Today is the Summer Solstice, the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. Oh how I love this time of year. This is my 66th summer. I don't remember much about the first four but all of the summers since I do remember. So many good memories. When I lived in an apartment building on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, Pennsylvania; summer was a carefree time of play with friends during the day and catching lightening bugs at night. Those summers were vacation from school. They were also the fastest three months of the year. It always seemed that they went by so fast. We were hardly out of school, then it was time for my Mother to order new school clothes for us from the Montgomery Ward catalogue. I can still remember the fresh cotton smell of those new clothes. Even though our family didn't have too much in way of material possessions, summer was always a special time for me and my brothers. As adults, with jobs, summer became less of a vacation and more of a time to just try and stay cool. Now that I am retired, summer has again become a time of freedom and happiness for me. That is especially true because of where I live now in Delaware, near the ocean. During my last years of work at Girard/Mellon Bank in Philadelphia, I would take summer vacations to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Summer was again a carefree, joyous time of long days that never seemed to end. Every form of life seemed to come alive after a long winter of hibernation. The birds happily singing and swooping to and fro down from the sky. The flowers and vegetables bursting through the earth's warm soil reaching for the sun. Ice tea, soft ice cream, fresh fruit and vegetables; all the good stuff happens in summer. Who hasn't had a summer romance? Watched new baby birds hatch and fly away to a new life? The sad part is that the Summer Solstice is the longest day but that the next days gradually become shorter and shorter until we are again at that point when it gets dark at 5 pm. Then we go into the winter doldrums. Life seems to become more serious. Gone are the carefree, endless days of summer. But, those days are here now. I am so thankful I am priviliged to enjoy another summer.