August 9 – 15, 2019Vol. 21, No. 10

Some Things Do Not Change

by Rod Johnson

Over the last several years we've heard a lot of conversations and read many articles about change. People say this has changed, that has changed, are the changes good or bad, what do you think of the changes and so on.

We often hear that young people don't appreciate what they have and that the old folks are always saying negative comments about on-going issues, be it local or national. Then, it's that our government has lost its direction and no longer works for the people and that people are obsessed with their cell phones and don't talk to each other verbally.

I could go on and on and am sure you could as well. But here's the thing: we are not going down that road today. Yes, some or most of the above may have some truth to it but today let's stick to many of the things in are life that do not change.

As summer slides on through its time, both Doris and I are continually noting the number of things that do not change, including emotions that are as old as we are. Just for the fun of it, we made a list of likely candidates. The list became too long for a story so we picked the top ten. Among them are the joys of sitting on a porch in a rocker, stopping for ice cream when the whim hits you, having family and friends gather for picnics and cookouts, planting and tending your precious garden and flowers, making and eating fresh berry jams and jellies, stargazing on a perfect night, going for a swim, basking in the glow of a camp fire, taking boat rides, napping in a hammock, and last — by grandchildren's decree — making and eating s'mores! Whoops, that made eleven I think.

It seems comforting to enjoy our list and very nostalgic, too. No matter how many summers slide by, like old friends the list never waivers, except to grow longer. If you haven't done so yet, make your list and stick it on the fridge or cabin wall.

This story was inspired yesterday morning at 6 a.m. when we looked out to a row of empty wooden rocking chairs on the porch. A very slight breeze caused them to move slightly, as if calling for some occupants. We poured the first cup of coffee and obliged the fine old chairs, soon sensing that some things don't change. The rockers became the first on our list as we wondered how many before us have rocked in these one-hundred-year-old chairs and how many will in the future. It's the simplest things in life that we should cling to.

Rod Johnson was born and raised in the Belgrade Lakes in the 1950s and '60s.