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August brings the start of new beginnings, end of summer

Now that the nest is empty, the fact that summer is over is barely relevant to me. My youngest has moved back to college, but she was gone all summer so that wasn't as big an event as it could have been.

For many years the first day of school had an almost palpable feeling to it: It was the crux of a clothes-shopping trip, with much energy tied into what their First Day of School Outfit was, talk of football games and (always) boys, alarms at 6 a.m. so they could get to pom practice, mild rumblings of drama over their teachers and their peers, hugs and love and scoffing over whatever I happened to do or say that's embarrassing or wrong at any given moment.

God, I miss those kids.

The oldest has moved away now that she's graduated from college and found a real job, so we're in that awkward stage that I like to call Are You Really A Grownup? She's a mere three hours away, and though I've already made the trip more times than some may think is reasonable, I'm torn between A) moving on with my life and letting her move on with hers and B) planning to see her as often as possible.

As of now, I want both. And that's OK. This is America, for heaven's sake.

So, it's a typical August in Southwest Oklahoma, where it's the hottest and most oppressively humid time of the year and the air weighs heavy on your skin. The bugs are out there in full force, but truth be told I'm mostly viewing it and them through a pane of glass because I'm working and it's too darn hot to hang around outside for long.

Only my hardiest of potted plants have survived, though there's still a decent showing in front and back. The Wave petunias are getting leggy and a little temperamental over their irregular waterings, and I have some periwinkles that have simply given up.

Once again, my hibiscus' never really did what they were supposed to do, and there are at least three variety pots that have either never gotten off the ground (so to speak) or taken on an unexpected, and not especially attractive, life of their own.

In just a few short days Labor Day will come and go, and then there's that whole Not Wearing White issue to contend with while it's still 100 degrees outside. Prediction: Halloween merchandise soon to follow. These retailers are solely responsible for rushing time along in an unhealthy manner.

On this day, we will all witness the solar eclipse, though I procrastinated and didn't get my hands on any of the special glasses. Truth be told, I'm excited because other people are excited, but a tad indifferent to the whole eclipse concept. One site referred to it as a "quirk in cosmic geometry," and I flunked geometry. But I can appreciate that it's a phenomenon to be appreciated.

So enjoy our brief moment of darkness, let's hope that the animals don't all go crazy on us (rumors abound), and get ready for the Boys of Fall.

In the meantime, stay cool.

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