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Time marches on through the year

With temperatures peaking in the high 90s and heat indexes well into the 100s, it amazes me that this year is almost gone. It prompts me to ask if Fall will ever raise its russet-colored head.

When will the leaves begin their yearly journey to the ground below?

When will the earthy ground don its brown overcoat?

When will it be cool again?

Sitting at my desk, a short glance down to the "At-A-Glance" reminds me that our calendars will be booked before we know it.

Backpacks, pencils and notebooks are already filling the aisles of local department stores. Rows and rows of every conceivable item that any child from kindergarten to twelfth grade would ever think about needing to begin school line the ceiling to the floor. In a few short weeks, summer will be over and school starts back. Then, we'll be ready for hot dogs, time-outs and touchdowns as the official marker of back to school rings in with announcements of high school football scores.

Before we know it, the calendar pages will be ripped off past Labor Day to reveal Halloween. Children in costumes, buckets of candy and monsters and childish mayhem will reign for one night. As the clock ticks on, we have now made our way to Thanksgiving.

For my family, Thanksgiving is the one holiday in which we all take a moment from our various lives and come together and celebrate what we do have, instead of what we may want. (That comes later at Christmas. Which by the way, F.Y.I. Christmas is only 161 days from today.) We gather around the tables and give thanks for what has brought us to this moment as a family, and of course, the food.

By the time the day is over, it gives us a pause to thank the good Lord above that it's over, but time enough to think Christmas is only a few short weeks away. Before one day is over, we have to plan for another.

We tend to rush, rush, rush from one event to another, from one crisis to another. We never let ourselves savor the moment of the day. The revolving door of life only pauses enough to let us through to our next stop. We often lose sight of how, in a single instant, our door could be locked and closed. We always ask, "when will this happen?" and "when will that happen?" When truthfully, it's really not our place to ask when. We should cherish the day, as it would be our last, instead of celebrating it as if it is our first.

Stephanie Nelson is a regular columnist and former Lifestyles editor for the Andalusia Star-News.