A yellow swallowtail butterfly perches on the top of the pink Rose of Sharon bush and sways with the wayward breeze. It seems to be surveying the landscape and wondering if summer is truly on its way out. There is a fall look in the gathering clouds that drift and mass in darkening clusters, overshadowing the sun that shone so brightly such a short time ago.
This summer has passed so quickly. Already the bright yellow fronds of goldenrod bloom along the road banks, and purple ironweed raises a regal head above the weeds and underbrush. These are definite signs that fall is on its way. Another sure sign is the big yellow school buses that are making their rounds over ridges and across the winding roads of our county.
School seems to start earlier and go on longer than it did when I was a youngster. We started in September and got out in early May. We walked to grade school, which was a short journey for us, but many of the school children had to tread weary miles for their education. Now school buses pick up our children in the early morning mist to disgorge them, tired and weary, in the late evening.
Sending your little one to school for the first time brings a real wrench to a mother's heart and some anxious tears shed. When our oldest one, Mike, started to school, it was more traumatic for me than it was him. As I watched him walk down the driveway, I had an urge to grab him and bring him back to the safety of the house. Time does wait for no man, and it certainly doesn't wait for our children.
The years have passed by swiftly, our children grew up and all except Crystal are now grandparents. We saw the generation of our grandchildren as they too followed in the footsteps of their parents and take their places in the classroom. Some of our great-grandchildren (Morgan, for one) starts to high school this year. It boggles the mind.
Times have changed drastically since I started to school. School exposed us to a lot of new words. It was in the first grade that I heard, "L'ar! L'ar! Pants on far!" I was horrified. In the first place, we were never allowed to use the word "liar" to describe anyone. It belonged to the rest of the four-letter words that we didn't use.
If one of us told an untruth, we would call them a storyteller or say they told a story. Here at school the word "liar" was bandied about freely. Now, grade school children hear and use words that would burn the ears of an old sailor and talk about subjects that I didn't know even existed when I was in school.
It is a scary world that we send our young ones into every day. We would like to enclose them in a plastic bubble to protect them from the filth of the world, but of course it is impossible. The best thing that we can do for our children is to teach and instill in them at an early age the moral values and godly principles set forth in the Bible.
It is not enough to merely teach them, but our lives should be an example that bears out these teachings. Children in our society today are becoming morally bankrupt and ignorant of true Bible principles because they are not being taught these things in their homes. This is our responsibility and duty to our children.