By the end of this week I will be in Chicago Land starting my summer job. Nine to five work days and week’s worth of preteens will keep my summer life busy and entertaining. The past two weeks, thus, have been my real summer vacation. Sleeping in, spending time with the people I like most, and simply doing exactly what I want to do has made the last dozen days since graduation a much needed break. I’ve read three books and caught up on my new year’s resolution.

I would have loved to have gone to the beach or on a European backpack trip, but laying out beside the blue pool at The Todd Country Club was a pretty sweet time. I finished a book I’ve had on my reading list for a year, talked to my favorite girls, and caught some of the first rays of the summer—though those rays burned the Jesus out of my back!

For Memorial Day, I’m spending time with my family. Breakfast at Mamaw’s with my aunts, uncle and cousins, watching the sad Hardin County Memorial Day Parade—I remember it being so much cooler—and sitting on the side porch with my mom and brother while Dad’s out golfing. Pretty soon I’ll fire up the grill of steaks, corn on the cob, and mushrooms. It’s been a sunny and lovely weekend.

If I weren’t leaving in a little while, if I didn’t have something in my life that made me move forward, I think I’d scream. But for now, I’ll enjoy my friends and family, and my time to relax with a pinch of sadness that I’ll be leaving it all soon. I’m ready for TT Patton, though; I’m ready to be moving around, to be figuring some things out, and to be doing something I like to do—teach writing.

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