Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer Vacation Revisited

I just read again my post of June 17th, written on the eve of seven long, uncluttered weeks of freedom. Ahh, summer vacation, that carefree time of year when I can set my own schedule, relax without guilt, and accomplish some long-overdue chores and projects. Well, I stand corrected. Those seven long weeks turned into seven very short ones that soon filled with jobs and responsibilities, few of which were on my to-do list. And here I am, at the end of summer vacation. It's Sunday evening and once more, "tomorrow's a working day," my first day back at school, so I must hurry and finish this post so I can get to bed as early as possible in hopes of getting up on time at 5:00 a.m.

Let's see, what did I do this summer? Cleaning took up a goodly amount of time: the screen porch was covered with last fall's ladybugs, sawdust from the kitchen remodel, and this spring's healthy dose of pollen; the house had been sorely neglected in the end-of-school rush, and I still haven't given my car it's once-a-year thorough cleaning inside and out. Once I made some headway in the cleaning department, I tackled the painting awaiting me at the farmhouse. Now that took way longer than I expected! My plan was to get the kitchen, dining room, and pantry all painted, and I never made it out of the kitchen! That whole story is another post I've been writing in my head for the last two weeks; obviously I haven't gotten it into the computer yet. Amid the cleaning and painting, my elderly father-in-law's health deteriorated to the point of a week of  intense care at home, followed by a hospital stay and nursing/rehab placement. And our garden, surprisingly enough, has done fairly well this year, meaning some time spent canning and freezing. There were some appointments and meetings, involving trips to Monterey or across the mountains, all of which took precious hours of summer vacation.

There were some good "summer" moments, though. I stayed up late several nights reading a wonderful book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which I highly recommend. I slept in til I was ready to get up several mornings. Robin and I ate dinner on the porch most of the summer, and we still can for another month or so. My dog and I enjoyed some long walks in the cool of the morning. At last, I took a little time to play my long-neglected piano. For the first time ever I painted my toenails (soft pink).

As much as I hate to admit it, there are a few advantages to returning to work. (Eeek, did I just put that in print???) I do accomplish more when I have a schedu....uhh, routine, shall we say. When I know I have to get up, I do, even if it's not quite as early as I'd like. I plan ahead better when most of my days are committed to my employer. A paycheck is always nice, too! So you see, even if my "vacation" didn't seem much like one, at least it was a change from the same 'ole same 'ole. In spite of an incredibly busy summer, I don't have to look very hard to find this sweet life of mine.