It's one thing to be splashed by people playing in a pool, but by a skier? And we don't mean a water skier …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: For Red, summers and swimming pools conjures up images of fun and cooling off from the heat, a time of leisure, and screams of delight from all ages; but Black's not into relaxing, and all the pool "noise" makes it difficult to concentrate while reading, yet we did agree that we never expected a pool to be used for this ...


Now, to be fair (pun intended), Red prefers to avoid the sun, but that doesn't mean she hasn't seen plenty of sports taking place in a pool, especially since her younger daughter played competitive (indoor) school and club volleyball in high school, and would take those athletic skills (and others) into the pool. Although Sawyer would sometimes keep that "secret" to herself,

It didn't surprise me to see Sawyer jump into the pool and head straight to the impromptu water volleyball game in progress. And, although she was a versatile volleyball player who played various positions, I watched with curiosity as she let the older kids and adults show her how to handle the ball as if this was her first time playing. She went to serve (usually her strong suit) and … nothing. She barely made contact with the ball. Encouraged by the others to try again, she glanced my way, gave me a smile, and then … well, the Sawyer serve from competitive volleyball was now on display. To continue for many hours.

But pools and "surprises" are dots Black wouldn't typically connect. Although, over the years, she has seen some incredible pools in various travel magazines, and "swimming with sharks" or finding yourself in a glass-bottom pool that's suspended 29 floors high might be considered surprising. Or even shocking.

But our most recent pool "surprise" arrived via an Axios sports newsletter (Black is addicted to Axios), and coming off the Summer Olympics, Red thought Black's email might be another "feel good" story. Which, in a way, it was, although it had nothing to do with sportsmanship and everything to do with a new training facility for Australian winter athletes that can operate year-round. And when Black saw the image of the 121-foot-high water ramp,

I often wondered how aerial skiers and snowboarders practiced their maneuvers without risking their necks – and lives. Obviously, it requires skill, determination, courage, and a healthy respect for the risk involved. But, I never realized it also requires the ability to swim.

Last year on MLK Day, Red learned the power and inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, in these divisive times, we can all learn from him … as not only did he fight for equality for all, but his approach is proof that peaceful protests can achieve social justice.

For most of us, writing and delivering one powerful and/or inspiring thing would be a very difficult task. To be remembered for hundreds is truly amazing.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: There's so much one can say about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, and whose leadership was fundamental to the ending of legal segregation in many parts of the United States. But regardless of your position on segregation, it's almost impossible not to acknowledge, yet alone appreciate, how incredibly powerful and inspiring his words were and the impact they continue to have on the civil rights movement. But don't believe us. This goodreads post provides more than just a good read, it's a seemingly endless list of inspirational quotes while a great "refresher" course on Dr. King is available at History.com.

National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.

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A day to clean up your desk?! It will take way more than a day …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: No one is immune from piles of paper, not even Black, the master of organization, but there’s a huge difference between a desk with a few small piles and some scattered papers (although her laptop’s keyboard needs serious cleaning) and Red’s “workroom” that usually looks like a tornado hit it.

Which is why Red rolled her eyes when Black mentioned today’s National Clean Your Desk Day, as it’d take her significantly more than a day to “clean up this mess,” but then she remembered Black’s advice on how to keep her piles (and piles) of paper under control and felt inspired. Red admits often feeling like she’s drowning in paper, but that’s because she lets the piles get out of control before reminding herself of Black’s very easy, straightforward approach to turning her mountains of paper into small manageable hills. And, significantly reducing stress along the way, because as Black points out,

Sometimes, it is more important to know what you are ignoring than it is to deal with everything in the piles.