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Prime Time: Bemidji area thrives in the summer

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Here in the North Country, June weather can be unpredictable making us wonder if real summer will ever come. Or there may be a couple of days over 100 degrees that make us dread the threat of unbearable heat.

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When July arrives, we expect it to be hot and are happy to use the extra electric power to run our air conditioning or find reasons to go to the mall or the movie theater to enjoy a break in the cool atmosphere there.

We are fortunate in this area that days of such extreme heat are not the norm, and much of July brings warm sunny days to sit on the porch or take the yard chair to the lake shore. There we can watch the happy bathers whether we bother to suit up for swimming ourselves or just sit and enjoy the excited shrieks of the kids who have waited all winter for these days of splashing in the lake.

On our lakeshore, we have a dock that takes most kids out far enough to reach water deep enough to allow them to try their skills as beginning divers. A bit more caution is needed for the taller kids who must make their dives at a shallower angle to avoid hitting bottom. I learned to dive in the city pool in my home town in Illinois, and there was no question of it being deep enough no matter how tall we were or how deep a dive we made. We did not hit bottom even from the 10 foot high board that I was proud when I gained the skill and courage to use. Here in our lake the bigger kids have to be careful not to make too deep a dive or there is danger of injury.

Over the years, I've spent a lot of time "treading water" from a spot near the end if the dock where I could watch to be sure the excited swimmers didn't take dangerous chances. Our lake is not a walleye lake so it is not as heavily fished as many area lakes, but we have enjoyed catching some nice bass and the kids have caught perch and pan fish, not only out in the boat but even from the dock. They hold up their catch and often ask someone to take a picture of their prize.

We look forward to this time of the year, not only because we can enjoy the warmer days, but because we are happy that our location is a magnet for our family members, young and old, to come and enjoy life on a lake.

Our grandchildren and their families are spread far and wide from the Washington, D.C., area to San Francisco, Calif. We would hope they would want to come to visit their home town of Bemidji and their aging great-grandparents wherever we were, but there is no doubt that our lovely lakeshore location makes the idea of visits here especially attractive. This means a lot to us since watching the development of our growing extended family is a major joy of our lives.

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