Tantalizing Tuesday Ahead.

I’m so grateful to be able to write and publish my work. And grateful for all of you who read, and have followed me. I’d like to ask a favor. As I near 1,000 blogs posted on various social media apps, I saw over 900 people are being notified when I publish a new blog. Could we try and make it 1,000 followers who are notified as well? That would be so exciting! Please, encourage your friends and family to follow. As I get closer to publishing my children’s book, I hope word of mouth will help get it out there and read. Thank you so much!

Have a couple appointments today; haircut with Mom, and a later doctor appointment. We’ve picked what to have for dinner, so that dilemma is avoided for the moment. It’s almost time to stop and get some fresh produce from a street-side vendor. I’m waiting on a Black Diamond Watermelon. Nothing like it on earth.

I still have the final organizing of my office studio to do. Too many interruptions and then I get distracted. It’s normal, and I need to reel it back in before I’m adrift in stagnant water. My brain is churning with more ideas for my novel. The characters are telling me they’re ready to play again. Looking forward to spending time with them.

I think we interrupted the life-cycle of our Butterfly Bush. It used to grow over six feet tall and be covered with butterflies by now. I miss it, and might get another one. The humming birds loved it too.

My daily meditation talks of fear. Fear rules some people’s lives. Caution is necessary, but abnormal fear is not. So many people talk of their anxiety I wonder if it is fear gone out of control. I’m no doctor, and I wonder a bit if some of it is over-scheduling on their part. Don’t get me wrong, I understand a lot of people do suffer with anxiety. They often need medication to cope. As he’s gotten older, the Babe is one of those people. Since his bypass surgery it appears he gets anxious to the point it’s not good for his blood pressure. It happens.

The folks I mean are those who over schedule with extra classes, lessons, team practices and games, that they have no time to enjoy their homes and families. Yes, kids need to have structure, and at the same time, they need time to just be kids. As a kid, there was no better feeling than knocking on the door, to see if your friend could go bike riding with you. I hope you have your kids and grandkids have some of that feeling in their lives.

Sometimes we would walk to the business district of South Omaha. Or go to a local city park, Highland Park, where the city had little green sheds full of inexpensive crafts, equipment to play box hockey or tether-ball. My friend Peggy and I would spend hours up there. It was a lot of fun, unstructured play. We had such a good time.

We need to believe in creating what we look for. If we look for stress, disorganization, and anxiety in our lives, be careful that we’re not creating it for ourselves. You can work at reducing your stress, disorganization, and anxiety in your life. It can be done. We have to work hard and be consistent. You will be surprised at how much better you feel.

It’s about time for me to leave to get Mom. I need to place my Target order for pickup on the way home. I love ordering groceries on line. It’s so convenient. I hope you all have a beautiful day. I’m planning on one. See you tomorrow!

#992-Monday, End of Month.

It’s almost noon already, and I’m just getting started on today’s blog. I had a terrible scare with Goldie. She is a big, big girl. She weighed 98 pounds last time we had her at the vet. We’re going this afternoon to a new vet, closer to home, and a friend of our family.

At any rate, I opened the front door, telling her to stay back, which she usually does. Not this time. She almost knocked me over, and ran out the front door and bolted across the street. I was panic-stricken. It’s been nearly three years since we lost Roxie to a car accident, and it’s all I could think of. I was petrified. And I still had my pajamas, slippers, and robe on. Oh dear!

I kept calling her name, hoping she’d come to her senses. She was too interested in sniffing out the bottom of a light pole, where all the boys stop on their walks. I was in luck. She didn’t run, thinking I was playing. She reversed as I reached for her collar, and I was able to catch her then. Whew! She started to pull; I knew if I held on to her, she would pull me down onto the concrete. Oh dear!

I told her she needed to be a good girl and come into the house. I’d opened the overhead garage door before crossing the street. I let go of her collar and kept telling her, “Be a good girl, and let’s go inside for a treat.” Food-motivated dogs are the best. We crossed the street, no cars, and she started sniffing mailboxes.

I’m praying, “Please, don’t run away!” She turns from sniffing and follows me, and I hurry to keep pace with her, right into the garage. I caught up with her at the door to the house. She does in the door, and I followed, so very grateful. I’ve been consciously thanking God all day that she didn’t encounter a car and wasn’t hurt at all. I don’t think our hearts could have taken that a second time.

Took a short break to view a training/marketing pitch from a famous author to be successful at writing a non-fiction book. Not surprising, you have to be a storyteller first. True story or one you make up, it makes sense you’d need to be a storyteller.

Have you ever listened to someone spin a yarn and by the time they’re finished, you aren’t sure if the story is true or not? The Babe is a great yarn-spinner. Usually in a joking way, to tease me or someone else. After his quadruple bypass seven years ago, when he finally started making jokes and telling stories, I knew he would get well. It took a long time for that to happen. It was a great concern. We’re blessed for sure.

Our appointment for the girls with their new vet is now only a couple hours away. It should be a good visit and good for them. Less of a trip by car. I need to go finish up a few things here before we do that. Hope you have a beautiful afternoon and have some time outside where it’s beautiful today. See you tomorrow.

#991 and Counting!

Today, June 26, 2022, is such a beautiful day outside. We had a fundraiser for Guitars for Vets at Nebraska Brewing Company, in the Omaha area, and at 2 p.m. had a baseball game for Gavin in Papillion. It was busy, but a fun day. Something for everyone for sure.

The kids won their game, which made for a bunch of happy boys. They were really into it. It’s been awhile since they won, and it was deserved. We won’t be to any games this week, so hope they do well in Springfield, Nebraska tomorrow. We have an appointment with a new vet for the girls. She’s our friend, Katie Lackovic. It’ll be fun to see how they do with her.

Each and every day, we need to value. Value the gift of the day. You may be overworked and underpaid, but you’ve received a gift by waking up.

So as I wrote blog #991, I thought how cool it’d be to reach 1000 subscribers every time I publish a blog. That’d be cool! I believe it includes people who actually subscribe by receiving an email when published, and people who follow on other social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’m pretty excited about the prospect, even if they don’t happen at the same time. I never thought that would happen, but with steady work comes steady progress. I’m grateful for all the followers, regardless of where they come from.

This, of course, does not include the weird “Please send me a friend request, blah, blah, blah. Those are a special kind of pesky. Blocking them does no good. They persist. Ugh! The downside of social media.

I have some plans this week, regarding my children’s book. I want to get feedback from several people. I know a couple kindergarten teachers; a grief resource person; my artist; and a couple of other people who have kids and love to read to them. I want some honest feedback to edit it down. It should be fun.

And I have a quilt to continue getting applique pieces copied and cut out. It’s coming along. Christmas should be fun!

I felt like sort of a bum for relaxing and reading yesterday, but I was having some bad rib pain from the scoliosis I have. It did a lot of good. I finished “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.” It was fun to read. I loved the character development the author did. I admire how the author developed the individuals and how they all fit together at the ending. Great story, great problems, great solutions. No wonder it’s sold over a million copies.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the evening. We will. Relaxing after a busy day is the best. See you tomorrow!

Serene Saturday

I woke up early today, and the air is heavy all around. Cloudy, and kind of breezy, but not a cool breeze. I am somewhat achy after the weed pulling yesterday. Just using muscles I forgot I had! So, I’ll take a day off today and focus on straightening up the house. It might be hard, because I feel sort of . . . well, like Lexie does in the header photo. How she slept that way amazes me, and how she didn’t fall out of her chair comes a close second.

I lounged on the couch for about an hour, drinking coffee and reading the latest book I’m reading, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.” I’ve read over 150 pages already, which is a lot for me lately. I chose a work of fiction because psychology and how-to-write books are a little dry right now. This one about Evelyn Hugo is anything but dry. The writing is crisp, moves along nicely. It takes place in older Hollywood, when young girls could travel West in the hopes of being discovered. I pity them for the treatment they received, then came to expect. Harvey Weinstein just perpetrated what went on forever. How disgusting.

I want to go back and read all the books I started and didn’t finish. I have several on my Kindle, and I should finish them, too. And see about putting books about writing on there, as I’m running out of room! The Babe and I still haven’t found someone to help assemble the four bookcases I bought. Hope we find someone soon! With unboxing all my books, I’ll identify many to give away. I’m hoping the library may take some.

I still need to go visit the library in Gretna. I need to become friends with them, as they have a separate children’s library, too. I hope plans continue to combine them into one big building, like a community center. I thought it would happen, but maybe plans are on the back burner now. It will be interesting to see how it develops. The way the community is growing, I would hope they build a center and merge everything soon.

When we were kids, the library held a Reading Club every year. If we read 10 books, we received a certificate stating so. There was no Pizza Hut in those days. Our kids earned pizza for reading, but we didn’t. As Frankie got older, I felt it was important for him to read. He developed a big interest in sports figures.

Bo Jackson was a dual sport athlete. He was amazing. He could run up the outfield wall to catch a near-home run. And in football, he could mow anyone down. He and Michael Jordan were the favorites. I bought a lot of books for him. Nick read anything, but lost interest in it once he got a car. He had to work to support the car, and he was more interested in those things. Becky read constantly, and is having her kids love books too. Every quarter, I send a box of books to both of her kids. So far, so good.

Going to get started on this day, and hope you have a good one, too. I may just curl up with the book all day. And that’s ok, too. Enjoy your weekend! See you tomorrow.

The Lowly Geranium

The little plant I used to buy for 99 cents or so at Shopko for many years never disappointed. These days, I’m fortunate to be buying from a local nursery in Gretna; they are a lot more than the 99 cent variety, but they are spectacular! I’ve overwintered some a few times, pulling them out of the dirt, and storing them in a brown paper bag, then putting them inside in a pot of soil in March or April, hoping they grow. They do sometimes. This year, I purchased the flowers in the header photo, and they’re doing quite well in the planters. I deadheaded some this morning, and a memory stirred about the 99 cent variety.

When I was a little girl, Mom took me once in awhile to the St. Bridget’s Mother/Daughter Breakfast. It was an annual event, in May. All mothers and daughters went to the 7:30 a.m. Mass, followed by the breakfast, made by the Men’s Club. Every table of four had one geranium plant. Everyone was given a numbered ticket, and the drawing was held after breakfast. Such tension in the room! I know every other little girl prayed they would win also. When I did win, the plant thrived for a minute or two, in my south facing windowsill. They usually died from lack of water and general neglect. I’m sure they all did. Back then neither Mom nor I knew anything about gardening. I do believe now we would be able to keep them alive at least for the summer. Too bad, the school is closed, as is the convent, and the priest is a young man who grew up in the parish and went to school with us. Father Safranek visits Mom once a month with Communion. She enjoys the visits, despite her disagreements with the Church ideology over the past thirty years or so. Maybe time has healed her heart on that count.

The Babe was home this morning. While he mowed and did the weed-eating in the back yard with the dogs, I was in the front yard, pulling weeds from the stone fill in our landscaping. The rock looks wonderful when you’re not having to spread mulch, it’s a one and done, but dirt accumulates withing the rocks, and it’s just enough to start some dandelions, water grass, and other creeper-type weeds. No one had done it yet, so it was a mess.

Of course, my mind still thinks I’m younger(ish) and still agile. My 70 year old knees and back are protesting. I’ll be sorry later, I think, but at least the weeds are gone in the front. Tomorrow morning, I’ll tackle the back fenced in flower-garden. No weed barrier there, but I may put some down. It’ll be cut into a billion little pieces and placed around the plants. I’m retired, so it’s ok. I’ll make some time and get some good fresh air these next couple of days.

What a beautiful day it’s been! When we finish here, I’m headed out to the patio to water those flowers and plants. It’s supposed to storm again tonight, and I may be over-doing it for today, but then I won’t have to tomorrow. I started reading the book, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’m only on page 29, but so far, I love her writing. She has two other books; “Malibu Rising,” and “Daisy Jones and the Six.” I may put them on my Kindle or my wish list for physical books.

As I have gone on this journey, it’s been such fun to develop stories of plain, every day things. Some people I went to high school with have told me they enjoy the memories they have while reading about my memories. That tickles me to death. I’m glad you get happy memories while reading my words. And I’m even more happy to get to write. I’ve checked with the printing company and am waiting for them to respond.

In the meantime, I’m astounded at a message I have on my screen each time I hit “Publish” on a blog. It tells me how many people will receive notifications on the latest published blog. Yesterday, it was 901. WOW! I’m pretty excited about that. I’m getting near 1,000 blogs published, won’t you do something for me? Ask your friends to follow me, like my author page on Facebook, and my publishing company? I’d love to hit 1,000 followers notified in July. Why?

I’m adding two more pages to my website in July; one for Jewell Publishing LLC, and one for Grandma Kathy Books. I’m also adding one for my illustrator, Jordan Ullom. She is a local graphic artist, and is getting quite a resume together. She’s done another author’s book cover, and a musician’s album cover. How fun! Once Jordan gets her ideas, narrative, and photos assembled, we’ll publish her on a page, too.

With that, I’m going to tend more plants outside. And read about Evelyn Hugo’s Seven Husbands. Enjoy the rest of your day! So much to look forward to! And today is pretty cool, too. Take care; see you tomorrow!

Faults v. Virtues

When you think of yourself, what comes to mind first?

“I could lose 30 pounds.”

“I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.”

“I’m a terrible Mom.”

As a child, we’re often taught not to talk about our abilities. “Don’t be conceited,” they tell us. “It’s not polite.” Especially for a girl. I remember reading in a Catholic Girl (was that the title? don’t remember for sure) Magazine, it was stressing the duty of the girl to remain “pure” in mind, body, and heart. Part of the duty was to praise the boyfriend, and be his lovely assistant in everything, to know their place. We didn’t hear “Good Job!” every time we did something. Some of us were told a “B” wasn’t good enough, it should have been an “A”.

Wow, that was the late 50s and early 60s for you. No more. We weren’t supposed to be smarter than the boys, or stronger, or better at doing anything. Wow. There are many very intelligent women, strong women, who are the best at what they do. How sad we were instructed to dumb ourselves down. How can we live fully is we pretend to be less than what we actually are?

I, for one, hadn’t a clue what I was going to do with the rest of my life after the kids grew up. I didn’t want to hover over them, after all, you have them to send them out into the world. I loved my kids to pieces, and knew I was happiest with them. I couldn’t keep having kids because I didn’t have a life plan.

Making the decision to go to community college was the best thing I ever did. Having a lot of interests made it a little harder to decide what to do. I decided on Medical Secretary. I earned a certificate, but found a job at ConAgra. Lots of on the job training by observing a huge business working. It was amazing.

I took many business classes and was finally offered a programmer trainee position if I completed a certification program for a year. I would have been crazy not to do it. It launched me way further than I could have imagined.

By learning I had value, talents, abilities, I experienced a lot of growth as a person and in my career. I finally knew I did a good job. While I think kids may not need constant praise, I believe some is needed. Too many wounded adults are walking the earth. Many others don’t realize they are. We need to learn to accept our virtues and talents. Otherwise we can be overwhelmed by our faults. Those two sentences from Robert G. Coleman leapt of the page at me this morning. So many of us spend time tabulating our faults. We need to tally our virtues. Take some time doing that today. Do it every day. Be fair. You will discover your worth.

Self deprecation can be funny, we need to laugh at ourselves. Taken too far, it’s not good. It’s only recognizing part of ourselves. We need to recognize all that we are in order to become all we can. Don’t let your faults define you and your legacy. Start today. Appreciate yourself. And make it a habit.

Have a beautiful day. It’s lovely outside in the shade. Going to check the plants now. Be safe. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday’s Ways

Typically called Hump Day, I find myself looking forward to having lunch with a couple who have been good friends forever. I went to elementary school with Jan, she married Steve in 1976, I believe. It’s the only wedding I was a bridesmaid for, which made it all the more special. They are awesome people, both attorneys, raised two handsome lads and now have a bunch of grandkids. Retired on a lake in Missouri, where the family is. They’re in town for the College World Series, a great event for Omaha.

The cable service Mom has her phone service on is terrible. She is constantly losing service. The wiring in her part of town is jimmy rigged. What is that? The Urban Dictionary defines it as:

Done or fixed half-assed.

Sorry, there is no polite way to put it. A lot of people put a quick fix on things only to have the continue to break, not work, break down, and cause lots of angst.

I think it’s terrible a 93 year widow, who is nearly blind (according to her) should have to wait from Tuesday morning until Thursday afternoon for a tech to come out. Why can’t they have an emergency tech/techs for things like that? Her Lifeline wouldn’t work either (I think). But she doesn’t like to use it, the EMT’s may let her cat out. (Seriously, it’s happened twice. We’ve sternly counseled her not to worry about that.)

I may stop to see her to make sure she’s ok after lunch. It’ll help ease my brother’s mind, I think. He does a wonderful job of checking on her multiple times a day. It’s convenient for him, he is across the street and a couple houses over. It helps my youngest brother and me. Otherwise, we’d all stop and see her on a rotating basis.

I’ll tell you, my second COVID booster (Moderna) was uneventful, but the arm is really painful! I don’t know when an injection has been painful lately. Before I was on Medicare due to age, I had to pay for a Shingles shot after radiation for breast cancer. Radiation makes it possible to get shingles from the treatments. Isn’t that crazy? The shot was $250 when I was 57. Wow. 57. That was a good year, seems so long ago!

I stopped by Mom’s after lunch. Good thing I did. Her toilet stopped working. No water in the tank, handle lever and flapper appear to be working properly. With no phone, she could not call the plumber, so she asked the man who delivers Meals on Wheels to call for her. No answer. He called her neighbors. No answer. Both men left messages, but the plumber never got the messages.

I stopped at 2:30, called the plumber, and several phone calls later, they finally said they’d come after 4. They’ll call me (remember, the phone tech cannot come until Thursday afternoon), then I’ll call my brother. Hope they get her fixed up soon. She’s a nervous wreck.

Talk about a story getting hijacked! This sure didn’t go the way I planned this morning! It’s time to go to the VFW Post 2503 for dinner and visit with friends. Hope you have a good evening, and we’ll chat tomorrow.

Tuesday’s Trips Around Town

What a beautiful Tuesday morning from the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. Wow, it’s not supposed to break 90 degrees today. What a shocker! This is a summer cold front in Nebraska; 88 degrees predicted for a high. Blessings.

I have to say, some days the daily meditations of my book “Days of Healing, Days of Joy, Meditations of Adult Children,” really hits is out of the park. (The NCAA College World Series in is Omaha yet again, as it has been since the 1950s, plus I love baseball!) Today it had a quote by Montaigne. Who is that?

Montaigne was a philosopher of the French Reniassance. He popularized the essay as a literary genre (who knew?) He was admired more as a statesman than an author. His quote was:

“Marriage may be compared to a cage: the birds outside despair to get in and those within despair to get out.

Some people believe, “If only I were married, I would be happy.” This is not true. I can tell you, if you’re married to the wrong person, you will not be happy. Some people believe if only they were married, they would not be lonely. Wrong again. If a relationship isn’t right for you, you will be lonely.

If a marriage is healthy, it can be a mighty hedge against loneliness. If not, it can be the container for many, many problems, issues, and misery. The quest for happiness has not one thing to do with your marital status: it has to do with your own self-esteem. If you are working on your faults and deficiencies, and have learned to think well about yourself, there is no limit to the happiness you can achieve: married or not.

It’s been a hard day. I love visiting with old friends, even those who are quite ill now. I will not abandon them. They mean too much to me. Yes, it’s not fun to see their deterioration, but I will not desert them. Tomorrow will be easier. Lunch with a longtime friend from elementary school and her husband. It’ll be a great day.

Have a beautiful evening, and we’ll visit again tomorrow. Blessings on you and your families. Keep them close. You just never know.

Monday Morning Moving In Again.

I love spring, summer, fall, and winter. Seasons have been part of my life forever, and I can’t see me moving to a warmer climate. Don’t want to be away from family; from all of our grandkids; or from two of our five kids. It’s home, wherever the Babe is.

I have nothings scheduled this week; no pesky doctor’s appointments; no VFW Post 2503 meetings, nothing but whatever we decide to do. It’ll be a good week to visit a couple of friends who are in ill health. Friendship transcends illness, and bringing brightness into the lives of folks who are confined for whatever reason. Call or visit your friends; you’ll both feel better.

My daily meditation book today talks about the labels we have in our lives. Do they reflect the truth of our actual living situations? What’s that mean?

“No pain, no gain.” There is a little bit of truth to that, meaning making sacrifices for your goals is necessary. It does not guarantee success.

When I was married before, I believed in sacrificing my wants and needs, along with a lot of prayer, I would win favor with God. As I matured, I realized God doesn’t want us to stay in bad marriages “for the sake of the children.” He already showed his favor by dying for our sins. I believe what we are supposed to do is use our talents and abilities to make our world a better place. We are not supposed to stay in situations where we are belittled, verbally abused, witnessing the same treatment to your children. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

I said I had to divorce because I believed in marriage. It was supposed to be a partnership, not a dictatorship. I also did not want to become a bitter, hateful woman.

After the divorce, yes, it was hard. At the same time, it was easy. Not financially, not when I needed to be two places at once, but I stopped being on guard. I stopped frowning. I never knew my unhappiness showed in my face. A new neighbor told me afterwards, she noticed the difference in me. I never smiled before. Yes, it takes a toll on a person. And the kids. Sometimes, you need to leave for the sake of the kids.

Pain doesn’t pay off when we misname it. This would fall under the first of The Four Agreements we discussed last week. Being impeccable with your word means telling the truth; it means naming your situation properly; it means naming a series of bad relationships properly, not calling it “bad luck;” it means naming our workaholism what it is, inability to play. As the meditation told me, “Pain Only Begets More Pain.” Your situation stays the same. Forever.

I knew I had to change my situation. And you may need to, also. If you are in a physically abusive relationship, leave. Now. There are agencies who can help you plan your escape. Bring your kids with you. No one needs to suffer any longer, especially you and your kids. Please, you deserve better. So do your kids.

Let’s start our journey’s towards a free and beautiful life with us being impeccable with our word. It’s the best start you can make. As we proceed with our days, let’s learn to recognize what gives us pain. Let’s evaluate why. Making changes will only improve your life. Yes, it’s hard. Anything worth it is. My dad taught me that. He taught it to challenge us. It made all of us kids better people. Have a beautiful afternoon, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Father’s Day, 2022.

I remember the very last time I got to tell my dad, “Happy Father’s Day.” It was in June, 1988. So long ago, but I remember it vividly. A guy I was dating and I took the kids to South Dakota, Mount Rushmore to be specific. We loaded my station wagon with all the gear, and I drove us all. By the second night, I was ready to send him home on a bus, directly to his mother. He was pretty self-centered. The kids had fun, and I did with them, but not with him.

I had just attended my best friend’s funeral. Angie died of lung cancer in early June. Her daughter got married the day after the funeral. I hurt so badly I ached. I’d lost grandparents and old aunts before, but never a friend. The boyfriend couldn’t understand my need to grieve. He thought in two weeks I’d be back to normal, and I wouldn’t be sad anymore. I was finished with him by the end of the summer, and never to look back. The other thing that summer trip taught me was never pitch your tent downhill at a campground. After months of drought, the first night we camped, the skies opened up like history was repeating the rains for Noah’s Ark. It was the worst rain I’ve ever experienced. In a tent.

So Father’s Day came, the kids and I walked to the pay phone near the camp office. I had a bunch of change in hand. (Explain to the children what that was. I’ll wait!) I dialed my parents phone number, and Dad answered. He always sounded a little embarrassed when I called to with him Happy Birthday, Happy Father’s Day or Merry Christmas. He was such a humble man. The kids all talked with him, and told him what we had been up to. I got back on the phone, told him I missed him, and we’d be home soon. Looking back, I can hardly believe we would be getting ready for his funeral in six short months.

He would retire, become ill, be diagnosed with lung cancer in October, and die 51 days later. He died on December 7, and was buried on the 10th. What a shock. What a raw deal for him. Finally retire and look forward to doing whatever he wanted, and he got cheated. Wow. I’m sure he was rewarded for his devotion to God, his family, his job, and to being the good example he was to my children. Especially Frankie. Once in awhile even now, he’ll talk about something he and Grandpa did together. I’ll never forget how kind he was to Frankie.

It’s a void, but when eternity comes to mind, I picture getting to be with my dad and his mother again. They were the two most powerful examples to me growing up. I am fortunate to have had a father who was the quintessential gentleman, full of respect for women, and full of love for his family. Sure, he wasn’t a saint, but no one is. His many lessons still live in my heart today.

It’s been said before; if you have your parents, call them. Every time you get the chance. You may not be able to the next time it comes into your mind. Never let regrets have a chance to take root. Say you’re sorry; mend those fences. Life is way too short.

For those of you who still have your dad’s, hug them for me. I hope you all have a beautiful evening, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Stay hydrated! It’s brutal out there, again.