It's the end of another school year. Both students and teachers are excited. They can now sleep in each morning and not get up at the crack of dawn to be at school. Some students will use their time for sports; others will find a job to earn money, and some will go on vacation with their families.

As a former teacher, the last day of school was always bittersweet. It was sad to tell the students goodbye and reflect on the wonderful teaching moments we had throughout the year, but also I was happy to have more time at home with the family. It always saddened me to pack up my room, put the posters and bulletin board materials away for the summer, yet the knowledge that I'd have new students in the fall brightened my thoughts.

Have you set some summer goals for yourself? Do you have plans to enrich your life by taking an online course, perhaps learning a new skill such as gourmet cooking? The Internet has opened up new horizons. Maybe you are helping your church with this summer's Vacation Bible School program. There are numerous activities to fill our time.

Living here on the beautiful Emerald Coast, we have many outdoor activities available. Crestview has many lovely parks, and the beach is about 35 minutes away. There are also several campgrounds within about an hour's drive. Perhaps you are planning a vacation to another state to see family, or perhaps you have family coming to visit since we live in such a beautiful area. It is always fabulous to see friends and family and get to catch up.

When we lived in California, we pretty much spent our summers at Disneyland while my poor husband worked; he would sometimes join us in the evenings and we went as a family after church on Sunday. We also had the beach about an hour away, but the beaches in Southern California are not gorgeous with soft, white sand as we have here in Northwest Florida.

If you happen to run into your children's teachers over the summer, thank them for all their hard work and know that they will be back in August teaching a new group of students. 

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.