (Navy Brides, Navy Grooms, and Navy Families), which was just released. Although military-related stories tend not to be all that enticing (probably because my personal ties to the military are quite limited and thus it’s a world that’s foreign to me and hard to imagine), I really enjoyed the first two books in the set, which I read earlier this spring. I actually found that they piqued my interest in the military experience for families, meaning the trials of having a partner away serving the country for an extended period of time. One of my good friends, who I’ve only known for the past year or two, is a military wife. Her husband was deployed last year and so she had to navigate a move to a new state herself and settling in without his company. Through our conversations as we got closer, I was offered a bit of a window into the life situation that many Americans (and presumably people in other countries) face. I’m fortunate to be afforded the liberties and securities gained and maintained largely by the service of those who form our military without having to make the sacrifices of having my husband or close family members away to serve.

Although I would like to see much more peace, drastic cuts in the need for military spending, and all our soldiers and armed service people to come home, I can still feel grateful for the work and sacrifices they make. I’m not proponent of war, but I’d be living in a fantasy land if I thought it was workable in our current world to do away with armed services. It seems like we are moving further away from world peace with every passing month. I wish John Lennon was around to sing Imagineevery day and Bette Midler with From a Distanceuntil every human being on the planet found a way to take care of our planet and all people, let go of any harbored resentment and ill-will, and put differences aside to love one another. I guess I fall in the subset of people Lennon called “dreamers.”

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