School is back in session. It’s exciting, really. Although I love the freedom that summer brings, the new academic year always feels like a fresh start. A reboot. A chance to take what we learned in the previous year and better ourselves in the future one. A chance to try new approaches. Listen better. Laugh harder. All the mistakes, successes, and the in-between: a primer for the new year….
Strawberry shortcake has always symbolized summer for me. As a kid, strawberry shortcake was an exciting departure from the more common cookie or ice cream treat. At the thought of it, I am instantly transported to our family dinner table on a hot summer night. My little sister, sitting across from me chattering away, curls balking against her ponytail, shooting off in directions one didn’t think hair could go naturally. Me, quietly trying to hide (unsuccessfully) the day’s sunburn from my mom on my fair, not-made-for-summer skin. The ice cream truck and its jingle approaches, taunting the neighborhood outside. Normally, upon hearing this I would have shot outside with as many quarters as I could scrounge up, but who cares when there’s strawberry shortcake for dessert!…
Heath and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this month (what?!), and in honor of the occasion, took a long weekend by train to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Having spent part of a day in Santa Fe while passing through on a road trip a few years ago, we have since wanted to go back and explore more of the magical city. In anticipation of our time on the rails being as much of the adventure as our destination, we boarded the Southwest Chief train at Kansas City’s Union Station….
I have been in love with the summer weather we have been having here lately. Late-night Midwestern summer thunderstorms, cloudy early mornings, and sunny blue-sky days. There is really nothing like a Midwestern thunderstorm. My years in New Orleans and New York City had their fair share of weather, but nothing compares to the hot and humid rolling drama the heartland provides. This is summer to me.
I was lucky enough to spend this last weekend with my three best college girlfriends and former roommates. Our years in New Orleans bonded us in the best kind of way. Living in separate states makes it difficult for us to join up more than once a year, but boy, when we four former music majors do, it’s full of laughter, storytelling, and all-out song (in harmony, no less). In college, these ladies were all a year ahead of me in school and always, in my eyes, my three big sisters. When they graduated, it was the first time I felt somewhat on my own, the tiny beginnings of the encroaching adulthood ahead; full of change and adjustment, new people, places, and experiences.
And so this weekend, like our other reunions, was all about comfort. A weekend full of “y’all” and “y‘all!”. Late night chats and long mornings full of coffee. Reminiscing on the past and breaking down our presents and futures. Laugh. Sing. Repeat.