What an absolutely awesome past few weeks of weather we’ve had. Am I right? I recall a column I wrote last year at about this same time, with a desperate plea to Mother Nature to turn down the oppressive heat. Remember how miserable that was? In a year’s time, we’ve gone from setting record highs to record lows. And I’m lovin’ it.
Even better, Columbia has had an extra special visitor for the past month – my little sister. She hails from the great state of Texas, and she was able to spend a month up here in the wonderful Midwest with my mom and I. Soon to be a sophomore in high school, she is growing up entirely too fast and it blows my mind to know that in the relatively near future, she’ll be old enough to drive herself to school and even possibly drive up here to visit us. I still remember her in cute baby form like it was yesterday.
We’ve had an amazing visit and enjoyed all kinds of fun activities, including her first trip to the St. Louis Zoo, storm chasing, fireworks out at grandpa’s farm, lots of shopping, fishing, eating tasty food, and many of games of washers in the backyard (she’s actually really good). Typically, she’s not able to visit for this long of a period, but it worked out that way this year and it was a real delight to have her around.
The timing of her visit worked out well for another reason, too. Our grandpa, who we love and greatly respect, is facing another dreadful battle with cancer. Between chemo and possible radiation treatments, it’s hard to watch him go through it, but he’s certainly not facing it alone. Whether he knows it or not, he has a lot of people on his side, cheering him on. For any of you reading this that know him, you most certainly know he’s a tough old son of a gun, and he’s already faced-down other types of cancer a few times in the past decade and was victorious. So we’re confident that he’s going to be alright after it’s all said and done. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t use an extra prayer from you and I, just to be on the safe side.
We have another week left before she returns to the south, and we’ll cherish every moment of it. The weather, short of a few storms, is looking good for the week ahead and we’ll surely make a few more memories before she leaves. I hope she knows how proud I am of her for all of her achievements (she had the honor of meeting the Mayor of Houston), and I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in her inevitably bright future.
And if I ever get word that a high school boy breaks her heart or even looks at her the wrong way, God help him because I’ll be on the first flight headed south.