The other evening, in the midst of the ceremonies honoring the fallen firefighter, I get a call from a co-worker telling me she’s heard From Reliable Sources that Oprah is going to be in Sesser for the visitation.

Yes, that’s right: Oprah. As in Winfrey.

Which is not completely out of the realm of possibilities because Oprah’s show originates in Chicago. Which is approximately 5 hours away from Sesser by limo, less than 90 minutes by private jet and then limo from the closest airport. Geographically, it’s definitely do-able.

Plus, for the last year or so, Sesser has had this “Oprah, call Sesser!” campaign going on as part of some book promotion. Signs bearing that message are up throughout the community, and some residents have bumper stickers on their cars and SUVs asking the popular talk-show host to call their town.

So, I go to Sesser and stake out the church that’s hosting the visitation.

Sadly, no Oprah.

In fact, even though it’s in season, I don’t see any okra growing anywhere in Sesser, either.

I do make a couple of passes by the Sesser Opera House, but even that place shows no signs of The Big O.

I head back home, just after sunset, and as a deer darts in front of me and then scampers, harmlessly, into the almost-darkness, it occurs to me how many drives across the lake I have not made this summer — at least compared to the last summer or two. And I also realize, as it’s just past 8 but almost dark, already, that I’ve somewhat missed out on the extended daylight hours of summer. I’ve pretty much not seen any sunsets and moonrises, for reasons I cannot explain except to say I haven’t really been looking for them.

I don’t feel particularly sad about any of this, but perhaps I’m a little wistful. In the same way that, occasionally, I wish I could be 8 or 9 again, riding my bike until it’s dark enough outside that cars (almost) can’t see me or playing pitch and catch in the yard with Debra until Mom yells, for the third time, that it’s time to get inside.

Thankfully, the crickets and other evening noises still sound the same.

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