The season’s first lightning bugs are flickering in backyards and Frederick County farm fields where, ideally, the corn is knee-high since the Fourth of July just passed. Dogs, frightened by fireworks and rockets as Americans celebrated the nation’s birthday, have emerged from hiding in basements, only to retreat back to the cool dark again because it’s so beastly hot.
There’s something to be said for Frederick summers, where backyard gardeners stake out bragging rights to the first ripe tomatoes; folks make a beeline to Cunningham Falls; and commutes have some added twists as the highway department rolls out asphalt while the sun shines.
On the wide front porches of Middletown’s Victorian houses, kids are trying to set new height records with the swing, just as youngsters did for generations — even as today’s kids are doing it while clutching a Nintendo DDS.
Older kids complain of nothing to do, especially with the lack of summer jobs, and the old geezers congregating on a bench at the gas station take up sides as to whether it’s the fault of Democrats or Republicans. One thing they agree on, though, is when they were kids there were lawns to mow and gardens to weed, and there was no sleeping in until noon.
The line at Rita’s Italian Ice is long, snaking like a garden hose, and the recent addition of Rocky Point Creamery to South Mountain Creamery’s presence is happily giving ice cream lovers brain freeze.
Property tax bills will be landing in mailboxes, delivered by perspiring postal carriers, and some homeowners will debate whether to pay now and get the early bird discount, or take that trip to Ocean City and settle up in the fall. Hopefully, the teachers’ union and school officials won’t wait until fall to settle their contract issues.
Even as farmers haul produce to the scores of markets so folks can eat local, there still are those in our midst who struggle to put food on the table, making the Community Action Agency’s summer lunch program a testament to how we help the needy.
Last week’s Supreme Court decision on the president’s health care package has things basically settled, except to see what affect it will have on the fall campaign. But that’s months down the road. For now we’re about the business of rooting the Frederick Keys out of a rut, of inventing a new summer drink (a splash of raspberry brandy in the evening’s ice tea is quite nice), and joining the dog in the cool, dark basement.