I remember when Karen and Ben’s oldest arrived scrawny, wrinkled, and a month early. Today I was down in the vegetable garden near the main house picking some squash for lunch, when a towering, well-muscled young man sporting a high and tight crew cut strolled in through the gate. As I looked up from where I crouched in the row, I realized that it was Rick. Good looking, good natured Rick. All grown up!

He thoughtfully placed his 6’4″ frame between me and the sun, providing a bit of welcome shade, then sweetly invited me to join the family and hands at tomorrow’s Memorial Day picnic, to be held in one of the equipment barns with the doors on each side swung wide to catch whatever breeze might happen by. Rick explained that while there are some ancient oaks on the ranch, setting up the long tables in the barn provides more consistent shade as the sun crosses the sky. I must say that this is not something we worried overmuch about in Michigan in late May!

This area of Texas is enduring what the meteorologists call an “exceptional drought,” so Rick apologized because there won’t be the usual late evening campfire to wind up the holiday. Truthfully, I can’t imagine wanting to sit near one in this heat!