I love the summer.

It is my favorite season of the year. After summer, I like spring, then fall, then winter.

I got my fill of winter when I lived in Wyoming for five years. I had enough 20 below zero days to last me the rest of my life.

Wyoming is a beautiful state with great national parks. The people of Wyoming are also very nice.

If you have never been to Yellowstone National Park, which is the country’s first national park, I urge you to go if you get the chance. Most of Yellowstone is in Wyoming, but there are also small portions in Montana and Idaho.

I have been to Yellowstone several times and even got married right outside of the park. Even though I have been to Yellowstone four or five times, I would still like to go back because there is so much to see, including geysers, buffaloes and waterfalls. Another highlight of the summer in Wyoming is Cheyenne Frontier Days. The summers in Wyoming and Montana are beautiful.

Since I won’t get to go out West this summer, I will try to enjoy my favorite season in different ways. I have already been to the beach once this summer, and it was great. I used to live five minutes from the Atlantic Ocean in Florida and could go to the beach anytime I wanted. Those were the days indeed. I was a reporter for a small daily paper outside of Daytona Beach. Now that I no longer live close to the beach I have to find other ways to enjoy the summer days.

When I was a teenager, I always had summer jobs. One year I worked at a co-op in Vicksburg loading up seed in people’s trucks. Another summer I grew sweet corn and sold it to grocery stores and individuals. And one summer I worked as a waiter at Cracker Barrel.

I have had several restaurant jobs throughout my life, including working as a cook. In fact, I invented a sandwich at one restaurant I worked for while in college at Mississippi State. It was called the Hampton Melt. Hampton is my middle name, and the sandwich included fried chicken tenders, bacon and cheese served on Texas toast.

But for the past 18 years of my life I have worked in the newspaper business. My first newspaper job was in Magee, Miss. I enjoyed that job very much because I was a very eager to start reporting since I was right out of school. One of my first stories was covering the Mize Watermelon Festival. I had a good boss too who helped guide me in my early days of reporting. My next job was working for a weekly paper in Hattiesburg. After that I held reporting jobs in North Carolina and Missouri.

In North Carolina, I swam in the streams of the Smoky Mountains to cool off during the summer. In Missouri, I enjoyed the summer by playing a lot of tennis. We would play in the heat of the day until we were drenched with sweat. I also used to be a runner and would often run at the hottest point in the day to test my endurance.

No matter where I live I always find a way to enjoy the summer.

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