Summer snuck up on me — again. It happens every year.
I should recognize signs that it’s approaching. After all, I have a calendar.
My kids count down the days until school is out. I also see ads that swimming pools are opening. It just takes a while for all that to sink in. Especially for me to realize that six people will be living in my home for extended periods with no clue how to fill their day. At least productively.
We seldom spend much time in the house together, unless it’s to sleep or recharge before the next activity. Our home is more like a bus station where the kids stop by briefly for a ride somewhere. Or a drop-off laundry service where they leave an overflowing basket of dirty clothes and expect clean ones in return. It’s also a fast-food joint, where the kids order a quick snack before departing for another event.
Now, I don’t mind a little down time mixed into our summer schedule. It’s been an exhausting spring with our medical emergency and commuting to hospitals and rehab centers. But we’re not going to squander the next few weeks. The time disappears so quickly anyway, and I want something memorable to fill the hours stretching endlessly ahead of us.
It’s impossible to please all the family all the time, so we’ll each make a wish list of things we want to do. We’ll try to check off a few items from each list. No one will be completely happy. But no one ends up totally disappointed either.
The three older kids want to go to a concert in Cincinnati. Surprisingly they like the same band, and ticket prices are unbelievably cheap. So, I can cut a swath through the lists with a single event.
We had to delay Ingrid’s birthday party when she turned double digits in April. So, she plans to gather a group of gals for a summer celebration. That opens new possibilities for outdoor activities not usually considered in the cooler spring.
Ruby’s pretty excited about winning two tickets to Holiday World in a raffle. She can’t wait to take advantage of the free day of fun in Santa Claus, Indiana. All we have to do is drive three hours to get there, pay $40 each for extra tickets, book a hotel room and budget for meals to cash in on those FREE tickets.
My birthday is in June, which has its advantages. It’s like being Queen for a Day. I get to call the shots with no arguments from anybody else. Of course, we’ll do something water related. Kayak. Pontoon boat. State Park. I’d better check a few websites for ideas.
With our lives turned topsy turvey the past few months, Mason and I haven’t made any big plans to celebrate our 30th anniversary in mid-June. We cruised up the Mississippi on a riverboat for our 25th, but it’s too late to schedule something to top that. I did notice a “Lunch Boat” in southern Kentucky. Being on the water makes me happy, and Mason can do some bird-watching. It’s not exactly the Love Boat, but it may have to do.
I feel a little guilty that Mason’s teaching a summer course at EKU while I’m not contributing anything to the family bank account. We usually offer a summer writing course for middle schoolers, but our plans were too iffy to lock in dates. So, we bypassed that workshop this year. I might use the extra time to publish a book of short stories that are in various degrees of finished. Depending on my motivation.
We’re looking for a family vacation spot that lets members come and go at their own pace. The pokey ones won’t keep the others from exploring when the mood strikes them. And those who like to simply hang out, won’t get nagged about getting ready to go when they’re content with staying. A BEACH fits that bill nicely.
Of course, we’ll find time for swimming pools, friends and chilling before mid-July when soccer practice begins, ending our carefree summer abruptly a month before school actually starts. At least the calendar seems to have filled up in a hurry. It didn’t take as much time to plan as I thought it would. I might even sneak in some long delayed chores like window washing and yard work — just to mix a little business with all that pleasure.
Summer snuck up on me — again. It happens every year.
- Lifestyles & Community
’Tis the season for giving
There is a feeling of pride that wells up in all parents when they see their children giving something of theirs to another person. It is all the more poignant when children are giving something that they greatly value and reflects a significant sacrifice on their part.
Young children are often looking for ways to contribute and help others’ out. The trick for parents is to have children continue their giving behaviors as they get older.
Moving to Richmond was the right decision
I was just thinking the other day about a decision I made 30 years ago that was definitely right.
I answered the call of First Baptist Church in Richmond to serve as its minister of music. My first Sunday in that position was Nov. 27, 1983.
The shopping frenzy cuts into Thanksgiving
Anyone who was out this weekend, whether to join in the bargain hunt or out of necessity, met with heavy traffic and people on a mission. Some in a great holiday mood and some frustrated with it all.
I heard a lot of talk about the days when the “blue law” that kept businesses closed on Sunday was in effect. This law came about in colonial times to keep a “rigid religious standard.” But as time progressed, it was shown that those not necessarily religious liked the idea, too, as a family day and day of rest from a busy world.
Does first Thanksgiving compare our observance?
I have done some research on what our forefathers actually ate on the first Thanksgiving in America. This is probably what happened.
Prepare your home for the holiday
Reading “The Night Before Christmas” has always been one of my favorite holiday traditions. In the poem the family has prepared for a visit from St. Nicholas with stockings hung by the chimney with care. The chimney must have been clean because Santa came down it with no trouble, just a little ashes and soot on his fur.
Difficult ordeal made easier by caring friends
I was just thinking the other day about a number of things related to my broken hip and that were happy experiences rather than difficult ones.
Resistance to change prevents opportunities
“I heard we may be getting a new computer system installed” a co-worker shares with you. “I heard the changes to the system may be pretty big. I don’t know if I can learn a whole new system again. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that we had to upgrade to this one.”
St. Mark Christmas Bazaar Dec. 7
St. Mark's Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. One of the favorite items, the Cookie Trays, a glass plate filled with delicious homemade cookies and decorated with holiday flair will again be available as will tables of other baked goods including pies, cakes, coffeecakes, fruitbreads, candy, and homemade bread. Jams, jellies and pickles will add to the goodies that will tempt your palate. There will also be craft items and a silent auction of two wooden angels, nearly life-size and handcrafted by parishioner Don Fourre, that will be a bargain. What would be a better time than now to purchase them to decorate the front of your home.
Lower cancer risk with these steps
Cancer is second only to heart disease among the leading causes of death. In as much as cancer is the result of errors in the DNA code that occur by chance, the interesting realization is that we have enormous power over whether or not we will develop cancer in our lifetime. Based on the evidence, roughly 60 percent of all cancers could be prevented through diet and healthy lifestyles. Here are some of the most effective ways to lower your cancer risk.
Avoid tobacco exposure. Tobacco use and exposure (second hand and sidestream smoke) represent the single greatest cause of preventable cancer.
The power of routines for children
Most adults have general routines that they follow which give their day a bit of structure and predictability. For example, a morning routine can consist of turning off the alarm clock, going to the bathroom, taking a shower, getting dressed, and then eating breakfast.
The wonderful part of a well-practiced routine is that you don’t have to devote much mental energy to get it completed. These types of routines are particularly well suited for the beginning and ending of a day.
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