Summer gives time for reflection, family

Summer is the season of fireworks, vine-ripened tomatoes and children playing in the sprinkler.

This is the season of long days, outdoor parties and the excitement of going on a trip, even if we’re going to the same place we’ve been every summer for many years.

Summer is a great time to be alive!

In the South, we joke that our brains are moldy from all the humidity, and many of us seek the refuge of the cooler mountains from time to time, but we are always happy to come home.

We discuss politics, religion and who makes the best caramel cake; sometimes those discussions become heated. In the South, we pick blackberries, make cobblers; we can’t understand a meal without cornbread; and we raise our children to respectfully call adults “sir” and “ma’am.”

During the summer, we tend to relax and enjoy life a little more than during other times of the year.

Soon enough, we will be rushing kids out the door to catch the school bus; we will be running up and down the highways to Auburn or Tuscaloosa for weekend tailgates; and, before we know it, we will be working on our Christmas lists. It is easy to take all of these joys of life for granted. But there are Americans in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places around the world who are facing danger every minute of every day protecting our way of life.

Police officers and other first responders devote their lives to keeping you and me safe.

The South Shelby Chamber of Commerce recently honored the men and women of the military and first responders at the annual Chamber picnic.

It was a lunch filled with patriotic music, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and, most importantly, it was an opportunity to express gratitude to those who devote their lives protecting all of us.

As you read this column, I hope you will pause for a moment and say a little prayer for these great Americans.

Jim Fuhrmeister is the Shelby County probate judge.