How I Spent My Summer Vacation…with a nod to Sister Mary Elephant
After moving almost directly from a busy summer semester teaching three college writing classes to all my last-minute Assistant Director duties for the Antioch Writers’ Workshop to the nine 14-hour days that constitute the workshop itself (interspersed with an unexpected medical emergency and hospital stay, with requisite follow-up testing, etc.), it was late July before I had time to breathe. And then the “official” week marked as vacation on Hubby’s calendar arrived:
Day 1: Dad arrives from Florida (first visit in two years).
Day 2: Daughter and Grandson arrive from Toledo; evening on the screened porch interrupted by an unfortunate canine encounter with a dying skunk.
Day 3: Son-in-law arrives from Toledo, he departs with Daughter (leaving us with the 2-1/2 year old) for their annual week with 10,900 of their closest friends at the Pennsic Wars; Son arrives from Chicago.
Day 4: Breakfast interruptus as the neighbor’s enormous 100+-year-old oak tree drops a huge limb onto our driveway, burying Daughter’s car (left behind to aid in transport of said Grandson) and damaging our carport/roof. Emergency tree crew arrives to clear the driveway so Son’s car (thankfully undamaged) can leave the carport. Planned party for the evening goes off with minimal disruption from the obstacle course out front.
Day 5: Relative calm, party recovery/clean up; Son departs for Chicago. Donna, our Buff Orpington broody hen, hatches two Silver Laced Wyandotte eggs acquired as “hatching eggs” from a farmer north of us. Current chicken count: 8 (as opposed to the 2-3 we agreed upon after two years of negotiation!).
Day 6: Tree crew returns to finish clean up with added trim work to two large maples in our backyard – chain saws abound! We’re left with stacks of oak and maple logs, a towering pile of rough-cut oak mulch, and a mound of smaller maple branches to be cut into kindling.
Day 7: Dad departs for Florida – on a 6 a.m. flight! Makes for a very long rest of the day chasing Grandson. Then just before midnight, the English Springer has a coughing fit which riles up the beagle which wakes the Grandson, who doesn’t sleep for more than 15 minutes the rest of the night…in our bed…tossing and turning.
Days 8-10: Keeping up with a 2-1/2 year old is exhausting. We love our Little Dude (as opposed to Hubby’s “Dude” grandpa moniker), but how did we ever manage two of our own?! There’s a reason we have children when we’re young. The insurance adjuster arrives to deal with the tree damage, and I’m sure he wonders why he’s not invited inside (Little Dude just went down for his nap!).
Day 11: Weather and life conspire to keep them away, but finally Daughter and SIL return! Grandson reverts to full mama-cling mode.
Day 12: Daughter, SIL, and Grandson depart for Toledo in a torrential downpour, broken driver’s window (compliments of the downed tree limb) covered with plastic. Dude (Grandpa, to the little one) and Grandma have 15 hours to recover before another work week begins.
Day 13: Vacation? What vacation? I now have seven days to finish prepping for three college classes I’ll be teaching this fall. Plus the current WIP that has been ignored for almost two weeks is calling, and negotiations are underway for Jadz 2, and…Happy Monday!