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Opinion: Summertime, recreation, and a surprise from the past

I hope everyone will enjoy the Independence Day holiday. That was the last summer holiday until Labor Day on September 2.

We are in the clutches of summertime. After enjoying temperatures in the high 90s, this weekend we are set to experience triple digits.

I saw, what I assumed to be two groups of cross-country runners earlier this week. About 10 or 15 boys and the same number of girls were running on Granada Drive. Even as warm as it was they seemed to be having a grand old time.

The streets are filled with couples and families walking in the evening many of which have their dogs with them. I am not used to people walking in front of our house. We lived for about three years in gated communities with little or no traffic. It is interesting to watch the world pass by.

I had a delightful surprise this week. I received an email from a woman named Connie Moren. She and my eldest brother Rocky were an item in the sixth grade. They went to James Monroe School and rode the bus together.

She wrote that after I ran the photo of my dad and brothers, she realized for the first time I was Rocky’s little sister. She had in her possession a garnet and gold ring he had given her. He told her it had belonged to our mother and she thought I should have it.

We met at a popular coffee shop on Howard Road. The ring is a simple cut with a red stone and two small white stones on either side.

I have no memory of the ring or my mother ever wearing jewelry except her wedding ring. Mom had a sensitivity to dish soap and most household cleaners. I would have been about five years old when he gave her the ring.

She said during the intervening years she had attempted to return the ring to my brother but he wouldn’t take it. I don’t have many keepsakes of my mother and I am delighted to have it back.

Summertime is a great time for barbeques. Most magazines have recipes for patriotic dishes. Salads made with strawberries, white cream, and blueberries. Cakes with multi-layers and red and blue food coloring to go with a white layer cake.

Family favorites can include homemade ice cream. Most people rave on how good this frozen treat can be.

It always struck me as a lot of work for a treat on sale at most stores.

The outdoor grilling of burgers, hot dogs, steak and ribs are also very popular in the summer.

It keeps the house cooler while the food is cooked outdoors. Salads made with mayonnaise must be handled with care and kept refrigerated to avoid spoilage.

Gathering families for backyard cookouts is a brilliant way to enjoy our relatives and while away the summer.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a great weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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