School’s Out: Weeks 2 and 3

Temperatures north of the “D” have been hovering between 90 and 100 for nearly two weeks. So, most outdoor activities involve water. My kiddos have been dodging sprinklers, hot-dogging in the kiddie pool next door and taking swim lessons. Plus, both Issa and Riff have tutors they see one time each week. I do not want them to lose skills during the summer months.

At the conclusion of last week, my husband, Tracy, returned home from a five-month project in Dayton, OH. He works for GM and has been out of town, M-F plus some weekends since the end of February. When he arrived home last Friday, he unloaded an impressive arsenal of fireworks for the Fourth of July holiday.

Last night, Tracy and several of our neighbors lit the sky with beautiful colors to commemorate our nation’s birthday. We are all so very fortunate to live in a community where neighbors get along with each other. There were a lot of moments I thought of what others — living elsewhere on this planet — have to endure on a daily basis.

The remainder of Week 3 has yet to unfold.

Independent, But United

 Tracy, my partner for life

In 1998, at this very date and time, I was married to Harold Tracy Parish III (Tracy). Some might laugh at the date we selected to say our vows. After all, July 4 is a holiday celebrated in recognition of our country becoming an independent nation. We take time to think about the many freedoms we enjoy.

I don’t know about Tracy. But, I do not view our marriage as a loss of freedom or independence. We are united in most beliefs and ideologies. But, both of us remain free to think, decide, speak, act, and listen. I feel secure in the support we give one another as well as the space to make new friends, learn, pursue talents and careers, make mistakes and make successes.

It is frustrating at times when Tracy and I disagree. There are issues we battle that leaves one or both fuming. But, our unity is stronger than the temporary inner turmoil we find ourselves in. We agree to disagree. It is unrealistic to expect 100-percent agreement on how to solve each problem we meet.

Independent, but united is how I prefer to define our marriage. I am Kate; and — without a doubt — he is Tracy.

No Place Like Home on July 4

There is no other place more alive and beautiful than my own home on July 4. Each year our patio provides an excellent location for viewing all the flashes of red, blue, yellow, purple, silver and green. This year was no different. Spectacular displays from our house as well as from neighbors celebrated patriotism and love for this country.

Sounds are of excited, innocent children — including my own — laughing and shouting in the last glimmers of sunlight. As the sunset, the jack rabbits, mandarin ducks, fountains, snakes and witch’s whistles started opened the show. Then, the noise became deafening but harmonious all at the same time with the more powerful rockets and bombs. Beautiful showers and sparkles lit the sky until 2 am.

Some Thoughts About Our Country

Could you see our country coming together in the dawn’s early light? The divisions of ethnicity, religion, celebrity, gender, income, education, profession, parenting style, and politics fade. Not to diminish the value and pride in one’s heritage, convictions or achievements. But, we all have the same basic life goals. All are striving to accomplish for themselves and for loved ones an existence of opportunity, equality, freedom, fairness, health, happiness, respect, prosperity, security and hope.

Our founders fought many battles — on internal and external fronts — to give all of us the ability to rule ourselves, worship as we please, love who we choose, express ourselves without fear of retaliation, learn, and to protect our families and property. Rather than picking at differences, wouldn’t we accomplish more through unification? Today is about celebrating the unique talents, skills and intelligence we all offer to preserve our nation.

Happy Independence Day! Here’s to you, your family and friends.