From all indications summer is alive and well in Erath County. Take a minute and look around. There is a lot going on as we kick off the month of July. Plunge in and get involved.

Summer camps are in full swing or winding up. Swim camp, soccer camp, dance and cheerleading camps, football camps, arts and crafts, pioneer camp, theatre and writing camps and gardening, and even an etiquette camp to name a few. Kids are on the move and staying busy. One thing Stephenville tends to focus on is a thing or two for the kids to do. What a blessing!

The Summer Blast Team Roping recently wrapped up at the Lone Star Arena and Splashville is packed on a daily basis. Nights are full of cooking and smoking on the grill, avoiding mosquitoes and tossing a Frisbee across the damp wet grass.

Bar B Q grills are working overtime and families are scrambling to get in a trip or some vacation time before school kicks back in gear the middle of next month. In short, July is barreling down the pike at a full rate of speed and if we aren’t careful we are going to blink and realize we missed it. People are already asking, “What happened to summer?”

I’ve watched families load up the mini-van with kids, toys, and snacks and head out to find someplace to spend a quick evening. For the most part the weather has cooperated and shorts, sandals, tank tops and crocs seem to be the fashion of choice.

Even folks who work every day or take summer classes search frantically for some time off to soak up, kick back and absorb this time of year. Vacation time may be sparse but the activities abound. There was even a carnival in town for a while and as the music blared nightly at Bosque River Centre it brought back visions and remnants of days gone by.

There have been ribbon cuttings, dedication ceremonies, parties and fireworks. Stores can’t keep enough charcoal and patio furniture sells out before one has even had a minute to browse. Vine-ripen tomatoes and squash melt in your mouth and snow cone stands and taco trailers dot abandoned lots throughout the community.

Ahhhh, summer! It takes your breath away and it will pass quickly.

We may complain about the hot and humid temps but give it a minute and remember, in the not to distant future, Fall will be in the air with winter bearing down and temps will plunge to the high 40s or low 50s. We’ll be adding clothes instead of discarding them.

I reflect on my summers as a kid in the Panhandle of Texas and realize summers are just special. We all love being barefoot, dangling our feet in the swimming pool or the lake as mom and dad toy with fishing poles and live bait. A trek on the four-wheeler across an open field and through the trees in the late evening makes it fun and when dad says, “Be back before dark” you knew he meant it, no questions asked. It’s just happens to be that time of year we tend to remember the most pleasant times of growing up with summer in full bloom.

Rodeos, ropings, barrel races and parades crop up in every little town and community across the state.

Erath County has something going down on a daily basis and there is never a dull moment. One doesn’t have to travel far to find something that appeals to your inner being.

Summer is in full swing. It will pass in the blink of an eye and the regular grind of work and school will soon be camping on our doorstep. It’s easy to find something to do or someplace to be. Our community is full of options that appeal to all tastes and interests.

Lots of fellowship, music in the park abounds and summer activities fill up the calendar. It’s summer time in Erath County. Grab hold and hang on tight! It will be gone before you know it.

Melinda Clements is an E-T community columnist. She can be reached at