Just the sort of weather
and just the sort of sky
which seem to suit my fancy,
with the white clouds drifting by
on a sea of smooth blue water.
Oh, I ain’t an egotist
with an “I” in all my thinking
but I’m willing to insist
that the Lord who made us humans
and the birds in every tree
knows my special sort of weather
and He made this day for me.
And the breezes from the eastward
blowing gently on my face,
and the woods chock full of singing
till you’d think birds never had
a single care to fret them
or a grief to make them sad.
Oh, I settle down contented
in the shadow of a tree
and tell myself right proudly
that the day was made for me.
It’s my day, my sky and sunshine
and the temper of the breeze—
here’s the weather I would fashion
could I run things as I please.
Beauty dancing all around me,
music ringing everywhere,
like a wedding celebration—
why, I’ve plumb forgot my care
and the tasks I should be doing
for the rainy days to be
while I’m hugging the delusion
that God made this day for me.
I like ’em in the winter when their cheeks are slightly pale,
I like ’em in the spring time when the March winds blow a gale;
But when summer suns have tanned ’em and they’re racing to and fro’,
I somehow think the children make the finest sort of show.
When they’re brown as little berries and they’re bare of foot and head,
And they’re on the go each minute where the velvet lawns are spread,
Then their health is at its finest and they never stop to rest,
Oh, it’s then I think the children look and are their very best.
We’ve got to know the winter and we’ve got to know the spring,
But for children, could I do it, unto summer I would cling;
For I’m happiest when I see ’em, as a wild and merry band
Of healthy, lusty youngsters that the summer sun has tanned.
I have no wish to rail at fate,
and vow that I’m unfairly treated;
I do not give vent to my hate
because at times I am defeated.
Life has its ups and downs, I know,
But tell me why should people say
whenever after fish I go:
“You should have been here yesterday”?
It is my luck always to strike
a day when there is nothing doing,
when neither perch nor bass nor pike
my bated hooks will come a-wooing.
Must I a day late always be?
When not a nibble comes my way
must someone always say to me,
“We caught a bunch here yesterday”?
I am not prone to discontent,
nor over-zealous now to climb;
if victory is not yet meant
for me I’ll calmly bide my time.
but I should like just once to go
out fishing on some lake or bay
and not have someone mutter: “Oh,
you should have been here yesterday!”
From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
c. 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company
It was all Shanz’s idea that we take this scenic trip through the hills and spend a few days at Pineridge Lodge, a great “wilderness adventure” he’d read about. Boating, swimming, fishing, all gear for rent at lowest rates. Sounded like a great plan! And after all, we guys hadn’t taken time for ourselves or gone anywhere special for at least five years. Time we took ourselves off for a relaxing male-bonding holiday.
Shanz sweetened the prospect considerable by showing us an ad in the Turnbull News Herald where the Barnum & Willsby Railroad was offering a bargain rate. “Tuesdays and Thursdays only, special discount fare to Catfish Bay with connections to Pineridge Lodge.” So Shanz, Lester, Nate and I reserved a “Three-day Lodging-plus-Meals package” and we each bought B&W Rail’s bargain ticket, leaving on a Thursday.
For the next few weeks we carried on like little boys headed for a Disneyland holiday. Sad to say, though, Nate had to cancel out on Monday ‘cause his in-laws showed up for a surprise visit. He almost shed tears when he told us about his change of plans.
The rest of us boarded the train this morning expecting to ride all the way to Catfish Bay. But we found out when we got here that there was some fine print we never read. You see, the Lodge is six miles out of town. And the fare, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, doesn’t cover those last six miles.
The agent said we could wait over ‘til tomorrow afternoon, when the local train that does go out to the Lodge hits town. But by the time we got there we’d almost have to turn around and go home again.
So what do you do if you wanna get there today? Hire a taxi for an additional $50? Nope, not us. We got more energy than money.
Too bad Nate couldn’t make it. He’ll be downright grieved missing out on this adventure.
At the playground
a dad sets his son in the swing.
The toddler laughs with joy
reaching his toes to touch the clouds.
Dad smiles as he pushes his son
thinking of the years ahead;
his dreams are higher yet.