Summer has finally arrived. It is here in full force with oppressive heat and humidity, smokey skies from a few different wildfires burning in Central Washington, and the power of a couple electrical storms that have blown through town in the last week.

It is the anti-school season but that doesn't mean we're taking it easy. The kids have been spending their days in a day camp at a local church and I've been hustling between my day job, my manuscript, college, church, playing with the kids, and spending time with my girlfriend. We are embracing the busy. In the meantime, here are a few snapshots of what life is like in the Casey household.


While doing laundry, J noticed the Nike logo on one of my shirts. He's my athlete (and is currently playing rec-league baseball) so he recognizes those things.

"My favorite brand of shoes," he said, "are Nike and Airwalks."
"Yeah?" I replied. "My favorites are Adidasand Vans."
"Oooooh, I like those too. So my favorites are Nike, Airwalks, Adidas, and Vans."
Then I add in another. "Converse makes good shoes. I'd love to get a pair of Chuck Taylors."
"Yeah." JJ stared into space for a moment. "OK, Nike, Airwalks, Adidas, Vans, and Converse. Those are the shoes I like best. Oh, and Under Armour."

Apparently, he has a thing for shoes.


We spent the Saturday before Father's Day downtown for the annual Car d'Lane car show and auction. Zu found several cars that she liked or she thought were pretty. But of all of them, there's only one she said she would want to own. This Audi. My girl has expensive, and classy taste.


It should be obvious that my oldest is mine. Genetics is a faithful servant. He looks like I did at his age. He inherited my awful coordination and lack of sporty skill. He got my intelligence (although, his mom is exceedingly smart too). And he shares my enthusiasm for all sorts of geekery.

With that in mind, he surprised me when he told about his preferred living arrangement. He said nothing about the size of home. He didn't mention anything about having to share a room with his brother or wanting his own space. Nor did he specify a city, state, or country.

All he said: "I don't want to live close to any neighbors." He's been spending time at his mom's boyfriend's parent's home up north of us. They live on acreage in the middle of the woods. He always has fun there and I think he is growing fond of the idea of shooting targets, building tree-houses, seeing wildlife, and the freedom to wander and explore.

He also told me that if I ever moved onto a large property with a big yard, he would do all the mowing. I'm going to hold him to that promise.


Christian isn't the only one warming up to the idea of a country lifestyle. My girlfriend owns a couple horses and has been trying to get me out to see them. This weekend, we finally made it happen. I've always enjoyed riding but growing up in the Seattle suburbs, the opportunity to do so was rare. Then, Sunday evening, I found myself on Roxy, riding late into the night. And for the first time in my life, I was in complete control of where we went, rather than following a guide.

One of the friends riding with us said I looked natural on a horse. Well? I could get used to this.

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