I have a confession to make.

There is a problem I have suffered from all of my life, and it is not getting any better. I am the clumsiest person in the world.

Webster’s dictionary defines clumsy as awkward, lacking dexterity, nimbleness or grace — yep, that’s me. I can trip over my own two feet, the smallest change in elevation or just air.

This is not a pretty trait or one that I am proud of. My mother, husband and son know me best and have been amused for years at my trying to walk across the floor without falling. My students also begin to notice after a while in my classroom. I try to cover it up in public, so as not to shame myself and my family.

Any photo of me as a child shows bumps and bruises all over my skinny little legs. I am surprised child welfare wasn’t called. Band-Aids were my best friend. When I was in the third grade, a friend and I were walking to church one Sunday morning, and I tripped and fell into a concrete gully. It took two grown men to get me out. We won’t even begin to discuss my bike riding escapades. Let’s just say I still have the scars from bike riding.

When I was 6 years old, my family was headed to the Gulf Coast for the weekend. My grandmother had given me a small coin purse with some money to spend on my vacation. Halfway to Jackson, my parents had to pull over because I had gotten my tongue caught in the clasp of the purse. Mama still brings that one up on occasion.

In high school, it was a cool thing for the boys to stick their feet out and try to make the girls trip. They didn’t do that to me very much; it was more fun to watch me do it by myself.

I am extremely right-handed. Not too long ago, someone asked me the time. Unfortunately, I had my drink in my left hand. I checked my watch, tilted my drink and spilled it all over me.

Lately, I try to eat or drink whatever color I am wearing. If I know we are having spaghetti for lunch, I dare not wear white. I just can’t take the risk. I have yet to get ice out of the school drink machine without ice going everywhere. Sprite usually ends up all over me by the time I fill my cup. (Yes, Sprite is my soft drink of choice because it is clear.)

Several years ago, I was emceeing a beauty pageant. The podium was placed directly in front a background of lattice work intertwined with ivy. Halfway through the pageant, I realized that the sequins on my dress had gotten caught in the ivy. The more I tried to move and break free, the worse it became. I finally had to stop the pageant and ask someone to help release me from the ivy and lattice board.

My family loves Kool-Aid in the summertime. I make a pitcher every morning, and it is usually gone by late afternoon. Just before supper one night, I dropped the pitcher of red Kool-Aid on the floor. Two quarts might not seem like a lot, but when you are mopping it up, it seems like an ocean. Not one drop was left in the pitcher. I mopped and mopped and mopped until the floor was not sticky anymore. After supper, Steve decided to have some banana pudding. He took the trifle bowl of pudding out of the refrigerator and promptly dropped it directly on the floor where it broke into a million pieces with banana pudding everywhere. When I ran into the kitchen to see what had happened, Steve just looked at me and said, “I think you’re rubbing off on me.”

Summer is coming to an end, but the hot weather is still with us. Here are some great beverages that will help to keep you cool during those last hot days. Hope you enjoy them. Thanks for reading.

END OF THE SUMMER PARTY PUNCH

4 ounces lemon-flavored rum

4 ounces orange-flavored liqueur

4 ounces blueberry juice

4 ounces lemon juice

4 ounces grenadine

16 ounces ginger ale

In a large container, combine rum, orange-flavored liqueur, blueberry juice, lemon juice and grenadine. Cover, and chill. Just before serving, stir in ginger ale. Serve over crushed ice.

BLUSHING MIMOSAS

2 cups orange juice

1 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons grenadine

1 (750-milliliter) bottle champagne or ginger ale

Stir together orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine, and chill. Pour equal parts of the orange juice mixture into glasses with champagne.

TROPICAL MARGARITAS

1 (46-ounce) can pineapple juice, divided

½ cup tequila

¼ cup triple sec

¼ cup banana liqueur

Sugar

In a large pitcher, combine pineapple juice (reserving ¼ cup), tequila, triple sec and banana liqueur, and chill. Dip rim of glasses in reserved pineapple juice. Dip in sugar to coat. Fill glasses with crushed ice, and pour margarita over.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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