Smiley Pie, Summer Bonus, Self-Excuses, and More (7 Quick Points)

In the summer jam, I haven’t written 7 Quick Takes in a few weeks, so I hope you enjoy these!

~1 ~

My friend Olivia came over for dinner this week, so she made apple pie. You never need a reason to bake a pie, but having a friend is special, especially when you haven’t seen her in a long time.

Is Olivia a work friend? My son asked me. And I told him no, that we went to college together, that we lived in rooms next to each other for the first year, and that we were friends from the start.

His question made me think, however, about how many of my friends are at work, especially after working together during the pandemic. We were in the trenches together, even though we were all working from different places, and those friendships are special, too.

~2 ~

Our youngest son is participating in the math program offered through public schools this summer. It is a four-week program that takes place over a period of four weeks for four hours each morning. Just writing all these numbers seems like a lot of math to me.

Since our son doesn’t mind math, we knew we’d have to fine-tune the deal to make this worth his time, so we bought a gaming computer for the family. You can call it a bribe, but I’ll call it a reward. I felt it was worth letting him gain something by giving up so much summer.

So far, I have absolutely no regrets – except for the fact that we have to get up very early to get him to school by 7:45.

I’m 2 minutes late one day to pick it up, so it’s also character building. And yes, I feel appropriately guilty for being late, as I always do.

~3 ~

How do you feel about self-pay at the grocery store? Apparently, many people are not fans. I like them under certain conditions:

  1. When I only have a few items.
  2. When my kids are there to help me.
  3. Before I start scanning and realize it’s a complete disaster.

For the most part, I prefer a cashier who is better at scanning, better at packing, and better at dealing with all the issues that always come up. In addition, I always enjoy chatting with the cashiers.

~4 ~

My girlfriend Teresa gave me lunch at the Milton Inn to kick off my birthday season. We always enjoy our birthday lunch together, and this time it was great. I never take personal experiences for granted, and seeing Teresa is always a pleasure.

July is my favorite month of the year. I love the heat, the humidity, and July. I enjoy everything about him. The hotter it is, the better. I went out this morning, and my glasses were smudged with haze from the outdoor sauna-like nature.

~5 ~

Sometimes you order a stuffed unicorn full of little stuffed unicorns, and they accidentally charge you. This is the kind of problem I can safely accept. I now have an extra unicorn – and three nieces who live 15 minutes away, including one who loves unicorns.

I texted my sister Teresa, “I have good news, I have bad news. It’s the same news. I have an extra stuffed unicorn here, and it’s yours.”

She didn’t jump in the car to come and pick her up, so I guess she might not be as excited as I would have gotten the unicorn surprise. But someone will be. Someone is always happy to see an extra unicorn.

~6 ~

Summer snacks are always different from the snacks our kids eat all year round. Lately, I’ve noticed that we’re going through quite a few pops (but never red ones) and lots and lots of seaweed. That day my son asked me to challenge him to eat an entire pile of seaweed at once. I dared it, and it worked, even when I was worried that the orthodontist would say, “What were you eating when those braces were collapsing in your mouth?”

I also imagine that orthodontics leads to character building.

~7 ~

As we were returning home from church after mass, my eldest son saw the most beautiful dragonfly on the sidewalk.

He picked it up and carried it to our yard. He was obviously injured, and we could tell he probably wouldn’t survive, but he was also pretty cool and beautiful. We noticed it for a while and then let it rest comfortably in our pachysandra.

Dragonflies are incredible creatures.

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