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Southern Eyes

While driving to my parents' house Saturday to pick up my son, I made a spontaneous decision. Instead of rushing back to Thomson like I usually do, I was going to take a dip in the pool and relax. Kevin wasn't too thrilled when I announced my intentions. He has spent every evening after work this summer in that pool, so he was ready to get home where his game systems and stereo with loud, screaming speakers are. But I had not taken the time yet this summer to enjoy the pool.

As I reveled in the luxury of treading lukewarm-and-getting-warmer-by-the-minute water and blazing sunshine (typical August in Georgia), I closed my eyes and thought about how much I love summer. I wanted to stay right there in the deep end of the pool for the rest of the year, and get out only to invite friends for a cookout and churn homemade ice cream.

Since Kevin was there alone without his older brother or friends to engage in cannonball diving contests, my time was unusually quiet and peaceful. At least it was until my cell phone alarm sounded. Then it was time to return to work and take pictures at an event.

But I lingered as long as possible and ended up going to the event with my hair still wet. Thankfully, no one seemed to notice. I guess that's because the "event" was the hillbilly cookout at Thomson First United Methodist Church. Bad hair was the fashion of the day, so no one commented on mine. Either that, or those hillbillies were graduates of finishing school.

As I walked out to my car Monday morning, I exercised my "women's prerogative" and changed my mind. Rather than hang onto summer, I decided I'm ready for school to start. Unlike my cohort, Billy Hobbs, who's crime beat goes non-stop in the summer, I cover the school system. Obviously, that "beat" takes a summer vacation. And this year, they took 10 extra days.

I miss going into the elementary schools and talking to the children. I miss walking the halls just to look at the art work and work sheets on proud display. I'm glad it's them and not me at the academic pep rallies when they wear silly costumes and play even sillier games. McDuffie County school teachers are the best in the world at adapting any situation to a theme.

I miss the "big kids" at the high school, too. Each year, I cover so many seniors and their achievements, awards and events that I feel like they are my own kids by the time they march onto the field for graduation. I look forward to meeting this year's seniors. Hopefully, I'll have time to fix my hair for the graduation ceremony.

Web posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010

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