Valdosta Daily Times

June 9, 2013

Slowing down for summer

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — Twenty-some years ago, it seemed Valdosta and South Georgia slowed down for the summer. School was out. Controversies seemed to dwindle. People seemed to work shorter hours despite the longer days.

Perhaps, it is only a hazy memory. A nostalgic bit of wishful thinking, but it seemed South Georgia’s oppressive heat slowed everything from organized events to the physical movements of the population.

That is no longer the case. Hasn’t been for many years.

Even with the temperatures pushing into the 90s and school out for a couple of weeks, Valdosta-Lowndes County seems as busy as ever.

Summer break doesn’t slow anything. Not anymore.

There are controversies. There are shows. There are events. People seem to work longer hours from an early sun-up to a later sundown.

Everyone seems to be on the go, sweating in the heat as they go, go, go. People rushing to be here, there and everywhere, often it seems at the same time.

We call people and text people and email people and Facebook people without ever slowing down to actually enjoy the people in our lives.

That was the beauty of those slower summers. People seemed to have a bit more time for friends, for a laugh or a song, for a porch swing and a cold beverage in those Valdosta summers of yore.

Maybe, South Georgia was as busy as it ever was and has always been all those years ago. Perhaps, the idea of a slower Valdosta summer is a thing of myth.

But those memories of friendship and an abundance of time are as real as the heat, as real as the memories of rain in a drought. They are refreshing memories. With the temperatures rising, they are memories that beckon to be relived if only we could slow down.