We need to stop cutting corners and missing chances to have fun.

Time doesn’t march on. It sprints.

So many things have happened recently to drive that home.

When I return to my hometown, I am thankful that I showed my son where I hit my first home run as a 10-year old because that field is gone now. So are the fields I built with two friends. All are victims of a new multi-million sports facility on another side of town.

Progress is great but memories are often plowed under as the dirt is turned when our fields of dreams give way to new projects.

I was also saddened to see the guesthouse where we took custody of Dawit had fallen victim to the Ethiopian slowdown on international adoptions.

So many times, we have discussed taking Dawit back there to see the sights and hear the sounds of his early life. The BeJoe House would have undoubtedly been a focal point of that return trip.

But now it is gone.

The white leather couch where he sat when we first took custody is gone. The kitchen table where we enjoyed our meals is gone. The beautiful, manicured lawn is overgrown and junk is strewn across it.

We will still return one day.

But like the trip to my hometown without the fields of my youth and the fields I helped build for the team I coached, it won’t be the same.

On our vacation last week, we saw something that is remarkably unchanged. There is a water slide cut into the hill on the strip in Branson. It has been there for 38 years. My brother and I made our first trips up and down that hill about that long ago. We have gone back many times over the years. We did again this year.

Watching Blake and Dawit enjoy the same fun I have for so long was very nostalgic.

While I don’t remember the Water Chute requiring as much endurance in my youth, it was wonderful to enjoy a part of our past in the present with 15 members of our family climbing up the hill and sliding back down.

The few things that haven’t changed and the many things that have are reinforcing for me the need to enjoy life as it comes.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “Lost time is never found again.”

It is important to appreciate what we have. We need to stop cutting corners and missing chances to have fun and make memories with our friends and families.

When time marches on, those memories may be all you have left.

Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: kbush@augustagazette.com