Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Is it possible that this summer might actually feel a bit more "normal" than last year?


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Define "normal," as I am confident we are not returning to normal, but instead are transitioning to a new normal.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Fine. I just meant in comparison to last summer when I was hoarding toilet paper, fully stocking my pantry and freezer, and constantly wiping down seemingly every surface in my house.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


I guess you could call it "the summer of survival" since we were not prepared for the pandemic, especially not the lockdowns.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Exactly! Which means that this summer will be more like a pre-pandemic summer in that we'll have more freedom, especially for those of us that are vaccinated. And it feels great.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io



I agree, but at the risk of sounding like a pessimist, we have to be careful not to lapse into a state of complacency. Yes, we are more protected if we are vaccinated, but not everyone is getting vaccinated. And, fewer and fewer people are wearing masks.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I know that. I'm not hiding from reality; I just want to be able to enjoy the "mindset" of summer. As in the lazy days of summer. Now, I don't mean that literally, of course. It's just when things just seem to "ease up" a little, days are longer so you feel like you have more time. You know, summer.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


No, I do not know. For me, summer only means it is hotter outside, and it stays lighter longer.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Seriously? Summer for you is strictly related to temperature and daylight?


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Correct. I do not have kids, so it is not like I have to adjust for them being on summer break. I do not work in an office where I have to plan for people to be away on summer vacations. I live alone and am a workaholic that works from home.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I find it very hard to believe that last summer, at the height of the pandemic, it didn't feel any different for you than any other summer.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


That is not what I said. I said that for me, summer, regardless of the year, is the same as any other season. Unless you take into consideration what fruit and flowers Whole Foods has since those are seasonal.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


This is when I want to say that you really need to get a life, but I do understand what you're saying. But tell me, did summer ever mean anything to you?


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


How far back are you asking?


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


As far as you want to go.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


As a child, summer meant no school, hanging out in the neighborhood, and since my favorite television shows were all reruns, almost every night the boys from the surrounding houses and I would have watermelon seed spitting contests.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


If nothing else, that would explain a lot about your competitiveness. Well, my most vivid summer memories are of when the girls were little, and I had to go into big-time "camp counselor" and "chauffeur" mode during the summer. It's funny, it was exhausting at the time, but now they're priceless memories. And bittersweet since Natasha's no longer living at home and Sawyer's driving herself.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Not to mention, she goes off to college at the end of the summer.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Thanks for the reminder, but I'm trying not to think about that. I just want to fully enjoy this summer. Of course, safely, but still, I want that more carefree feeling of summer.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Interesting concept, being carefully carefree. However, you do bring up an interesting side effect of the pandemic. It has allowed many people to experience, or re-experience, the "simple pleasures" of life. To stop and reflect on priorities and begin to make some changes about where to focus their time and energy.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Yes, simple things like being able to escape the summer heat by going to re-opened movie theaters. There's something about needing a sweater when it's 100+ degrees outside that just screams "summer."


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, that sounds like it is related to temperature, which is how I think of summer. Anyway, I went a year without seeing friends and only recently have started going out to eat again. For the most part, we have been dining outside, but Houston's summer heat and humidity will change that to dining inside with social distancing.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Yes! And that's what I meant when I said that I hoped this summer might actually feel a bit more "normal". And that's mere mortal "normal", not your "normal".


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


In other words, you want a summer rerun of years gone by. FYI, I will admit that every summer I think it would be fun, although totally unacceptable, to spit watermelon seeds off my high-rise balcony.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Oh, that I want to see!

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.
Photo by nycshooter on iStock


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory. Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
Keep Reading ... Show less
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I can't believe that Sawyer's graduated from high school and will be off to college in a few months. It's so bittersweet. Especially as it seems like only yesterday you were bringing me dinner in the hospital the day she was born – it was wedding soup from my favorite Italian restaurant.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, since that has now become one of her favorite restaurants, that is where we should go to celebrate the start of her exciting new journey.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Exciting is an understatement. As soon as she finished her Zoom session with the orientation team at Belmont University, she came downstairs and talked a mile a minute about all the incredible course offerings, and before I knew it, she opened her laptop and was going through everything with me.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


When she showed it to me, I was impressed by the range of courses available, and it made me want to go back to college. But, I was most impressed by her enthusiasm and commitment to opening herself up to opportunities that she might not have previously considered.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I know! For years, starting when we taught at KIPP Houston High School, you've told students that college was a step-along-the-way, not a destination. And the perfect opportunity to try new things.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


I also said, "Homework never ends; it just is called 'research' when you get older."
Keep Reading ... Show less