For those of you who find your kids (or yourselves) bored with nothing to do, try the local library. I love to read and have read about 20 books so far during the covid virus time. A few of our grandkids LOVE to read and their moms are great about taking them to the library. Library cards are almost always free and it’s a great way to continue “learning” without your kids even realizing it. As the old TV show commercial used to say: “Reading is FUNdamental”.

Our next big holiday for gatherings is July 4th. What are some traditions that you and your family/friends share? For the past several years, we’ve hosted at our house and usually have around 18 or so. The grill always hosts country style ribs, sausage, chicken and hamburgers. We have potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs, homemade bread and then top it off with some kind of yummy dessert. When evening time rolls around, we end the day with fireworks outside and then watch the Boston Pops musical extravaganza on TV. Because we have kids and grandkids that live in Texas, Georgia and Tennessee, getting everyone together isn’t always easy. We’ve set aside the week prior to July 4th and the week of Thanksgiving every year to have all 13 of us together. We can’t wait to get everyone here this coming Saturday. The grocery list is growing, menus being planned and excitement is in the air already. Never take for granted family time; plan for it!

“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawnmower is broken.” James Dent

How many of you remember attic fans? I grew up the daughter of a Southern Baptist evangelist. Summer meant revival meetings in various places. A lot of the time, mom, my brother and I stayed home because we gardened really big and we were picking, shelling, shucking, canning…you get the picture. But, sometimes, we could go meet dad for the weekend in whatever town he was preaching in. We had window AC units in our house so while we were gone, we would shut them all off. Coming back in the house a few days later in the summertime was like walking in to a sauna. One flip of the switch on that attic fan, however, would make that hot air disappear in a hurry. You couldn’t hear anything while it was running, but it was effective. Then, crank up the window units and the house was nice and cool in no time.

The first time I met the Dillard family (summer of 1978), they were living in an old farm house on the property. They, too, had window units and only one was working at the time. I remember walking in to the main living room and there were pallets on the floor and Daddy Jack was sitting in his chair, in the only room that was cool. I remember thinking “does this family all stay in one room?” They didn’t, normally, but in the south, you stay where the air is cool. I love my central AC, but there’s really nothing like the satisfaction you get from a good window unit air conditioner.

Vegetables are starting to roll in from the gardens. My mom fixed an amazing Father’s Day lunch- butter beans, purple hull peas, new potatoes in white sauce, fried squash, fried hot water cornbread and sausage. I could have done without the sausage. If you have a garden, enjoy your fresh vegetables. If you have an overflow, share with a neighbor.

We are supposed to have some decent chances of rain this week, but we have been doing some hands on watering around the house. Keep an eye on your plants and they will tell you when they need a drink. Make sure your animals stay hydrated as well.

“I sustain myself with the love of family.” Maya Angelou