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Celebrating rain, national ice cream month

Did you know July is national ice cream month? So many Fourth of July celebrations involve making and eating ice cream, it makes sense this month would be dedicated to one of America's favorite treats.

Everyone has a favorite flavor (chocolate or vanilla), a favorite style (soft-serve or hand-dipped) and a favorite container (cup or cone).

Once upon a time, I worked in an ice cream shop, and it was one of my favorite jobs. There's something magical about serving people ice cream because it makes them instantly, innocently and blissfully happy. It is my mission to spread such bliss this summer, so I'll be serving free ice cream from 1 to 3 p.m. July 15 in the gallery. Look for posters in the library that say "Custard's Last Stand." Appropriately, my display cases this month feature information on Gen. George Custer and his infamous Battle of Little Big Horn.

There are two staycations coming up in July. On July 12, we'll be heading to Greensburg to take a Greentown tour and also explore the world's largest hand-dug well. If time permits, we'll be visiting the round barn just a few miles outside of Greensburg. The library will provide transportation, as well as admission to the Greentown tour and the Big Well. I still have a few spaces left, so call me today at (785) 625-9014.

The second staycation will be July 26 to Abilene. We'll be visiting Dwight Eisenhower's Presidential Library and Museum as well as Eisenhower's childhood home. For lunch, we'll head to the Brookville Hotel for some family-style fried chicken. Again, the library will provide transportation as well as admission to the museums. Lunch, which will cost approximately $15 per person, will be your responsibility.

The third installment of my summer movie series will be at 6 p.m. July 31. I'll be showing "Paper Moon" starring Ryan and Tatum O'Neal. Made in 1972, this film includes scenes from Hays, McCracken, Gorham and other nearby locales. It's a Kansas classic. If you've never seen it, this is the perfect opportunity. There will be free popcorn, soda and candy.

Don't forget about my photo scavenger hunt. Clue sheets still are available at the library's front desk and under the Kansas Room tab on our library's webpage. Ten clues will lead you to 10 locations throughout Hays. Have your picture snapped at each of these locations, and you could win a prize, compliments of the library.

I've had a lot of clue sheets taken, but not a lot of photos submitted, so be sure to enter your photos for your chance to win. If you need help with some of my clues, don't hesitate to call or email me, lbain@hayspublib.org.

Last month, I lamented the lack of rain. This month, I'm celebrating the inches of rain we received in June. Multiple times during the last few weeks, I've stood at my windows to watch the rain.

The humidity reminds me of summer in Missouri, but I wouldn't trade the humid air for anything right now. Let's hope the rain keeps falling, filling Big Creek, Cedar Bluff and watering gardens everywhere.

Lucia Bain is Kansas Room Librarian. The Kansas Room is located in the basement of the Hays Public Library and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and by request.