For the first time in eight years, I'm spending the Fourth with friends and family in Rhode Island.
I'm haunted by images of lazy summer days spent skimming dog-eared paperback novels. Memories of rushing out of the house to find the perfect spot on the sand, where conversations with lifeguards, trips to the slush truck and refreshing dips in the ocean marked the passing hours.
And then, of course, there are the bars with the pulsating music and throng of bodies crowding onto the postage stamp dance floor. Late nights spent flirting with strangers, getting into embarrassing situations and then, the silly hijincs that become legend over time as the stories are retold.
That was then.
I'm sure I'll drive back with some new stories - but I'm looking forward to quiet (a sign of maturity?), to catching up with old friends, spending some quality time with family, sitting through the oldest Independence Day parade in the country and watching the fireworks display.
I don't think I'll miss the heat, the tourists, the security, and craziness of the National Mall at all.
Sex is in the news today
British researchers at the University of Hull announced yesterday that men have biological clocks too. They reported that it took five times longer for men over the age of 45 to father a child.
In February, CNN reported on this biological discovery, focusing on a study that appeared in the British Journal of Human Reproduction, that "found genetic damage in sperm starting as early as age 35, might play a role."
And, of course, all the experts agree that men and women should avoid environmental toxins like smoking and alcohol if they're waiting to start a family.
Statistics released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the U.S. birth rate fell to its lowest level since records have been kept. Teen birth rates are down but the number of births are at record-high levels for unmarried women.
Looks like we won't be seeing a baby boom in our future.
Which brings me to our last item. The Supreme Court ruled on two cases dealing with sex: striking down both a gay sex ban and a law that allowed prosecution for old sex crimes.
Any thoughts from the peanut gallery on the Court's rulings?
A force greater than myself - I succumbed to the phenomenon
I had to find out what 6,000,000 people were going bananas over. On Sunday morning I strolled into a bookstore and picked up Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Sorcerer's Stone was sold out).
So far so good. The story is entertaining, the plot moves along rather quickly.....
But what is the big deal? I still prefer Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Tolkein's Hobbit/Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Have I dated myself?