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Moving back into reality after vacation takes a lot out of you. It takes a whole lot out of you if you were stupid enough to schedule about a million different things on top of the regular things on the week that you return. Next year, I think that I am pretending that I am on vacation for two weeks, just so that the readjustment week isn’t quite so horrendous–and so tiring.
I have finally had a chance to look back at some of the pictures that I took while we were away and they remind me of how much fun we had and have made the craziness of this week a tad more bearable.
I haven’t been the best about getting a post written every day this summer. It has been a hectic summer, with a lot of “mom” responsibilities in addition to work and household responsibilities. In addition, we had vacation last week and I returned to have a less than great week this past week. I won’t go into any details about anything, sufficient it to say that all appears well, but there was a day in there when I was not feeling like things were going well at all. We had family and friends visiting this past week and it was really nice to spend time with my sister for a few days where there was no holiday going on that required our attention.
All the company is gone and we are in the final stretch to the beginning of school next week.
We always feel like autumn is in the air when we get back from vacation and this year is no exception. Cool nights and the tinge of autumn color creeping into the foliage definitely suggests that fall is right around the corner.
We are in Maine this week on vacation. I look forward to being by the ocean, although the weather this week has not been super-cooperative. There is something very meditative being by the ocean and listening to the waves lap the shoreline, watching the water ebb and flow and seeing the shoreline either slowly recede or grow depending upon the tide. It is peaceful. It makes one think of oneself and your place in the world. Gazing out upon the water, you cannot help but think about how inconsequential we are in the world. One of my favorite things is to walk along the shoreline, with the waves tickling your toes, enjoying the smell of the ocean air. Even better if it is done with company.
Yesterday we spent the day up in Kennebunkport, wandering around enjoying the shops and the sights. Today is a less than perfect day, misty and gray. A good day to set off and explore some area that we have not yet tackled.
Yesterday we went over by Stowe and Smugglers Notch. We’ve never been over there and it is beautiful. We took the time to stop and enjoy coffee outside in the beautiful weather, climb around on some rocks, go through the Smuggler’s Cave and just stand around a lot in awe of how beautiful it is and how amazing Mother Nature really is.
We drove along Route 108 from Stowe through Jeffersonville – it is the road that we hear on the radio all the time which closes in the winter — or when the snow starts to fly — which may be earlier than actual winter. Driving the road, I can understand exactly why the road closes and forbids tractor trailers from traveling on it. For my friends in New Jersey, think the road down to the Boat Basin by the Hudson, winding and tight turns and very narrow, with incredible views.
April break —
I hate those words. Vacation from school is hard enough when you’re working, trying to juggle a houseful of kids (most times more than just my own) along with my work schedule. Trying to accommodate everyone usually gives one of us agita. That one is usually me – big surprise there. My boys often forget that just because I work from home, when they are off, doesn’t mean that I am off. Nor does it mean that I am at their beck and call – try explaining that to a bunch of kids.
Add to it the other reason that I hate April break in particular. It is that it is the one time of the year when it seems that everyone, and I literally mean just about everyone, is away. Away — as in some more beautiful and less messy place than Vermont during the height of mud season. Except of course for us. We are here enjoying the mud, slush, slime, slobber, dirt and grime that is mud season here in Vermont in all its glory. What makes it even worse is hearing and seeing how wonderful, beautiful, breathtaking, warm, sunny and most importantly DRY, the entire rest of the world is, or so it seems at this time of the year.
Okay, putting aside the jealous –geez, I wish I were the one going somewhere — streak that I cannot help but feel every April break, there is once again the fact that everyone, or nearly everyone is gone. Which makes it difficult for the boys to find anyone to do anything with –or translated means that I am not only trying to work with kids underfoot and in the case of boys — constantly eating — but I also have them chanting the “I’m bored” mantra in my ear.
It’s enough to make a woman insane — or — in my case more insane.
The good part is that we are approaching mid-vacation week, which means that it is coming to a close.
The only other good part is that I don’t have to get up quite so early this week since there are no buses to catch or lunches to make…. that makes it not so bad after all.
Good thing that I actually looked at the calendar last night. The school calendar. Seems that kids have school tomorrow. Who would have guessed? Silly me, I was thinking it was a holiday. Of course the boys were well aware that they were headed back to school tomorrow from vacation — good thing someone was on top of things. It evidently wasn’t me.
Eventually come to an end. As much as I’ve looked forward to vacation, I am also looking forward to going home. The boys…well, I’m guessing not quite as much. Coming home from vacation marks 10 days to the start of school. Yes, for those of you who have kids our schools open 8/25 way before Labor Day, which is technically their first long holiday weekend.
The house has been fun and the consensus I believe is that they would do it again (of course, they’re not paying for it). It’s quiet here, for the most part, we are well away from the hustle and bustle of Ogunquit and Route 1, but close enough to walk to it.
Today was the last full day of vacation – Tom and I snuck away to Ogunquit on the trolley for a nice walk, coffee on the ocean and lunch. Makes me think of our honeymoon, when there weren’t kids and what they wanted first and foremost in our minds.
Vacation – just the word brings to mind thoughts of lazy days and quiet nights. Well, with teenagers it’s not quite that lazy or that quiet, but all in all, I think that everyone is enjoying their time here in Maine.
The boys are familiar enough with the area (and we’re satisfied with the security) to allow them to the freedom to travel as group by trolley into town and down for ice cream and mini golf. This is nice as it allows us (the adults) some time to do some of the exploring that we happen to like. Today, we drove into Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. We wandered around taking in the sights and enjoying the scenery.
Although we weren’t looking for it, we came upon the Bush Compound.
We also found this little bit of home.
It spreads out before us as blank slate, leaving the possibility of so many opportunities. The summer calendar. Those days, weeks and months to which the warm rays of sun and lazy days belong. On many occasions we try to take the calendar and fill in the days and weeks with so many things that we can’t help but wish for summer’s end. We have had those summers, where the boys’ calendar was jam packed with things – I felt more like the administrative assistant than the mom. This summer they are not as jam packed and I may be living to regret that two days into summer vacation.
When they are busy, we are all on a schedule, which has its ups and its downs, admittedly but no one is staying up late and everyone is out and about for most of the day – leaving us to do work which after all is a good thing at least as far as their stomachs and the bill collectors are concerned. When they are not busy, they seem to forget that the parents still do have work and that my life (insert aghast look here) does not revolve around them entirely (really? are you sure about that Mom?). It’s basically a Catch-22 situation.
This year, our oldest is enrolled in driver’s ed at school for four weeks (every day, no absences allowed or he fails -supposedly no kidding) and our youngest is working at an autism camp for one week and then everyone is off to scout camp for a week. Then comes vacation (hip, hip, hooray) and then basically we’re back in school mode with soccer practice, cross country practice and school starting all well before the end of August.
I always like to think of all the things that we can accomplish during the summer and sadly, most of them we usually don’t get to do, or see.
Relaxation is over. The RVs have been returned and the vacation is but a memory. Today I am wading through the contents of two trailers, plus all of the kids’ clothes and paraphernalia that has been accumulating in our den/laundry room through the summer, the canoe trip, the week at scout camp, the soccer camps, the electronics camp and now finally, vacation. Add to the mix, just for fun, the fact that our house is undergoing some renovations at the same time, and literally I cannot find a thing. I hope that someday I will find the things that I have pretty much given up on locating, figuring that they are the things that are hidden well underneath the piles that have been growing here and there.
Be that as it may, tomorrow is the first day of school. For the little one (relaxing so nicely in the photo above) tomorrow is his first day in middle school. For the oldest, it is the first day of high school. (Boy, do I feel old – high school!). The middle guy is entering 8th grade. Everyone is well back in the swing of things as soccer practice started for the 7th and 8th graders yesterday and TJ rejoined his team yesterday after coming back from vacation. Tomorrow is his first scrimmage. We have left the comfort and ease of summer’s lazy days for the more hectic, crazy days of school and fall sports. Our days are no longer our own, but at least we went out with a nice, lazy week at the beach.
I love the fall, the start of school, the beginning of a new year of sorts. I guess that it is perpetual student in me that thinks the year starts more at the beginning of the school year rather than at new year’s. Oh, and by the way, the weather tends to agree since evenings are forecast to dip into the 30s on Thursday night. Brrr…winter cannot be far behind.
At no time does it become more apparent that I live in a man’s world, than on vacation. At home, I am able to find some small refuge in the womanly (few that they are) aspects of my home. Here, in a camper with 5 boys and a husband (so, technically 6 boys) 34 feet seems mighty absent girl things. The bathroom is replete with about every kind of Axe shampoo, deodorant, shower gel and body spray that exists. Boy stuff is everywhere in the form of ipods, gameboys (yes, they seem to make a resurgence at 13 and 14) and music that makes my ears bleed and which I didn’t enjoy the first time around when I was their age. Yet, there is no screaming or screeching (both of which seem to be everywhere with girls around) and they are relatively low maintenance although I must admit feeding teenage boys is an art form in and of itself. You have to learn to quickly remove your hands, fingers and any other extremities that you might need or later want, in the face of food, particularly if its main ingredients are either fat or sugar.
And yet, as I sit here, I honestly cannot think of having it any other way. Yes, it is frustrating because no one wants to browse the little shops or do other things that another girl around might think was fun. But, I guess that leaves more time for me to spend alone, enjoying my solitude.