09 August 2013

That Time of Year

by Dixon Hill 

A jeweler in town used to run a radio spot in late August every year, in which a man said: 

Imagine you set out in the morning without your car keys. 

You didn’t have your wallet or purse. You had no ID, and didn’t even know your address or phone number.  

You had to walk to where you were going, and when you got there you knew almost no one. 

Sound pretty scary? 

Would you be willing to do this? 

Well, every year, this is what thousands of brave little children do — on their first day of kindergarten. 

 Things have changed a lot. 

In my neighborhood, at least, not many kindergarteners walk to school. Most get rides from a parent. But it still takes courage.

And … it’s that time of year, again, in Scottsdale. 

This past Wednesday, my son climbed aboard his bike and set off for his first day of 5th Grade. (Thankfully, our kindergarten days seem to be behind us!) 

My daughter will start her classes at the local community college in about a week. 

And I am finally free to sit, in peace, before my computer, without worrying that my office door will burst open any moment so my ten-year-old son can complain about being bored. 

Ahhhh ... a writer, a desk and a cigar.  

I feel I'm in pretty good company.

Of course, I still watch over my dad. So, the phone calls come at inopportune times. 

On the other hand, I just set him up with breakfast, before driving myself back home and coming into the office. 

So…if you’ll excuse me … I’m planning to dredge up all the courage of a kindergartener   and start writing while I can!

See you in two weeks, 


  1. Dixon, I only have one word for you today----write, write, WRITE!

  2. Dix, I've always wondered how you writers get any writing done what with reading, doing research, and all the other chores, especially if you have kids. Good luck with the writing now that school has started.

  3. Dix, We're the other way. Summer vacation is almost over. We get our 5th Grade and 2nd Grade grandsons back for day care duty this coming Wednesday. Feed 'em breakfast, take to school, pick 'em up, do homework and take to TaeKwonDo, etc. before their parents come get them. Hope I don't have as much trouble with 5th Grade math this year as I did with 4th Grade last year.

  4. Dixon, your opening about kindergarten reminded me of a story my uncle told me. He was in his eighties, two years younger than Mama and died the year before she did. During his final illness, I took Mama to Georgia to see him. When we walked in, he grinned and said how happy he was to see his "big sister." Then he told us that he was scared when he went to school the first day and that Grandmama told him, "Anytime you don't know what to do, just follow your sister."
    That worked well because the whole little country school went to recess and had lunch together. At the end of the day, he was so happy with how well he'd done just following his sister that he followed her right into the girls' restroom.

  5. A note to RT: You may be more particular about what your grandsons eat for breakfast, but I wanted to let you know that the new flavor of Pop Tarts is peanut butter, and my granson loves them. (Not every day, of course, but sometimes.)


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