Summer soon gone

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Summer is winding down, although you can’t tell it from the temperature.

Parents and children are buying (or have bought) school clothes and school will start soon. I am not really sure where the summer went.

It seems like only a few weeks ago that it was spring. There were quite a few things I had planned on doing that I didn’t get done. But on the positive side, I did do some things and there is still time to do a few more before it gets cold. I try to hibernate during winter.

One thing that was accomplished was a family vacation. Eight of us went to Charlotte and really enjoyed it. Like I said last week, some people gave Thadd a hard time over what seemed to them to be a not so great place to go on vacation. But there are quite a few things to do in and around Charlotte and it really isn’t that important where you go as long as you enjoy the company of your traveling companions.

I have a granddaughter who has autism. (See last paragraph). Traveling long distances is hard for her to handle. New places and crowds are scary for her. And I can tell you, if she is unhappy, we are all unhappy. Not only is she vocal about being unhappy but we can not enjoy ourselves if she is miserable. On the other hand, if she is happy, we are all happy. Her laughter and smiles affect everyone around her. I have yet to see anyone who can resist a happy Hannah. She is a joy-giver.

On this trip she went to Carowinds even though she was a little hesitant. The promise of seeing Dora the Explorer won out over her fears. She went on the rides, played games and danced with Dora.

She had a great time and went back a second day. She also panned for gold, and went swimming at the hotel. There were times when she had problems, but on the whole, she conquered her fears (with a lot of encouragement). It was one of the best vacations we’ve had simply because she enjoyed it..

My grandson Alex asked us several times on the way to Charlotte, “What is a vacation?” He found out he really likes them. He is wide open and ready to try just about anything. He went on everything he was tall enough to ride at Carowinds, rode the cars at NASCAR Park and went swimming at the hotel.

When it was time to leave, he wanted stay at the hotel and never go home. This week he asked if I remembered the hotel where we stayed. He is ready to go back.

My granddaughter Brooke rode every roller coaster in the park n twice. She has more nerve than I ever had. She rode anything else she could find too. She found gold in her pan at Reed Gold Mine (unlike her Nana) and swam like a fish. She is turning into quite a young lady.

It is a good feeling that we can stay together for a week and enjoy each other’s company. Of course, it was also good to get back home. I love to go, but I love to get back to my own home.

I have a dog, as any of you who have ever read my column know. Scott’s family also has a dog and we had to board them out while we were gone. We were anxious to get back and pick them up. You miss your pets when they are not around. Next year we may have to rent a place at the beach that allows pets.

I have already started checking out some places, looking forward to that time when we can put everyday responsibilities aside and just have fun again.

One of the things I missed most was my church family and hearing my pastor preach. I never get tired of being with that family either. They are some of the best people in the world. Our pastor gets excited about the Word of God in and out of the pulpit and the church family loves to talk and laugh together. I haven’t quite figured out how to take all of them with us.

Do you know anything about autism? It occurs in one of every 150 children born today. It is not limited to extreme disability. Unusual behaviors and tantrums are often the only visible signs of autism. Common symptoms include delayed speech, repetitive gestures, poor social skills and trouble coping with change or frustration. Both Albert Einstein and Sir Issac Newton showed signs of autism.

Sylvia Hughes is a regular contributor to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. She can be reached by emailing