Sweet Summer Time

Apart from the 90 degree days we’ve had already in May–which are way too many for what should be allowable by law–there are signs of summer popping up everywhere.

I’ve had lots of time on my deck this month, what with my nights and weekends free and all. And I’ve even managed to finish and/or start a few books. As in more than one.

Cherries, strawberries and corn are coming in and they are soooo tasty.

And Brooklyn’s Summer Ale, New Belgium’s Skinny Dip, and Sweetwater’s Road Trip are back on the shelves.

Leave it to seasonal beers to help me think about living seasonally. I became well acquainted with Brooklyn’s Summer Ale and Skinny Dip last year…and developed quite the fondness for cherries. I have so looked forward to both for a while. The anticipation of the last month has mounted to the point that when I saw the cherries and Summer Ale in Whole Foods this week, I squealed…and did a little booty dance. Right there in the store.

I plan to enjoy both of those and so much more of summer’s bounty for the next few months. I’ve never been a fan of the heat around here, but I do love summer produce. Really. LOVE. And summer beers. And I will thoroughly enjoy them until about September, when the Indian Summer starts, the heat dies down, the days grow shorter and the festivities of fall start to arrive. I’ll leave the summer produce on the shelf–because it’s not nearly as good at that point–and return to Yuengling, my old standby.

It’s an interesting rhythm, these seasonal changes. I’m starting to really be aware of the differences–the promises and beauty of each–and to really look forward to the beginning of each new season and all it has to offer.

And all that because the summer brews are back on the shelf.

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Never Ever Give Up

If you follow basketball, you don’t have to be a NC State fan to know about the Cardiac Pack of 1983. Coached by the ebullient Jimmy V, those college kids wore glass slippers to the big dance that night–and it was the other team’s ride that turned into a pumpkin. Every year, during March Madness, the moment where Jimmy V realized his kids had won and he had no one to hug is included in every montage on every station covering the tournament. We all remember that moment for Jimmy V…and we all remember his fight with cancer and his immortal words, “Don’t give up. Never ever give up.”

Enter a 15 year old middle schooler with the education of a second grader–who is becoming more of a true adolescent boy every single day. It’s also the last 2 or so weeks of school and he’s pretty much toast. And has once again given up on school. He finally said he was not happy with being pulled out of social studies for yet ANOTHER period of ESL–especially when he was given no say in the matter. He’s tired of school. And he’s an adolescent boy.

And so, we had another weekend at the grandparents’ house with another “forgotten” project. Only this time, the project was forgotten on purpose. And so, we had another come to Jesus meeting with Ryan (and moved his desk back out of his office to a more distraction free zone). Somewhere in all of that, we looked at him and said “We love you and the rest of your family loves you. Bunches. And we are not going to give up on you. You may try to give up on school. You may try to take the easy way out. We know it’s hard. We know you got dealt a crappy hand (OK–that was said more concretely) and didn’t start school when you should have. We know it’s really hard right now. But we are going to keep working to help you and help make it as easy as we can. And we are not giving up.”

And we’re not.

We found out this week that Ryan has been accepted at the Hill Center for both the summer program (remediation) and for the academic year. And we are excited about the possibility that he can get some of the support he so desperately needs. We’re trying to work out the logistics of getting him from point A to point B, but we’re going to make it work.

Somehow.