The Happy Place is shrouded in green shade, surrounded by blooming flowers and shrubs.

The Happy Place is shrouded in green shade, surrounded by blooming flowers and shrubs.

Quoting Shakespeare in the title, of course. But so was the season. For the third year in a row, on the eve of the annual “back to school” fall semester faculty/staff in-service, unofficially signaling the end of the summer and the beginning of another academic year, I pause to reflect on the highlights of a summer in review, Summer 2013. Going back to May, what will we remember?

* Ann’s graduation, M.S. in Kinesiology from L.S.U. (We messaged her from the audience to sneak out early while the undergrad’s were going across the stage!

* Trismus! Lockjaw, by any other name. Yes, the endodontic ordeal that nearly ruined Ann’s graduation celebration and, a week later, the wedding celebration in New Orleans. At Chartres House Restaurant the weekend of the wedding, I ordered red beans and rice in favor of a dish that was soft and easy to chew in small bites due to considerable pain of eating.

* The Blue Room at the Roosevelt Hotel! Cousin Winston’s daughter Sarah’s wedding on St. Charles Avenue followed by the reception downtown. Utterly unforgettable.

* Crowley High School Ladies softball summer league. Sarah and I made fast friends among the parents and grandparents of Zach’s softball team during the team’s June summer ball season. We look forward to following this team and hanging out with those good folks next spring.

*The Happy Place, so named by Sarah, as we reclaimed the corner of the yard once served as dog pen and later as a storage area for cutting and stacking firewood. We watched almost every day of the summer end from that Wisteria-enshrouded retreat, rendered lush and liveable by our early-season labor.

* Not all was happy. We bid farewell to friend Carolyn Ward, taken so suddenly and cruelly from us in an auto accident in Lafayette.

*Weekend visits and playtime with granddaughter Payton–We set up the wading pool in the back yard and went on special outings, like the Acadiana Zoo visit in late July.

Summer is kids and popsicles after playing outdoors.  Granddaughter Payton and her buddy Gavin from across the street know how to jazz July.

Summer is kids and popsicles after playing outdoors. Granddaughter Payton and her buddy Gavin from across the street know how to jazz July.

*Getting to know Ann’s boyfriend Brandon in several encounters. The Mojito Lime grilled chicken for our Father’s Day weekend patio party was particularly memorable. How nice that someone else would tend the grill!

*Fried oysters for birthday 61: This year D. C’s Sports Bar and Restaurant right here in Eunice. C’etait bon!

* The Eunice Waltz–I mastered it! Thanks to my former high school English student and now famous Cajun musician Christy Guillory, whose YouTube version of the tune served as my tutor. (The teacher becomes taught?)

* The Nike Running App for the iPhone. I rebounded as a runner. The debilitating Achilles injury that plagued me last year got better and I found my stamina and endurance greatly improved. The App’s statistics were challenging from one day to the next to run faster or farther. Definitely a revival season for workouts.

* One year anniversary in DROP. I keep reminding myself: Technically, I’ve reached retirement! I’m working now because I choose to, not because I have to. My birthday on July 26 signaled one year of DROP complete, two to go.

*Galveston getaway in late July/early August. A Gulf beach.

*The climax of the entire summer was Cousin Kenyon’s boat tour of Galveston Bay, Harbor, Pelican Island, and Bolivar Point. A memory of memories! We saw Galveston Bay and Harbor from vantages that most tourists could never afford to see. Enchanting. Utterly.

As the sun sets on Galveston Harbor, so sets the sun on a memorable summer 2013

As the sun sets on Galveston Harbor, so sets the sun on a memorable summer 2013

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