One thing about summer and hot weather: kids. Kids playing in the park, kids swimming at the pool, kids bicycling on the sidewalk, kids here, kids there, kids everywh … well, you get it.

Maybe we all long for those old days every now and again, when kids found ways to amuse themselves without having to plug in something or charge something up. And it may be hard to imagine, but there was a time when people even knew how to make music on their own without a device, whether with a piano, a harmonica or just whistling. As a matter of fact, I caught myself whistling while working the other day. It was, I dunno, a song playing on the radio or just a little tune that made no sense.

Thing is, you hardly hear anyone whistling these days. Or hey, for that matter, yodeling. I mean, who covers the Slim Whitman tune “Indian Love Call” these days? Thankfully, nobody, unless Earth gets invaded by CGI Martians.

Regardless, I’d like to think somewhere out there – here in the 21st century – at least one cowpuncher can yodel Eddy Arnold’s “Cattle Call.”

I’m thinking we need more whistling in the world, like hearing somebody walking down the street whistling “The Colonel Bogey March” from The Bridge on the River Kwai – an all-time favorite Alec Guinness movie – or whistling the Andy Griffith theme while fishing down at Escondida Lake.

Where was I? Oh yes, I was talking about enjoying seeing kids playing outside in the summer. To be honest, I’d never appreciated kids until I became a father, and with Father’s Day coming up in a couple of weeks, I was pondering on being a father – of a father.

It’s all about being grown up, and I guess I’m talking about once you’ve reached the mid-30s. Around 35, I figure, could be the ideal age, give or take. It’s like, you’re both old enough and young enough. Old enough to have learned from your mistakes but still young enough to make new ones. It’s when you understand what your parents meant when they said, “You understand when you’re older.”

However, if you’re not sure you’ve grown up, here are some signs:

You have, at least once, said something like “oof” as you sit back on the sofa.

Falling asleep on the couch makes your back hurt.

You hear your favorite song from high school in the supermarket.

Debt goes from being this “fairy tale to be paid in a land far away” to your daily reality show.

Ninety percent of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.

You start cushioning all vacations with an extra day off for recovery time.

Things crack when you bend down.

The thought of buying a new sofa or kitchen appliance makes you as giddy as a girl at a Beatles concert. (Wait, what century is this?)

Facebook goes from being a hobby to an obsession to a chore you dread.

You watch the Weather Channel.

You start holding the menu far away from you… then slowly bring it closer… but, ahem, “don’t need glasses.”

Sleep goes from being your nemesis to your best friend.

Doing the dishes becomes a relaxing getaway.

Oh, and one more.

You say more inappropriate things than appropriate things.

You also know you’re grown up when you become painfully aware of the so-called generation gap. And heaven forbid you don’t want to come across as an old fuddy-duddy. Of course, me just saying that makes me one because that term’s pretty much gone the way of other terms like nifty, neat-o, heavy, and calling girls “chicks” and guys “cats.”

I found out you’re even pegged as out-of-touch if you say you are “web surfing.” Same goes for “calling long distance.” And here’s a blast from the past: Dear John letter. I suppose now it would be a Dear John text. Or Instagram. Or a tweet.

My brain hurts.

But I digress from my digression.

I almost forgot to mention this, but this coming Sunday, June 4, marks 10 years since Magdalena’s Trujillo Well went dry. It didn’t actually go dry – that same well is happily pumping water as we speak – but for some reason, in June 2013, its submersible pump got knocked off-kilter and wasn’t getting to the water table.

Communities and civic groups from across the state were delivering bottled water to the rodeo grounds, and NBC News even came down to cover the story. It was quite the experience and lasted for several weeks. The old saying, “You don’t miss your water ‘til the well runs dry,” was made abundantly clear.

Just don’t get me started on the water squabble out on the San Agustin Plains.