If there’s one thing that makes me smile, it is when we get the chance to highlight kids in our papers. The front pages of the July 27 edition for all three of our publications – Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon – featured plenty of youngsters and that really gave me a sense of ‘normal.’ We would typically have some focus on kids in the local community in most of our issues, but that fell far to the wayside during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we transition more to an endemic scenario, and schools return to regular session, I look forward to being able to feature more kids, more often. We saw a mostly ‘normal’ school year last year but many events were still not back to full-fledged, before-the-pandemic status.
And even though some areas are seeing cases on the rise and many people still prefer to wear masks on a routine basis, it looks like we get to start the school year with classes in session, kids back on campuses and all extracurricular activities back on the table.
This is also inherently a busy time for us, with school and sports gearing up, lots of community events on the calendar and the holidays – I know, I know – really not that far away.
For the fall season, I must offer apologies right now to the senior football players and cheerleaders of Escalon High School; my scheduled vacation in the fall will mean I will miss Senior Night. That’s a tough one; I didn’t know when my daughter, son-in-law and I were looking at what dates would work in October that the one we settled on would fall on EHS Senior Night. We had to fit in the trip to upstate New York after my commitment to the Relay For Life of Greater Stanislas County was completed (Relay is Oct. 8 and 9 at John Thurman Field in Modesto) but before the fall wedding of a friend later in the month. I also had to check with varsity head coach Andrew Beam at EHS to make sure I didn’t miss the rivalry game with Ripon (Oct. 21) so that left our trip with a very small window of opportunity.
Long story short, the trip was already booked when I got the final schedule for Cougar football, with Senior Night happening while I am gone. So, my apologies to the those in the Class of 2023; I love being on the field when the senior football players, cheerleaders and their families are recognized for all their dedication and contributions throughout their high school careers.
Nevertheless, I am excited for the opportunity to visit family and friends back east and have them meet my granddaughter.
She isn’t quite walking yet but crawls faster than should be allowed and already pulls herself up on things. At just over six-and-a-half months old, she is always busy exploring her toys and anything that is within reach, babbling a little bit, and she loves her black and white flash cards with shapes, patterns, animals and food that her dad got her.
There are times when she is the exact replica of my daughter at that age; right down to the color and texture of her hair, her little round ‘pumpkin’ head and her sweet smile. Her eyes have basically stayed the same color since birth, inheriting her dad’s blue-gray color, but Judd and Ally have also reported seeing some flecks of green in her eyes when the sunlight hits them just right. Flecks of green would be courtesy of me, and though Ally didn’t get much green in her eyes, she is happy her daughter did.
Me, I’m just happy that whether I am visiting in person or Ally calls me via FaceTime, those eyes of Lorelei’s light up whenever she sees me.
Sure warms a Grammy’s heart.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 847-3021.