Commentary by M. Scott Carter

I’m alone on the porch.

Outside, my kids run and play in the twilight. The smallest, a sports nut, has organized an impromptu neighborhood football game.

Their stadium is the street. Their turf, the asphalt.

Clay goes long and catches a well thrown football. Not bad for a 10-year-old.

On the driveway, my daughter, Sara, hovers with a covey of girls. They giggle and gossip — the conversation is hushed, but if you watch closely, you’ll see Sara throw a quick glance quickly at the tanned blond boy on the skateboard (who manages, easily, to stay just within eyesight).

In the distance I can hear the drone of that damned ice cream truck — it plays the same song over and over and over. I like ice cream, but I really would like to deflate this guy’s tires. Thankfully, he bypasses our street, exiting the neighborhood after a long day of pushing frozen treats.

It’s warm and the evening is clear.

Quietly, Ethan walks his little brother down the street. Zach simply looks around him, taking in the world.

Nearby, I hear the distant hum of central air units. I say a quiet prayer of thanks for the inventor of Freon.

In front of me a fat, busy bumblebee zooms back and forth looking for a flower. Beyond his pulsating wings, I watch the heat rise off the black pavement; nearby a spider stretches a web from the front of my car to the garage. I hate to tell him, but tomorrow, when I leave for work, his web will be ruined.

A breeze stirs, rearranging the dust from the street and irritating the tomcat snoozing in the bushes below me.

Bear, the feline, tolerates few interruptions. He’ll complain, but eventually, he’ll return to the shade of the shrub and his regularly scheduled nap.

I slip back inside the house — it’s cool and dark.

Karen brings me a beautiful smile and large glass of ice-cold water. I pull her close and together we stand quietly — almost reverently — and watch as our kids scamper and play — they are oblivious to any problems, concerns or issues.

And for a few minutes, our world is at peace — bathed in the glow of a warm Oklahoma sun and the knowledge that summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 21.

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