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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



With school starting this week, this time lends itself to reflecting back to past first days of school. It’s a terrifying yet highly exciting time for youngsters as they make the pilgrimage back to the centers of knowledge. For parents, we look upon the start of each school year with a little melancholy as we realize that those young people with their new shoes and backpacks are growing older each year and are no longer the helpless little ones we brought home a few years ago.

I remember fondly standing with my brothers in the sweet August mornings those first days back to school. The way the sun slowly burned off the morning dew and the dog waited patiently with us as we peered down the gravel road, waiting to see the dust rise from the road as the bus approached. There was always time for Mom to take our pictures, just another one of the rites of passage of those days, those images stuck away carefully in photo albums to be viewed when the winter cold had taken its grip, or brought out when company arrived at the farm.

One could almost hear the voices of the children on the bus before you could see it. Everyone of our neighbors excited to be back around their friends after a long summer of walking beans and showing calves at the county fair. Although our summer was over, seeing everyone again made that time better and helped to take a young boys mind off of the loss of his summer freedom.

I don’t remember many days back then, before the need for our children to live in a climate controlled world, when we went full days the first couple weeks of school. After a summer of running through the pastures and creeks of the farm we boys were accustomed to the heat and yet, didn’t seem to mind the opportunity to go home early. It was as if the teachers knew that our attention span was small enough that they wouldn’t be able to control it for the entire day.

We get older, we grow in different ways and the things of that time have quickly escaped so many of us. But we will stand there watching out of the screen door of the house, our children as they stand and wait patiently for the bus to come. We’ll watch them ascend the steps and the split yellow doors close and listen as the bus engine revs and drives away. Those of us left at home will look at each other and listen to the sound of silence through the house. We’ll watch the dog as he waits there by the side of the road until he realizes that the kids aren’t coming right back and slowly sulks back to the house. We’ll turn to each other with a look that says “well, that’s that” and go on about our day, remembering a time when we too made that journey and now knowing what our parents felt.

See you next week...Remember, we're all in this together.