Sunsets like turning a page on our lives

Jerry Apps
Author Jerry Apps captures a sunset across Long Lake on the Chain o' Lakes near Waupaca.

Oh, the beauty of a sunset. Especially during these trying COVID pandemic days when so much is so different.  Sunsets remain a constant during all this turmoil. 

I remember so well my growing up years when my dad and I, after the evening milking was done and the cows turned out to pasture, we would watch the sunset. Dad had become quite expert on predicting the following day’s weather based on what he saw as the sun dipped below the horizon. 

On these waning days of August, when we were usually in the midst of harvesting our grain crop, knowing whether or not it might rain the next day dictated what we would do. Cut grain or not. Beyond weather forecasting, sunsets, each one different from the previous one, provided a special kind of beauty to the ending of the day.

During the nearly thirty years that I taught writing at The Clearing in Door County, my students and I would gather each evening and watch the sun set over the waters of Green Bay. Not a word was spoken. It was a special experience, especially for those who lived in a city where a sunset could not be experienced.

Sunsets are a time to reflect on the day just passed, what happened that was memorable, what happened that was best forgotten, what was learned that would be useful for another day. Sunsets are like turning a page on our lives, leaving the present day behind and looking forward to the next one. During these days of challenge and change, sunsets remain a constant in our lives.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Take time to enjoy a sunset.

Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work go to