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Back on the hillside ...

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Every summer solstice (or around the solstice if something got in the way), since 2007, I've come to a hillside at Donner Park to watch the gorgeous sunset, listen to "Sister Golden Hair" by America, and write about the year that just passed. I got here tonight to find ... sprinklers running! I found a bench, but it was underneath a blooming tree and the bumblebees were loud and ominous. I found a dry spot on the hillside ... but now I'm suddenly paranoid about rattlesnakes (they have been low on the mountain benches this summer). So I might skip America on headphones and just play it on my computer as I type.

Last year I lamented how the previous year had been a blur. Compared with this last year, that complaint was nothing, because it's gone beyond blur to whirlwind. The last five years have been the fastest of my life, and there's nothing I can do to slow it down. I made it through another year, and it was a good year, watching the boys grow, being relativ…

Summer 2018: Day 33

Today was a typical workday Wednesday. I worked for three hours in the morning during the boys' swim practices, went to the dentist, dropped Ben off at a friend's house, then worked at a coffee shop for a few more hours. It's not cooling off tonight, but I'm still writing on the porch after Popcorn and I took a long walk that included returning something to the library. Lori and Ben go to Montana in the morning, and I'm staying here with Michael and taking him to his basketball tournament early. Tomorrow is the summer solstice, but I'll wait for the evening to write about that. Goodnight, and good luck.

Summer 2018: Day 32

Now this is the definition of a gorgeous summer day: highs in the low 80s, no clouds, and no pressure to get a million things done.

After some storms rolled through on Monday, the weather cooled to a comfortable level after many hot days. I worked outside for some of the afternoon and didn't have to worry about my Mac overheating. Michael went to Lagoon with his friends, and I took Ben to the swim team's buddy night in the evening while I worked. I also finally finished watching the first season of "The Handmaid's Tale" on DVD. Not the most exciting of days, but pleasant for sure.

Summer 2018: days 28-31

How can four days be busy and relaxing at the same time? Let me tell you ...

Friday was a certification day for work, in which we all just train toward the various certifications the software our agency uses offers. This isn't an easy day, but it's a mellow day -- a chance to kick back and not worry about deadlines. The little break was more than welcome, and I managed to take four certification tests.

Saturday, I dropped Ben off at swim practice and checked out some yard sales. Didn't find too much, but did pick up the last four seasons of "Friends" that I didn't have on DVD yet. Also found two records at Deseret Industries. After I picked Ben up, we met Lori and Michael and Fort Douglas Days, then went to Red Robin for lunch. The afternoon was sort of productive (trimming weeds and resetting the wasp traps, though I spilled wasp attractant on me), and Lori, Ben and I made a quick trip to Costco before it closed later. Ben and I finished the evening by playi…

Summer 2018, day 27

Ben's birthday fell on the craziest weekend of the year, with grandparents in town and Michael's confirmation on deck. Then the next weekend was Memorial Day. Then the next weekend was Michael's graduation and the last soccer game of the season. Then last week school ended and had a swim meet.

Today, we finally threw Ben a little birthday celebration, just four weeks later ...

We had contemplated taking Ben's friends either bowling or swimming on a weekday and settled on day at the pool. We had about 10 kids come, and they had so much fun. Five hours in 97-degree heat, a cool pool, and pizza is the perfect summer day for a group of 12-year-olds. I wasn't even in the water for that long today (less than an hour) and came home exhausted.

I did manage to get the dog out for a walk tonight. This is the type of summer day I hope Ben never forgets. I hope he cherishes these days the way I used to and still do.

Summer 2018: Day 26

Heat. Hot. Steamy. Scorching.

The weather doesn't usually get into the high 90s this early in June. Soon, but not this soon. But that heat has set in, and I sense this will be a hot, hot summer.

This morning began with swim practice for both boys, and I sat poolside and worked. We came and I did my 30-minute workout, then made two Egg McMuffins for breakfast/lunch. I worked outside for some of the day, and in the shade, the heat wasn't so bad. Michael had basketball practice in late afternoon, then we ate nachos for dinner and watched "Queer Eye." We then introduced Michael to the first three episodes of "Arrested Development." Popcorn and I went for a half-hour walk, though it's barely cooling off outside.

More writing is coming, I promise ...

Summer 2018, days 1-25

Oops.

In summers past, I enthusiastically blog every day (or as much as possible), highlighting all the great moments of my favorite time of year. And each year, I artificially pick some day in May that feels summery and declare it the first day of summer. So imagine my surprise when I got to June and realized ... I missed picking a first day of summer, much less blogging about it.

The last few weeks have been busy for sure. Ben's birthday was May 19, with my mom and stepdad in town for Michael's confirmation. School ended, and we enjoyed a fun Memorial Day weekend Saturday followed by two rainy days. Michael graduated eighth grade, and then had a basketball tournament the next day. Ben had a swim meet and Michael already has had two. The weather got really hot, killing some of the new grass I had been growing. I've resumed working from the pool in the morning and in the backyard or porch in the afternoon.

And just like that, we're nearly halfway through June. I've…