In addition to being one of my favorite songs by Ludo, Topeka is where I am, currently. I’ve come to visit my great Aunt Sally. I used to visit her every summer when I was younger, but I don’t think I’ve done so recently, so it is nice to spend some time together. Also, I am really looking forward to the forth of July celebrations tomorrow, because I’ve gotten sort of bored of the celebrations in Evanston (where I’m from).
I got here yesterday, after a pretty short flight. On my flight, I started the long process of studying for the multivariable calculus exam I want to take during orientation at MIT. Hopefully, if I work hard this summer, I won’t have to re-take multi, and I’ll have more time to explore my major in my freshman year. Anyway, all I did on the plane was sort my papers into things I could use, and things I couldn’t. Because I had such a large stack of paper to recycle, I was somewhat concerned that the flight attendants were lying when they said they would, in fact, recycle it. I would hate to see all that paper going to waste, and they seemed to just put it in with the trash! But I needed to get rid of it. I also finished a really good book, called How the Irish Saved Civilization, by Thomas Cahill. My friend’s father loaned it to me. I’m glad he did, because I’ve learned so much from it! I learned not only about the Irish around the 6th century (the central focus of the book), but also about the fall of the Roman empire, and a little about the ancient greeks. The book even caused me to refresh my knowledge of greek and roman history, and clarify my understanding of that timeline! Overall, I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s a great read.
One of the best parts of visiting Aunt Sally is her cats. I love cats, so it’s nice to play with them and pet them. Right now, she has four cats that come inside, one that stays outside, and one that she is taking care of for her son, my cousin Rob, who is in Korea. She also has a dog, who stays outside most of the time. My cats are declawed and incredibly docile, so it’s fun to spend time with cats who won’t put up with as much harassment. Pictured below is Godzilla, who is so named because of her Godzilla-like temperament. She’s not very large, but I’ve never wanted to mess with Godzilla. It has always seemed like a very bad idea.
Today, Aunt Sally and I have run some errands and decorated the house for the Forth of July. Everyone in Potwin (her neighborhood) goes all out in decorating for the forth of July, so Aunt Sally felt she had to get with the program. She has a US flag, a Kansas flag, and a Potwin flag. We had to put hooks in the side of her house to hang the flags, because the rings in the flags did not always fit the preexisting hooks. I had to climb a ladder to hang the flags, and I also had to operate a power drill while standing on a ladder, which frightened me a little. I don’t have very good balance, so I usually avoid ladders, and heights off of which I might fall, in general. Then, I stuck a bunch of little flags in the ground around her house, sort of at the place where her yard met the sidewalk, and along the pavement walkway up to her house. The overall effect was very patriotic:
Also, as you can see, the houses in Potwin are just beautiful (as is Aunt Sally’s prize-winning garden). They are all painted wooden houses, and when you drive down the street with all of these differently colored but similarly styled houses, the effect is very impressive. I’ve never visited for the forth of July, but the quality of decorations around the whole neighborhood makes me really excited for the quality of the celebrations! I’m most looking forward to the parade and the potluck. I will get to meet a lot of my Aunt’s neighborhood friends, I’m sure, which will be really nice.
Overall, life is good! I am very happy to be in Kansas and start out my summer adventures, and it is really nice to see my Aunt Sally. I still have plenty of time to read and study, which is a pleasure over the summer, as opposed to more of a chore, which it can become during the high-pressure school year. Next post I’ll write about the forth of July celebrations and the painting thing to which Aunt Sally and I are going on Sunday, so stay tuned!