Summer 2023 - in 585 words or fewer

Were it not for my summer sabbatical from column writing, each one of these probably would have been its own column. Instead, I offer an abbreviated look at summer 2023.

Since June, I ...

• saw my birth mom and birth dad reunite for the first time in more than 50 years when they traveled here for Ainsley’s eighth-grade graduation. Not long after I connected with them in 2020, someone asked me if I ever thought they would meet. “I hope not!” I replied, thinking it would be, well, too much. Within a couple of years I had changed my mind and arrived at the conclusion that I would love to have a photo of the three of us. Now I do.

• spent a week in Saugatuck, this year in June instead of August due to conflicts with Ainsley’s marching band camp. Seeing as it didn’t make it out of the 70s and was 56 degrees on our dune ride (the driver gave us all blankets!), we will return in July next year and hope for better beach weather.

• made up for our shortage of beach visits with a Hawaiian island cruise with my birth father, his wife, my sister and her husband. Waikiki Beach, Wailea Beach, Kalapaki Beach — all made us feel a little better about our shortage of time at Oval Beach.

• polished up my pickleball game at Lifetime, playing with the beginners on Mondays and Fridays and taking a couple of lessons from Bill Voigt, a familiar face at Brook Park in Hinsdale. I hope I’m good enough to try some Saturday morning games outside this fall.

• learned — or should I say re-learned? — more about Hinsdale history than most of you would ever want to know working on our special section celebrating the village’s 150th anniversary. Having also worked on The Doings’ centennial issue in 1995 and the village’s centennial issue in 1998, I’m grateful that I will retire before the village celebrates another major anniversary.

• celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary with Dan. We spent a lovely night in the city — and bought each other the exact same card.

• felt pride in Ainsley’s decision to spend a week on church mission trip to Virginia through Appalachian Service Project. She had a tough first couple of days and some challenges throughout the trip, but she helped make a difference for someone in need and lived outside of her comfort zone.

• celebrated with my best friend, Michelle, at her daughter, Katie’s, wedding, spending most of the night on the dance floor. “I’m usually not much of a dancer,” Ainsley confessed afterward. “But I realized at a wedding everyone is just out there doing whatever they want and no one cares.” So true. I hope she will always dance like no one’s watching.

• convinced Dan and Ainsley to go see the “Barbie” movie with me. It’s brilliant. Go see it if you haven’t.

• read 800 emails about the start of freshman year, covering everything from health exams to gym uniforms to the marching band rehearsal schedule. Am I ready for Ainsley to start high school? I suppose that question is irrelevant, seeing as she started last week. Now — as I’ve heard from many parents of high school graduates — I am about to experience the fastest four years of my life.

— 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