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We’re home, back in our own bed and in our “somewhat regular” routine. It’s always fun to travel but it’s also very good to get back home.

Danny and I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed many journeys. In our own country and in other countries, as well. We’ve broadened our horizons (as my father used to say) about other cultures and seeing new places, and I feel very blessed to have been able to do this. That being said, the older we get, the more we appreciate everything we have right here at home.

Nothing compares to sitting on our patio and enjoying music and a nice cold beer or glass of wine and, as Danny says “taking in the afternoon.” We’ve spent a lifetime creating a beautiful backyard and we can spend hours talking about Todd and Julie and their activities and adventures while growing up at the lake. It was a much smaller, quieter neighborhood where there were empty lots and available property back then.

I was talking with Julie last night and explained I had watched a professor who did a lengthy study on our young people and how social media has vastly changed the current generation of both kids and parents. They have found that more time spent on social media does one thing. It makes these young people feel isolated, lonely and many times depressed. As everyone knows, there are bad comments on social media and these young people see it immediately, especially if their name is mentioned. Being a teenager, it’s not always easy to figure out anything about yourself because you lack the experience. Most of the time you’re confused and unsure of yourself and social media does not help. As an educator, Julie limits time her children spend on their IPADS to just a short 30 minutes, if the weather is bad. Our son, Todd and wife Danny, also limit phone time and social media with their three kids as well. Too much time spent on social media is detrimental to young minds, in my opinion (but what do I know, I’m an old Tyta). I believe (and I could be wrong) that It also gives young people the lack of social skills they need to form connections and friendships.

When we built our house many decades ago, we couldn’t afford a tv antenna (Yes, this was BEFORE satellite companies) because our house payment was quite expensive and it took everything we made to take care of our family. We had library day each Saturday or sometimes every other Saturday and we had a lake to swim and ski in, and a private park to roast weiners, barbecue and fish. We spent almost all our time outside. There was never a lack of friends because Todd and Julie both had great friends in the neighborhood to ride bikes and play with. We still have an old mattress Julie learned how to do her first flip flops for her cheerleading. Todd and his best bud, Eric, were always down at the lake swimming and fishing. Later, we finally were able to purchase a VCR and rented movies on Friday nights. And by the way, all the reading our kids did for lack of television instilled a love of reading they still enjoy. So…they did not suffer from not watching television but instead reading opened their minds to much more.

When Danny and I walk now, we never see a child riding a bike. Their parents have purchased golf carts for themselves and their children use them to drive around our neighborhood. Never do we see a child on a bicycle at the lake anymore and it continues to stun and surprise Danny and me. We now have the freedom to walk during the day but that will change when summer rolls around. Children don’t play anymore, they tool around on golf carts with their bluetooth playing music. I feel sad for these children. I wonder if they’re able to make friends easily, if their parents are spending quality time with them because I gotta tell you, when we go to a restaurant, all I see are parents plugged into their phones and their kids doing the same. Yikes! When do they connect? Please believe me, I’m not trying to judge but it’s something I notice all the time. Even at their kids ball games! It shocks me and I’m not an old lady complaining, but connecting with your children is top of my list for parents out there. It’s the most important parenting skill you possess.

I’ve explained to Danny we’re officially getting old because we notice all this when a few decades ago we could care less. We had our family to raise and that was our number one priority. I also believe it was much easier for parents of my generation.

But getting back to a point I was trying to make is this. We enjoy our home on the lake. We love having a pool to swim in and enjoy the grandkids and a big back yard to play baseball, football, soccer, a large spinner swing and the famous see-saw set my Dad welded for my 5th birthday. Makes that famous see-saw over 60 years old and now our grandchildren, nieces and nephews enjoy it. Our grandchildren enjoy the lake house of Tyta and Pop. Todd’s three kids are getting older and we don’t see them often but when we do, I believe they enjoy coming to our house.

Our crew from Dallas are coming in and we will be babysitting two weeks. Easton for a week and then Ainsley will join him the second week.

They are still young enough that coming to stay with Tyta and Pop is a huge treat for them. Swimming every day, having a lemonade stand, going to the park, the beach, riding bikes and this year, Pop is going to help them build a bird house for their parents. One for the front yard and one for the back. It should be a fun project. Danny’s mother was always notorious for keeping children busy when she watched them. She’s been known to give our children a big board, some nails and a hammer and watched them practice hammering nails in the board. Don’t laugh, it is a skill all kids need (especially if they want a tree house).

If you’re a parent, consider limiting your child’s time on social media. Take a minute to pay attention and talk to them about what’s going on in school and NEVER and I mean NEVER be too busy to pay attention to them. Every child wants their parents to be proud of them, so be mindful of praising them on a great job. Never speak negative to them. Raise them up and tell them everything is possible with hard work and discipline.

They need to hear this from you. More importantly, YOU are responsible for setting a good example….they will follow your lead.

Remember, do something nice for a stranger, compliment a friend or co-worker and enjoy a little “Slowin Down.” Danny and I certainly are.

Have a wonderful summer! Be safe and make those memories with your family!

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