stars and stripes

Now that I’m actually paid to write, keeping my blog seems more like work. But I am committed to bringing you the most trivial news in Southwest Missouri, so I’ll soldier on.
The Fourth of July: Everyone was here. I’m pretty sure you were here. We got really sunburnt going out on the pontoon boat every day, didn’t we? Setting off fireworks at home was an excellent idea, and we picked out some good ones. They got bigger and bigger, better and better, dangerouser and dangerouser. One rocket demolished the pipe it was shooting out of and exploded in the yard, just a few feet away from us. Very scary. I managed to emerge unscathed this year, though. And for that, I love my country.
Stories: I have written some truly fascinating stories as of late. They include a story about asphalt and ionic emulsion primer for chip-and-seal, the farmers’ market, city and county sales tax, many primary election candidate profiles, space travel, ghost sightings, I’m just checking to see if you’re actually reading this, Madonna, kidneys, kidney beans, the city aldermen’s meeting and voter registration deadlines.
My chair: I like to lower it so that the arms fit under the desk. This allows me to get really, really close to my work. However, I have to lower the chair every morning. What is going on at night when no one is around? Is someone sitting in my chair in the dark, raising it because of their long legs and gleefully plotting my demise? Perhaps they are also examining my recent activity on the computer. Big Brother, are you watching and sitting in my chair and eating my Cheez-its?
The Olympics: I don’t have a lot to say here, just that the Olympics are coming and they are in Beijing and I am really excited. Sometimes I just watch CCTV and cry. I especially like when they show the temperatures in various Chinese cities and they also show photographs of the cities. They show Wuhan and the picture is always beautiful, which inspires me to say, "Who do they think they’re kidding?!?" Most of America, I guess.
The kids: Lane proudly announced to everyone that my friend Christy is his girlfriend. On the day they were leaving, Emma saw that us girls had put on our bathing suits and she followed me around with her bathing suit in hand, petitioning to go on the boat with us. She couldn’t go because they were leaving, and it broke my heart. She wouldn’t hug me good-bye. She just gave me that look. You know that look. I got a similar look from Lane the second time I left for China, when he finally understood what a "really long time" meant, and he wouldn’t hug me, but his bottom lip started to quiver and Aunt Sarah lost her composure until…oh…I haven’t regained it yet.
Ice cream: Oral surgery is a good excuse to really let yourself go.

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