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Prime Time/Beginning of June filled with favorite dates

June has been labeled as the traditional month for weddings.

It is also a major transition time for high school or college graduates. For these students, a comfortable, predictable daily pattern of life is suddenly coming to an end, and decisions and preparations must be made for future plans and possible dramatic changes. Will it mean more graduate school, job search or possibly even marriage?

In our family, June also brings several important birthday anniversaries.

Our second grandson was born on the first of June. One granddaughter's big day became even bigger when she had a baby on her early June birth date. Our eldest grandson, born on Memorial Day at the end of May, surprised the family when his wife delivered their first child the day before his 39the birthday after 10 years of marriage.

All of these occasions make the days surrounding the first of June a time of great celebration in our extended family.

In this area, we always look forward to the beginning of June as the time when we can expect to begin to feel the warmth and joy of lovely summer days, with reduced pressures and increased feelings of relaxation. The weatherman and family and jobs don't always make it possible to fulfill those expectations, but we are hopeful and usually do find our lives moving at a bit more relaxed pace.

When I was growing up, our family often left our northern Illinois home to spend a summer week or two in a resort cabin in northern Wisconsin. The rest of the season, I was in our town's public pool for a good part of each day. It was busy and crowded with two levels of diving boards at one end. I used the lower one a lot but never got enough confidence to go off the 12-foot high board.

A farm about five miles west of the edge of town where we lived had been acquired as an investment by my grandmother. It was a good productive Illinois farm, but it's major value to the family was a lovely green back pasture with a creek running through it and a few big shade trees where we had a picnic table.

We looked forward to the coming of early summer weather that made it easy to decide on short notice to go to the farm for a picnic supper on any pleasant day beginning in June and sometimes still possible as late as September.

Living on a lake as we do now has been a joy in June and all summer for our family. Even though I do not attempt the steep walk down to the water front much anymore, our location is a great magnet for our great grandchildren, and I can sit on the porch and enjoy the sounds of their happy squeals as they jump off the dock into the water and splash happily around in our clear cool lake.