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Today’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere). How are you taking advantage of the extra hours of light this time of year? Do you like it, or do you already miss earlier sunsets?

It’s so funny, last night we had a party: it was a surprise party for me to celebrate my 20th anniversary of sobriety. My dear children planned it all. One daughter put 20 candelaria in the back yard, and my son and daughter-in-law put 20 Chinese lanterns in the tree that overhangs our deck and put LCD tea lights in them. We had a cookout then waited, and waited for the evening to get dark enough so the lights would glow in the dark. One daughter brought her four kids (2, 4, 6 and 12) — and so we had to play endless games of hide-and-seek and soccer etc. to keep the kids amused while we waited for the sun to set.

Finally, about 9:00 it was finally dark enough for my daughter to light the candelaria with three little helpers, one of whom thought it was more fun to pour the sand out of the bags on the the grass. The display was beautiful, and the theme of light was so appropriate. I have never felt so blessed — not just that I had gained twenty years, but that I can still remember day one. To have my children come together to plan a surprise party and feel that it was indeed a landmark occasion made it all the more significant.

True, they didn’t really take the late sunset into consideration — but it really gave us more time to play and enjoy each other’s company.

One sign congratulated me on 7,300 days! (Best days of my life.) That’s the idea, one day at a time. I loved it all!