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Time in a Bottle: Summer Vacation

August 11, 2021

Another Way for week of July 30, 2021

Time in a Bottle: Summer Vacation

Did anyone else wake up on July 1 and say how can this year be half over already? Where did the delightful month of June go? Where indeed does time go?

Dad and son exploring the lovely cool water near the falls.

We like to savor the days of a vacation, for instance, and time literally does seem to go slower when we’re doing new things—and that’s a good thing. It is good for our psyches to have variety, to put little highlights into our days, to try new things. Sitting on the couch or easy chair watching nonstop TV or Netflix or browsing the web doesn’t, in the long run, lead to very interesting, fruitful, or exciting days.

This is of course coming from a retired person’s perspective now. We just returned from a very short vacation with our entire family—our daughters, sons-in-law, and five grandsons. We were together four nights and parts of five days—but my one grandson called it three days because we were technically together only all day Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Yes, too short (all that Grandma and Grandpa could afford) but had a wonderful time.

At first my grandson didn’t know anything about shimmying up a pole. I explained how to do it but of course Grandma can no longer do it.

But instead of the routines of our home lives (they all live a distance away—from two hours to six hours distant), we got to enjoy hikes to waterfalls, jet ski rides for most (not this Grandma who elected to tend the children when they weren’t riding), short walks near our cabin, an excursion to the lake’s beach to play in the sand, a trip to the local community college’s pool, blowing or popping bubbles, making s’mores around a campfire, churning homemade ice cream, lounging in a hot tub (adults) or asking a zillion questions about such a big bath tub (kids), and an uproarish-ly fun photo session with a professional photographer. She made it so fun by giving five little boys the opportunity to shout out silly word combinations, like “Booger sandwich” which resulted in laughing, smiling faces.

Thus the days were filled with special moments and generous time together. On the way home, I carefully wrote down the things we did because they always fade quickly from memory when returning to usual routines.

Grandpa holds down the old-fashioned ice cream churn while grandsons help.

I read an article recently that explains some of the different ways younger or older experience time. Clifford Lazarus in Psychology Today writes “… beyond the theoretical and practical applications of Einstein‘s theories of relativity, almost every human knows intuitively that time is relative—because it seems to pass much faster the older we get. Hence, how a clock measures time and how we as humans perceive it are quite different. This speeding up of subjective time with advancing age is well documented, but there is no consensus on the cause” (Nov. 29, 2020).

I don’t know what time clock my grandson (who thought the time went too fast) was on. The usual explanation which makes sense to me: for a 10-year-old, one year is ten percent of their entire life. But for my mother, who is nearing 100, one year is 1/100th of her entire life. Thus, in thinking about years—time goes fast for older folks but slower for younger. But I can also argue that the days can get very long for an elderly person all alone in their room, you know? This grandson, who is almost eight, frequently flits about and runs (fast) from one activity to the next. So, you can see how these things are not easy to understand or explain, and I’m not a scientist!

At any rate, I started writing this at the end of June, and here we are already at the end of July, and just as quickly the end of August will be here. I do know that time is precious, people are precious, and the God of the universe and master of time holds all of us in loving hands.

It only took 4 tries — with rests between tries — and he made it!
Our newlyweds enjoying the falls.


Comment here or send to or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. Lovely reflection about time here, Melodie. I’m glad you and Stuart have had time with those grands! Time for me is flying by in a new decade. I feel urgency to cram as much in as I can. A quote that comes to mind now by Andrew Marvell: “But at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near.”

    You are recording wonderful scenes. God is smiling on these priceless moments with family, I’m sure.

    • Thanks for almost always taking time to comment–and here related to your own years passing and wanting to cream in as much as you can. I had not heard the Marvell quote, excellent.

      I told someone else, especially the park with 3 waterfalls was like an Eden. An unexpected wonderful scene. Blessings!

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