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Summer time in the Ozarks includes hot, languid days and lingering twilight evenings spent chasing fireflies.

It includes cold ice tea, watermelon, homemade ice cream, snow cones, easy snacks, relaxed schedules, children out of school and visits to swimming pools and creeks with late bedtimes.

Summer means vacations and family reunions and time to read that book laid aside during busier times. During the hottest part of the day, children seek refuge inside air-conditioned homes building forts or resorting to electronic tablets. Help them learn a new hobby and try painting, sewing, woodworking.

During the recent Freedom Fest celebration, family time included adults sitting still listening to the music, children playing nearby, teens wandering around looking for their friends, youngsters rolling down grassy hillsides, boys digging in the dirt and then all oohing and ahhing at the yellow, red and blue twinkling fireworks displays. Patriotic music wafted from someone's music player.

Next weekend (Saturday, July 13) the second Second Saturday event will be held in the grassy area north of the medical center between Carr Street and Townsend Way. The first was successful with good food offered by vendors and music by Spillwater Drive. It's a good time to slow down, spend family time and visit with neighbors.

People are quick to complain that there's "nothing to do" in Pea Ridge but there are many activities offered free of charge at the Pea Ridge Community Library, there are outdoor movies in the park and there's the new splash pad.

Summer is a good time to reconnect with one another -- families and neighbors -- as we slow down and take life in a less hurried pace. Life does not have to involve constant amusements. Sometimes the simple ways are the best ways.

Parenting is more than just putting a roof over a child's head, clothes on his back and a meal on the table, it's training, teaching, guiding children to being the best they can be. Take time this summer and get to know your child (or grandchild) by spending time with them, observing them, listening to them and their dreams. Help them reconnect with you and enjoy life.


Editor's note: Annette Beard, managing editor of The Times of Northeast Benton County. She has nine children, five sons-in-law, nine grandsons and three granddaughters. She can be reached at

Editorial on 07/03/2019

Print Headline: Summertime and the living is easy

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