Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Timely Perceptions

One summer during my second or third year as a teacher, I vividly remember the day I decided to go to the beach.  I'd been putting it off what with having lots of other things to do and I've never been much of a "beach" person but I really meant to go before classes started.  It was August and I went in to school to get a few things done so I wouldn't have to worry about it while I was lazing on the sand.

Now, remember...this was a different time.  We didn't have all the technological advances we enjoy today. I drove a used buggy pulled by a three-legged horse and kept my appointments on parchment scrolls.  It was easy to forget stuff, especially when you couldn't catch a bird from whose feathers you might make functional quills.

Still, it was a bit of a shock when a colleague reminded me that I was due at Teacher Workshops the next day.  And that school itself would be starting the directly thereafter.  How did I miss that????

Suffice it to say, I didn't make it to the beach.

I've had a few similar moments of horrid First Day Realization after that, but none quite so dramatic.  Thankfully, we now have email and school websites to keep us in the loop so we don't have to bother ourselves reading all those pesky letters the administrators send us over the summer.  Now, I always know when school is starting, although I admit to a couple of calendar-confused moments over the years.

August makes me tense.  I feel like I have to get it all done and still practice getting up at 5:00 in the morning no matter how tired I am from arising at the crack of darkness.  This weekend was no exception.  I decided to try using the pressure canner to put up chicken. (and don't think that wasn't a stressful thing requiring that I go on fifty different cooperative extension sites to make sure I wasn't doing anything that would kill me later...)  I crocheted not one, but two, mop head covers for my new steam mop.  (This would have gone more quickly had I bothered to write down what I did on the first one, but let's not get into that...)  I then proceeded to knit two dishcloths, one of which actually came out right and might even be suitable for gift giving.  (The other one was good for washing out the pressure canner since it was a little bit on the chicken-y side...)

Today, I finally managed to get that stupid mini blind installed because you can only stare at a packaged mini blind for so long before you really can't take it any more.  (Three weeks seems to be my limit on that score.)  I vacuumed the carpets in preparation for one more steam cleaning later in the week once the temperatures go down a little bit.  I visited the grocery store where I stocked up on bagels because I will soon be eating breakfast on a more regular basis.  I checked in with the pet supply website to make sure that the Very Complicated Kitty's prescription food is in transit so I don't have to worry about that later.  (It's due to arrive tomorrow...)

I still don't feel like I did everything that needed doing.  I don't even feel close.  I had much bigger plans for this summer than it could realistically contain.  That's always the way, I guess.  I know going in that I won't get it all done, but I still can't help but remember that summer from years gone by when the whole thing ended before I made it to the beach.  Now, I get all...twitchy.  School is starting soon and it won't matter if I did it all or not.

And you know what the worst part is?  Even worse than giving up the days of leisure and not doing all the things I said I was going to do?


I don't even think I'll be missed when I'm gone every day....




SA

10 comments:

twinsetellen said...

oh, dang, it seems like you just got off. If you have to go back soon, how will I continue with my vicarious summer? This is worse than the first flash of scarlet in the staghorn sumac that thrives around the lakes here in Minneapolis.

trek said...

Wow, he really is ginormous! I burned DVDs today so that I might soon back up my entire computer and reformat my hard drive and install a new operating system prior to school starting.

Then I looked at the school calendar and discovered that classes commence three days sooner than I expected.

Knittymama said...

My goodness, you read my mind! I too am stuck in the August cram, realizing that I don't even have two full weeks left, sob!

catsmum said...

sorry can't comment on your back-to-schoolphobia ... I got ambushed by feline gorgeousness.

Donna Lee said...

August is sneaky like that. One might say tricksy. It feels all endless and long and then poof! it's over.

How did the chicken come out? I've never canned meat products before.

gayle said...

The kitties will be busy wondering which one of them gave the staff the day off...

April said...

Aha! They really ARE joined at the hip. Luv dem kitties.

kmkat said...

They will sleep together all day while you are gone, all the better to carouse all night. But they are soooo cute!

Anonymous said...

I experience the lack of time in relation to the things to do list. I just don't know how long things take, how much energy it is reasonable to expect from myself, and how many ways my plans can go sideways. Very frustrating and hard on the self-esteem.

VCK looks slim in that photo. Both kitties very handsome.

Leah

Julia G said...

Handsome fellas! I still get that dream where you are late for class only to find you have been skipping all semester and it's the final, and you wake up in a cold sweat only to realize you graduated decades ago.... We don't have any of those flashes of fall color yet, but we've had some refreshingly cool temperatures to remind us fall is just around the corner.