It's funny. Last year my school got out much earlier than most did. While everyone else used up all their snow days and then some, we got away with implementing "delayed starts" and had days to spare once spring rolled around. In addition, we didn't go back until after Labor Day so it ended up being one of the longest summer vacations I've ever had.
Oddly, I didn't really enjoy it like I should have. I found myself worried about not using my days well or running out of time. I ended up feeling anxious about not savoring my summer instead of just shutting up and savoring it. I think this might have had something to do with the upcoming job change and my knowing that The Bad Job At The Middle School That No One Else Would Take was looming.
This year was different. We were slammed with snow days, the first few coming in succession as an ice storm had taken out the power to the whole area. This was before the Christmas bells even began tolling and it got worse from there. We had to go well beyond our scheduled closing date in order to make up our days. Even the ones we'd built into the system were not enough to sustain us. With Labor Day coming later this year, we are going back early. It is a short summer this time around.
In spite of that, I really did get into the spirit of this summer vacation. I honestly can't recall the last time I left the classroom behind me on the last day and let all that school stuff go without a second thought. It was a tough year, but I didn't reflect on it once. I simply summered.
But all good things must come to an end and summer vacations are no exception. This one is done. Some things just have to be set free. Like moths that flutter in through the tear the AGK made in the screen, summer is better off for being sent on its way before it eats more of the socks. I don't know why I felt that was an apt comparison, but I'm sticking with it. It's theme-based and that somehow makes it seem OK.
So here it is... the final review of Summer Vacation '09. As I do every year, I made out the Index Cards Of Summer Organization well in advance so as to have some kind of structure during this time of leisure. (Otherwise I tend to lie around demanding that someone feed me grapes then getting cranky when no one does so) Rather than listing all the things I wanted to get done then trying to come up with creative excuses for not doing them all, this year I decided to simply give myself a few categories with which to work and then jot down what I did that fit. We don't need a complete run-down, but here are a few of the things that I thought might be worthy of the jotting:
Stupid Medical Stuff: Before the first week of vacation was done, I'd managed to get to both the doctor and the dentist. Getting that sort of thing out of the way is a coup and don't try to tell me different. A+! (I put off the visit to the optometrist and the whole bifocal thing, but we don't need to discuss that...)
Summer Of Compensatory Knitting Socialization (S.O.C.K.S): Every summer, I vow to travel down to The Yarn Sellar and knit with others in order that I might relearn all those social skills I let lapse during the winter months as I knit alone. This year's score? That would be an F. A big one. I have no excuse other than pure laziness on my part. It was just too easy to make excuses for not finding my shoes every time Tuesday rolled around. And every Wednesday, I regretted it. I always enjoy spending time with the other knitters and I don't know why I couldn't find it in myself to do a better job of it this year.
Visiting With The Vegetables: The first day of vacation was a Wednesday, I think. If not, it was the second. Either way, it poured. But I still went to the Farmer's Market and bought fresh produce just like I said I would. I missed two trips this summer. Once because I had an appointment with the eye doctor and the other because I was without transportation. Otherwise, I went faithfully every Wednesday and may even be dating The Produce Guy With The Little Stand Down At The End. Or not...it's hard to tell, but we sure do have good banter. The only reason I'm giving myself a B+ instead of an A is because I didn't always manage to eat what I bought. But still...
Playing With The Wool: I did pretty well there, too. While I didn't finish "The Dishcloth" (with sleeves) as I said I would, I did crank out good deal more of the knitted stuff than last summer. I even wrote it down on the appropriate index card. They were, in no particular order: The Socks I Started When There Was Snow On The Ground, A pair of Bripples, 2 Octagonal Swirl cloths, 1 Nubbins cloth, 1 crocheted cloth, 1 Grandmother's Favorite cloth, 1 Doily cloth, 2 Darryl Waltrip cloths and the Rose Trellis Scarf. I started an Invisibility Shawl and have a pair of ribbed ankle socks fairly close to the finish line.
Spinning didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped. I finished up some merino and a few small blended batts but that was about it.
However, in light of last year's poor showing with spindles and needles, I still feel like I deserve an A for effort, if nothing else. I can afford to be generous with me.
I also did a lot of reading, cooking and napping. I managed to tidy up the bedroom a bit and get rid of a bit of the clutter in there. There was some champion lolling about while watching TV and I don't think you will find two other cats in the world so well-snuggled as mine. The blogging suffered a bit and I finally had to throw in the towel on the nightly posting, but I really do think that was for the best. The time had come for me to take a step back for a while and the restful days of summer seemed like as good a time as any.
All in all, I had a wonderful summer vacation. And I don't think I've ever been sorrier to see one end. But ending it is. Tomorrow, I will hoist myself out of bed (literally since I'm still trying to deal with all that summer resting and noshing weight), put my coffee in a travel mug and point the car south. I will then sit through a day of teacher workshops in preparation for the arrival of students on Wednesday. It's over whether I'm ready or not.
I've been trying to explain this situation to the cats for the better part of two days now. Today I was especially blunt about the matter and did everything in my power to get them to understand that tomorrow will not involve the same degree of snuggling they've enjoyed for the past two months.
There was little in the way of of response.
I doubt that anyone even heard me.
This is going to be a rude awakening tomorrow morning, I fear. There will be a great deal of confusion and probably more in the way of hurt feelings than I like to see. Tomorrow evening promises to be filled with recriminations and the need for me to repeat everything I've been saying to cats who can't be bothered to listen. I suppose I could have been more forceful about it, perhaps tried harder to wake them up...
In my defense, though...could you?