Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jets, Mowers, and Summer Days

One of the sounds of summer at my house is a rumbling in the skies. No, not thunder. Thunder is rare around here. I live about a mile from an air force base, and every July means the air show.

I’ve attended a couple of times, but usually I just go outside on my deck to watch the jets tear across the sky  in close formation. They’re moving so fast, I see them before I hear them. By the time the sound arrives, they’re moving out of sight.

As I stand there on the second story deck waiting for the jets to appear, it's interesting to watch the people enjoying a summer Saturday. One neighbor mows her lawn, another unpacks after a fishing trip. A couple walks their dog, and a boy rides by on a bicycle. As the roar of the jets dies away, I can hear the children giggling at the playground in the park.

It reminds me of books I’ve enjoyed. There are the thrillers, like the Da Vinci Code. Just as I’m in awe of the skill of the pilots to fly in formation at almost the speed of sound, I’m amazed at Dan Brown’s ability to keep up the pace, the sense of urgency that keeps the reader turning pages so fast, they almost fly past the story before they hear it.

Then there are the books like Rosamunde Pilcher’s that slow down and live the summer. In her books, I can smell the freshly cut grass, notice the young couple holding hands as they walk in the park, hear the children playing. Her characters are so real, I count them as friends.

I’m glad I don’t have to choose, that I can read whatever suits my mood: fast or leisurely, terrifying or mellow, funny or sad. I love a good story.