As fall approaches, a look back at summer 2022

Despite the appearance of pumpkin spice coffee and baking mixes in the grocery store and the start of "meteorological fall" today, I continue to mark the beginning of my favorite season with the autumnal equinox (Sept. 22 this year).

That said, I appreciate the fact that the kids are back in school (unless they go to Hinsdale Central) and that Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer. With those facts in mind, it seems appropriate to reflect on the highlights of summer 2022.

• Paul McCartney's "Got Back" tour

Almost three months later, when I hear a song on the radio that McCartney sang on that magical June night at Camden Yards in Baltimore, I still think to myself, "Wow! I heard him sing that in person."

• Meeting more 'new' relatives

My first cousin on my birth mom's side, Erin, and her daughter, Kalika, stayed with us for a night in June during their cross country trek following "Dead and Co." for their summer tour. We had met on Zoom, but never in person. What a wonderful opportunity to get to know them better. And to hug.

• Helping find a cure for cancer

The H Foundation raised more than $1 million at its Goombay Bash in July for cancer research. I was honored to make a donation in memory of my mom, who passed away in November 2020 from the foundation the disease hopes to cure.

• Seeing Ainsley water ski

We managed to squeeze in a trip to Bloomington-Normal this summer to visit my best friend and her husband. After years of watching their twin daughters ski, I had the chance to watch my own do the same. She fell twice, got up on the third try, fell again on the fourth and then nailed it on the fifth try with an amazing run.

"That's more fun than tubing," she announced when she finally climbed back into the boat.

It certainly is.

Thank you, Greg, for teaching two generations of this family to ski.

• Capturing the three-peat

The last two times we were named the best newspaper of our size in the state of Illinois we had to participate in the Illinois Press Association's annual convention virtually. What a treat to receive the honor - for an amazing third time in a row - in person.

• S'mores and a sunset at Oval Beach

We ended our annual trip to Saugatuck by spending an evening watching the sun set and roasting marshmallows for s'mores at our favorite beach. It was the perfect end to a week filled with all the things we love to do on our "Groundhog Day" vacation.

• Celebrating sisterhood

Sororities tend to get something of a bad name, but the Eta chapter of Sigma Kappa at Illinois Wesleyan University is responsible for some of the most valued friendships of my life. Nine of us gathered this summer for the first time since 2019 to eat, drink, talk and - most importantly - laugh.

Becky bought us all sweatshirts with lyrics to the song we sang more than 30 years ago - "Sisterhood, oh sisterhood, it means so much to us, it lasts a long, long time, it lasts forever" - and know today to be true.

• First day of school

For years I would watch kids head to back to school in August, wondering if I would ever have a child of my own. Every year I am reminded of how lucky I am to be a mother and to be able to participate in these annual rituals with a daughter - even when there are scowls and protests over first day of school pictures. Ainsley has enriched our lives in more ways than she will ever know.

Summer 2022 was amazing. Now the countdown to fall begins!

- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean