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After contemplating which upstairs windows to leave open and which ones to close before departing the house earlier this week, I thought about how threats of showers and thunderstorms are such a part of summer.

So are sleepovers, soggy towels, messy spills – and goldfish.

That’s right. Seeing the recent photograph in The Buffalo News of two girls carrying plastic bags filled with water and the goldfish they had won at Old Home Days in Williamsville made me laugh. Our daughter won two goldfish there this week, too. So lucky!

As one friend of mine put it: “Every family has a brush with goldfish.”

Frankly, I thought we were done with goldfish years ago. But no. They’re back and swimming happily around in a fully accessorized fish tank in her bedroom. The tank sits not too far from the hermit crabs’ “crabitat,” on a dresser near the dog’s bed. I am feeling outnumbered by pets. Again.

A few other thoughts and observations as we move toward mid-July:

• Watering our potted ferns and flowers on the front porch in the early morning is one of my favorite ways to start the day. Several walkers usually pass by the house, and I smile and wave and mouth “good morning.” I do not speak. I have learned that my voice will awaken our dog and alert him that something very exciting must be about to happen. He will start barking, and this causes way too much ruckus at that early hour.

• Speaking of early, for some reason I have taken to checking out SkyWatch in the newspaper this summer – the daily sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset times. This interests me.

• Standing in line for hot dogs one recent day had me listening to the various condiment combinations people order. Mustard, ketchup and pickle. Mustard, onions and relish. Just mustard. Extra pickles on the side. The WORKS. No one in a group ever seems to order the same combination. So I wondered: At what point in their lives do people settle on their favorite? And do they ever deviate from it? I bet not too often.

• I am trying to convince our daughter and any sleepover guest that it’s the shut-eye they get in before midnight that is so very important. It’s what my mother always told me, I tell them. They’re not buying it.

• With the recent heat wave, my mother finally made the switch to her all-white “summer bedding,” swapping her heavy comforter for a lightweight one. This tops a pristine white cotton woven blanket, sheets and lace-edged pillow shams. A few days after the switch-a-roo, she called me on my cellphone, laughing. She had just dumped a cup of coffee over the entire thing.

• Sheets and towels. Towels and sheets. Where do all the piles of slept-in sheets and dirty towels come from in the summer? Oh, right, sleepovers.

And clumsy mothers.

email: smartin@buffnews.com