The back to school pictures are starting to flood in. Days are noticeably shorter. The end of summer is officially nearing. August always reminds me of a Sunday. Sunday is one of the best days of the week but there's that lingering feeling behind it that the next day is Monday and we all know what that means.
How do we relish in these last couple weeks without letting the end bring us down? I want to take a million pictures to hold on to these fleeting moments with my children in this place we will never be again. I want to experience it all I can. But now is not the time to race around and check everything off our bucket list. Ours certainly has some holes in it but did we have fun? Yes. Was I ever bored? Never. What more could I ask for?
We can't stop time. We'll always be traveling figuratively from point A to point B, the scenery ever changing, always surprising us. Sometimes it’s wonderful and we bask in gratitude and sometimes it disappoints us, helping us grow. Isn't that what life is all about?
Isn't that where happiness comes from? When we relax and enjoy the journey with all it’s surprises? The serendipitous encounters with friends. The unexpected moments of peace, satisfaction and comfort. The unexpected pride found in a job well done or a lesson learned.
Summer is ending but life goes on. No matter where we are in life's path these little moments are what fills it with joy. Sometimes they happen under the glowing warm sun on the beach, sometimes they happen on a rainy evening sitting by a glowing fire.
There will never come a time when I am glad to see summer end but it won't keep me from enjoying fall and the gentle contrast it brings. Thank God for the beautiful changing of leaves, pumpkins, football and another day to travel through this life with the ones I love.
Note: Kendra Lindell gave birth to twins, Karson and Lucy on October 5th, 2014 at Willamette Valley Medical Center Birthing Center. She writes about her experience on the WVMC Facebook page. STAY TUNED for more stories from Kendra. See WVMCWeb.com for previous posts. ... See MoreSee Less
A few days ago, we went up to Detroit Lake. Believe it or not, that was the first time we went there and we had an absolute blast. Even with apparently low water levels, the lake was still beautiful and the cool water provided great enjoyment on the hottest day of the year.
Before we arrived, I asked my children to tell me what they knew about water safety. Both my son and daughter began to tell me about the local pool safety rules and I realized that Detroit Lake was much different than the local pool with the two lifeguards.
Swimming in lakes, rivers, and streams is different than in pools because far more skills are required when swimming in natural water environments. Temperature changes, drop-offs, currents, waves, hazards, aquatic life, other people and their water activities, and debris are just some of the challenges that are missing at your local pool.
First things first, I told the kids they must, absolutely must have a buddy. Whether that was me or mom, they were not allowed to do things on their own without anyone watching them closely with direct eye contact. This “buddy” system is absolutely paramount in water safety. All too often, children drown because no one was watching them and something happened that could have been prevented.
The Red Cross (2016) gives us the following rules and recommendations to keep safe in the water.
• Make sure you and your family members know how to swim and only swim in areas that are designated safe.
• If there are any doubts to your little swimmer’s abilities, have them wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket when they are in and around the water. (My daughter desperately wanted to be without the life jacket, but she is not a strong enough swimmer yet, so it stayed on her all day.)
• Enter the water cautiously. You should enter unknown or shallow water, feet first.
• Do not dive in areas that are not clearly marked with signs. (My son wanted to dive into this one cove area and we got into a mini argument over me telling him no. I told him to swim out to that area and show me if he could stand there. Sure enough, the water was only waist deep.)
• Use caution when standing or floating in one place, as currents and waves can knock you over.
• Do not use alcohol and/or drugs when supervising swimmers. (Both my wife and I would have loved an ice-cold beer to enjoy in our floats, but we needed to remain focused and attentive on our children, so water only for us.)
These are just a few tips and recommendations from the The Red Cross (2016), but they warn us that no one is “drownproof”. Use common sense and always make safety a priority when you and your family members enjoy natural water environments.