I’m not a big fan of summer — at least not in Texas. It’s hot both day and night. And the mosquitoes and cicadas are out at all hours of the day to either feast on your flesh or audibly disrupt any peace you might hope to enjoy.

For months now, I’ve dreaded the arrival of summer, but after speaking with students and teachers about their final day of the school year, it’s hard for me not to feel a little more positive about the months ahead.

Most all of us remember the excitement of the last day of school. We arrived on campus and found the energy and excitement downright infectious. Sure there were those pesky end of course exams, but the light at the end of the tunnel was so close, it pretty well negated the stress. Yearbooks were passed around for friends and classmates to sign. Books were returned to the shelves, desks were cleaned and teachers and students said their goodbyes to one another as the bell rang for one last time. People poured into the hallways, cheering as they met up with one another, and then poured into the parking lot and what felt like the free world.

The students I interviewed were looking forward to days spent sleeping in, hanging out with friends and free of the burden of studying and homework.

Teachers were equally excited, though they still had to get their classrooms in order and complete end-of-the-year paperwork. Those who were headed straight for summer vacation said they were ready to relax at home, spend time with family and do a little traveling.

As I sat inside the front office of Scott Middle School in Denison, waiting to snap a picture of all the kids on their way out, I watched the clock tick closer to the minute of release and couldn’t help but begin to laugh a little. It’s been a long time since my last day of school, but in that moment, I got to experience the joyful feeling one more time.

Happy birthday Friday to JoAnn Ecker, Ronald Freeman, Brenda Moore and Tommie Mayberry, all of Sherman; Mary Whitehead of Denison; Colt Simmons of Whitesboro; Jim Jouvenat of Dallas; and Bettye Thompson Cecil of Rowlett.

Happy anniversary Friday to Jack and Ann Hicks, of Sherman, 61 years; James E. and Barbara Kinney-Smith of Denison, 53 years; and Dennis and Suzann Montgomery of Denison, 16 years.