It’s July already! But let’s back up to June for a second!

Wow, July first. Already! Usually, I’m chomping at the bit for fall, my favorite season. Usually as soon as winter hits, I’m ready for fall again! However this year, I’m enjoying summer! Yes, the heat, the sky high humidity and all the rain! I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and enjoying the heat more, or if it’s because winter seemed to last FOREVER this year! As recent as a week and a half ago, I was wearing a warm coat and gloves to walk the dog AND I could see my breath! That’s certainly not right in June!

There’s something about bopping out the door without a coat and gloves, wearing sandals and a dress, or a light tshirt and leggings! No fussing around with outerwear!

The beauty of wild flowers, green grass and the birdsong. Wild bunnies are everywhere and Joe and I see several on our daily walks. I’m enjoying the fresh air and beautiful sunrises!

I just turned 58 a couple weeks ago and have become quite aware of time and seasons. How many are we blessed with? For each of us, this is different. I’m very aware of the ages of my children. Grown adults now. I’d like to share with you, a bit of June and things it entailed.

June is known as Pride Month these days. Having a gay son makes it even more special to me. I believe that people from all walks add value to this world and life. Prejudices are hurtful and create more chaos and pain that we simply don’t need. Everyone was someone’s child once. Remember that.

Please explain to me the point of hating a person because they have a different path to follow than you do? How are they less valuable if they happen to be part of the LGBTQ community? Just because a person is part of the LGBTQ community, it isn’t ALL that they are. We each encompass many different qualities in our individual lives. We are all made up of many different attributes and have much to offer as a whole.

I love June and that that it celebrates so many things! In addition to being Pride Month, Juneteenth is also celebrated on June 19th! Juneteenth is the celebration of the emancipation of African American slaves. I just happen to have been born on June 19th and I’m so proud that I was! What a wonderful day to celebrate!

June also brought Rachel home for a weekend! May was her month of graduation, Indy 500 Festival Princess Program activities, like every day, the Indy 500 AND she got engaged! So to have her home for just a weekend last week, was fantastic!

Miss Pulaski County 2020, Taylor Jennings, invited Rachel to emcee the pageant this year! Two of the contestants asked Rachel to mentor them throughout the process of the Queen program. Jenna Zeider was one of them and she was crowned Miss Pulaski County 2021. Madison Butka was the other and she was crowned first runner up!

Rachel emceed both the Little Miss and Mister pageant, along with the Miss Pulaski County pageant.

As her mom, it was a pleasure to watch as she interviewed 17 little children and then host the pageant for the young ladies. She did a fantastic job and I loved every second of it! She stood behind the podium that she donated in 2018, as 4-H Royalty!

The beautiful young lady in shorts with Rachel, is Alyssa (Garnett) Burns. Many years ago, she baby sat the kids and Rachel always looked up to Alyssa. Alyssa mentored and encouraged Rachel to be in the pageant, as she (Alyssa) won in 2013 and also went on to win the title of Miss Indiana State Fair. Alyssa then became a 500 Festival Princess and again encouraged Rachel to apply for that. She did and became a princess this year! Alyssa’s support for Rachel has been so encouraging.

Dawson was asked to help escort the contestants across a makeshift bridge, next to the stage! Tony (husband) and another gentleman, created a ramp for the ladies to get to the stage, as the skies presented us with several downfalls, so heavy, you could have showered outside! Dawson was happy to help and did a great job!

Even great grandma Ethel came to watch the pageant and was happy to see everyone!

When we arrived back home, I asked Rachel for one more photo of her and me together before she left for home in Indianapolis. She happened to catch our dear kitty, Thackery Binx. (Yes, he’s named after Binx from Hocus Pocus). Dear Binx is 15 years old, as near as we can tell. He’s a good old guy and I’m so happy to have captured that photo for her.

Time, it’s continual. It moves too fast, it moves too slow. The days mesh during different seasons of our lives. Now and then, we are reminded of just how fast it really does pass.

It seems just yesterday my kids were Mini 4-H’ers. It doesn’t seem possible that Dawson was done in 2017 and Rachel just a year later.

Events that change your life in a moment show you just how fast time goes. Dawson’s accident and how his life has changed so much is a constant reminder of how what you expect will happen can be nothing at all what you get.

When we celebrated Rachel’s high school graduation, we didn’t expect she’d graduate college in three years either! And now she’s engaged and has plans to move out of state next June!

Time. It’s precious. Those we love, even more so. Don’t spend time, hating those who are different from you. Each of us has something to offer. Each of us deserves to be loved. Each of us deserves respect and support.

The 4th of July is here this weekend. It celebrates the unity of These United States! UNITED! That’s the key word! We come together for freedom and rights! To discriminate against some groups of people is not UNITED! Remember that. I can guarantee you that you know someone who doesn’t agree with things you believe in, or who is part of the LGBTQ community, or has a different take on religion than you do. But united, we come together to embrace the differences. Haven’t we seen how far we can fall when we are divided? Hasn’t this country seen enough pain, destruction, hate and lost lives yet? Come on people, stand UNITED!

Enjoy the heat and humidity of this summer! Even the rain that sometimes seems endless! Winter will be here again before we know it. Snow pants, hats and gloves! Scraping that windshield and throwing down salt on the ice!

Be kind.

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