The time just flies by. Suddenly, summer is over. I think most would agree with me that it was a good summer.

As predicted, it was warm and wet. Thank goodness I never had to hook my hoses to water the gardens. Let’s hope this fall will be better than last year.

I, for one, am very grateful for living in this beautiful area. I’m an old buck and appreciate where I live more and more each year. Earlier in life, I was too busy making a living to pay much attention. I now have plenty of time to relax and enjoy where I live.

We have many picturesque spots right in our backyard. Just down the street from me is the Salisbury Beach State Reservation. I enjoy going there most mornings to sit in my car and visit.

If the weather is nice, I will sit near the beach on a bench. I generally pick up a coffee and bring my own muffin to enjoy while I watch people enter the beach. On clear days, I look down the beach and can see a great distance.

Just looking at the ocean and the river flowing by it is so pretty. To my right, I look across the river and see a water tower at the south end of Newburyport, which is where my playground was when I was a kid. Directly across is Plum Island. Both places bring back fond memories.

More often, I frequent the Newburyport boardwalk near where I grew up. When I was a small boy, we didn’t have a car to travel to the lake or the beach. In the summer, my boys and I would walk out along the Merrimack River where the boardwalk is today.

You can’t imagine how it looked then as compared to now. There was a railroad track that traveled to the Market Square area and Cashman coalyard was at the end of it.

We enjoyed swimming down there but would have to climb over the boulders to get into the water. The current was very swift and we only knew the doggy paddle – our stroke wasn’t strong enough against the current. We always stayed close to the shore.

The water wasn’t clean because of the sewage in the water. Just up the river, there were a lot of factories and Lord knows what they dumped in there. Due to that, my boys and I hiked out back in Newbury to a creek called Four Rock. The railroad track went right by the rock. Not many people knew of it. That’s where we learned to have more skills than just swimming.

I want to thank those individuals who are responsible for building the current boardwalk in Newburyport. The boardwalk is well-maintained and simply gorgeous to walk on. It is so nice to walk along the same area as I did as a kid.

During my working years, I was too busy earning a living to appreciate these surroundings. On the boardwalk, I see many friends as well as unfamiliar faces. My greatest joy is to sit on a bench and have conversations with people from all over.

They come to Newburyport to enjoy the scenery as I do. During the boating season, the river is full of boats all anchored, pointing in the same direction. A particular interest are those that tie up along the dock.

Each day when I go there, I can appreciate seeing all the boats and the beauty. You could look up the river or back out to the opening to the ocean. It is simply gorgeous.

Jeepers! I hate to see the beautiful summer season come to an end. It has been so enjoyable. Let’s all hope the fall turns out equally as good.

Bob “Boots” Chouinard lives in Salisbury.

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