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
When will the ordeal finally be over?
I was just thinking about the ordeal I’ve been going through since Sept. 19.
Life in Stringtown was full of hard work, simple pleasures
I had a chance to visit recently with an old friend, Alene Perkins Long.
Burning bridges and the importance of relationships
“Congratulations on your new job!” You tell a co-worker who announced she would be leaving in a couple of weeks. “Where are you going?” You ask her.
“I’ve landed a job that will put this place to shame! I am so excited about leaving here. This is going to be a great chance to advance my career,” the co-worker tells you.
Ensuring children develop a habit brushing their teeth
“Are you sure you brushed your teeth?” the father asked his son. His son solemnly nodded. His father said, “Let me smell your breath.” The son obligingly opened his mouth. Finally, the father said, “I need to check and see if your toothbrush is wet.”
This type of exchange happens in many households as children often do not brush their teeth, even when told to do so. This nightly inquisition can occur less frequently if parents establish a habit in their children to brush their teeth.
Saturated fat consumption leads to abdominal fat
New research from Uppsala University shows that eating more saturated fat in the diet causes an increase in the amount of fat stored in the abdominal area in comparison with extra consumption of polyunsaturated fat.
County’s oldest consignment sale begins today
The Little Ones’ Consignment Sale, Madison County’s oldest semi-annual sale of its kind, is open to the public 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today (Friday) and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the multi-ministry center behind United Methodist Church, West Main Street, Richmond. Marked items are half price on Saturday.
There’s more to do at the Village Trough
“I wish there was more to do here.”
Do you ever find yourself saying this sentence as you sit there bored out of your mind? Have you heard others ask it?
Well, there is something more to do now that Village Trough in Berea is staging shows with local and regional talent and preparing to open as a full dining and entertainment venue.
Let’s have a Mardi Gras party in Kentucky
It’s the time of year when the people in New Orleans celebrate a festival called Mardi Gras. Many states now do the same. Some call it “Fat Tuesday” which I have never understood till I went to New Orleans (five times) and saw all of the excitement for myself.
Beat the winter blues with meatballs
When it’s this cold outside it’s nice to warm up with some good comfort food.
I can think of few things more wonderful than the smell of simmering meatballs coming from the kitchen while I cuddle with my two young children, and a few good books, on a brisk winter day.
Taste test Thursday
The sun is shining, but the chill has returned, so I hope you made the most of the warm, sunny weather this weekend.
The spring greens are being as tentative as the warm temperatures, but there is talk of lettuce being harvested and a continued trickle of kale, pea shoots, miner’s lettuce and spinach. To make room for the spring harvests, winter squash and sweet potatoes have been marked down to $1/pound and pumpkins are only 50 cents/pound.
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- When will the ordeal finally be over?