It’s the end of the summer season. Seriously. We are at the last two weeks before summer is unofficially over and we begin the speed trials to Christmas. It’s been an odd summer for me, well, it’s been an odd year for that matter.

So far this summer, I’ve taken just two quick trips, one to the river and one to Las Vegas. The Vegas trip last weekend was great, and if it is any indicator of the overall health of the economy, we’re definitely on the rebound. All summer I’ve been inundated with “hotel specials” and “super low rates” from the MGM Mirage hotel chain. And when I finally get out to Vegas, “we’re sorry, those are unavailable” and we had to stay in a smoking room, because they were all sold out of the non-smoking rooms.

In short, Vegas is packed. Maybe it’s the “end of summer” rush as people are fleeing their homes and troubles, but I watch people and what I saw was a great many bags that were filled with shopping goodies, and not from the 99 Cent store.

There is something delicious about the end of the season, as we wind down the summer and start to put away the plastic partyware and get out the fine china, we can take a moment to enjoy the last few glimmers of carefree days. I realized the other day that I haven’t been on my bike much this summer at all. In fact, I’ve taken it out once. That rather saddens me for it seems like a waste to not take advantage of the warm summer days and nights by cruising down the boardwalk.

As we close this season, it’s a reminder that we should enjoy where we are, both physically and emotionally. Live fully in today. Enjoy the moment, because they go quickly.

I was walking my dog this morning, and as so frequently happens he taught me a lesson by reminding me to be in the moment. We were walking alone in the alley behind my house, right by the Community Corp. building. It was early and my thoughts were consumed with the upcoming week, and a particularly nasty paternity case I’m working on, where mom is trying every dirty trick in the book she can to cut dad out of the baby’s life. I was lost in thinking through the ways in which I can use a particular case to my client’s advantage, when all of a sudden my dog shoots off towards a pile of spilled food.

Generally this is an experiment in grossness. Dogs have an almost Republican ability to take pleasure in the most disgusting of things, but this morning he found a smoked ham hock — the kind that I would use to make barley soup, or red beans and rice with. Meaty and juicy, it was snapped up by him and we raced home so that he could gnaw on it in the privacy of his backyard.

The gusto with which he pulls me along, and his passion to enjoy this treasure has completely pulled me out of the mental state I am in. We are on a mission, a mission to get home safely so that he can enjoy his pirate’s booty.

Twenty minutes later there’s not a bit of meat left on the bone, and the bone itself has been buried someplace I guess, since my dog’s nose is covered in fresh dirt and his paws are wet from the morning sprinklers.

I’ve been so consumed this summer with the state of the economy and how it is affecting my businesses and the child support cases of my clients, that I’ve missed out on the joys of summer. Luckily there are still a couple of weeks to make it happen. I can still enjoy the last two Twilight Dance Series concerts this week and next, which is great, because I like Lila Downs, who is playing this week.

I can still enjoy a couple of morning bike rides to Playa Del Rey for breakfast before it gets too cold in the mornings. There’s still time to play in the ocean while the water is warm and the sand is hot.

If I just remember that life throws out opportunities to enjoy, and they can come from anywhere, sometimes they show up like a ham hock in a spilled plate of food. A treasure to be enjoyed, because time marches on, and so do street sweepers.


David Pisarra is a family law attorney focusing on father’s rights and men’s Issues in the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He can be reached at or (310) 664-9969.

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