August 18, 2008

Almost over

I've lived by an academic calendar most of my life, and every August, I feel sad. I hate to see the summer end.

It's true that summer has changed as my kids have gotten older. I miss going to the beach with little kids and building sand castles or playing in a plastic wading pool or hearing their squeals of excitement over the discovery of a frog or snake or vending machine. But teenage kids are fun too; I've enjoyed the games of Ultimate that took place almost every night we were home. And I can't really complain about the summer I've had, which began with a trip to the City of Gondolas and has included visits with friends and blogger meet-ups and many trips. My summer has included hiking, canoeing, swimming, and sailing. I've been to the river, to the mountains, and to the ocean.

I didn't go to my 25-year college reunion because I had other plans that weekend, but I did get a nice visit from my freshman year roommate, who came early and stayed overnight so that I had time to get used to the southern accent she's acquired over the last 25 years. I met, at long last, one of my closest blogging friends, the Famous Phantom Scribbler. I even took a road trip to the Ultimate Frisbee Capitol of the Universe.

I did do some work. I chaired a search committee, which entailed all kinds of emails, phone calls, and paperwork. I even had to dress up in grown-up clothes and go into campus every day one week for interviews. I wrote a journal article that was due the end of June, and I organized an event for first year students that will take place in September. I read books in my field and planned out my courses.

But mostly, I've had a relaxing summer, spending time with family and friends or going off by myself on occasion. I spent a weekend at the monastery in June, playing with my new camera, and we went to my parents' camp four times. One July evening, my women friends gathered under the full moon for a ceremony, the same group of friends who will be going off to the mountains together this fall. I spent last week at my sister's house, where I was waited on hand and foot: she made me delicious meals and Tie-dye Brother-in-law kept handing me squares of dark chocolate. Instead of taking care of little kids, I've had a summer of laziness, with everyone else waiting on me. That's been nice.

My life is changing rapidly as my kids get older. My daughter graduated from college. Boy in Black turned twenty. Shaggy Hair Boy will be a senior in high school. Even With-a-Why is a teenager now. So this was a different kind of summer, one in which I had time for myself, time with my husband, and time with friends. It was a summer of transition, a summer of sunshine and thunderstorms and rainbows.

14 comments:

Cathy said...

What a nice "what I did this summer post".

I have a hard time imagining you in grown up clothes. We seen you in other types of dress...and..um.. without...

Perhaps a picture in grown up clothes is in order... just to round out the blog.

Phantom Scribbler said...

I can't believe I made the summer recap! I'm verklempt!

jo(e) said...

Phantom: Spending time with you was one of the highlights of the whole year.

Cathy: But taking a photo of me in grown-up clothes would mean me putting them on again. See, taking clothes off is sooo much easier.

Mona Buonanotte said...

I think we're all due for a naked blogger photo of you...don't you?

jo(e) said...

I don't know, Mona. I'm tanned from the summer, and those tan lines will make me look so much more naked than usual.

Nadine said...

I am not ready for the end of August. I'm just not. This chilly weather we're having today makes it feel all that more like autumn!

YourFireAnt said...

WHAT end of summer?? I didn't hear anything about that. La la la la la la la ala la ...!!! Can't hear ya! LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LAALALAAA!!!!!!!!

Rana said...

Here! Have some sand! *swoosh* And some water! *splash* and some sun *beam* and... and... and...

Nope. Can't fit all of summer into a few more days.

...

What I find hardest now about the end of summer is the excitement of going back to school... when I'm not the one going back to school.

90% of my life has involved going back to school in some form or another in the fall. The handful of years when I haven't (including this one) feel strange.

Sfrajett said...

I'm jealous of your summer, and glad I get to experience it vicariously through your wistful, beautiful posts.

Mike said...

Sounds like you had a great summer! We still have 3 weeks left, but it is very very wet!

Lomagirl said...

Summer's over for me, too, and I wish it had been less stressful and had more children's laughter. I look forward to the summers when they are older and I have more time for myself, but I regret not enjoying this one more. You are a good reminder- an inspiration- to enjoy life more.

Jennifer said...

Sounds like a great summer, balanced between family and work and self. That's my goal, that kind of balanced fullness. I often think of you and your life and your family when these infant and toddler days threaten to overwhelm me.

Songbird said...

What a lovely summer you've had. Ours has a couple of weeks to go, just barely, and when I think about the departures to come---ack, no breath!

Lorianne said...

Sigh. This is the time of year I feel most envious of my tenure track colleagues because of these lovely tales of time spent traveling, socializing, and otherwise un-winding...while I'm feeling tired from two full-load semesters I've taught non-stop since May.

I really wish adjuncts got real summer vacations, or at least an occasional sabbatical. The constant juggling of classes at multiple institutions to keep a steady income coming really does get tiring, especially when tenured colleagues come back from summer vacation with tales & tans from exotic adventures. I'm grateful for the income that summer teaching provides, but it would be such a luxury to be able to afford time off.