Tuesday, September 14, 2010
What I Did On My Summer Vacation
Last week I took some time off to wrap up canning projects, see some family, tackle a few sewing projects, and do about a hundred other things that I otherwise don't have time to do. It feels a little funny when people asked me how I was enjoying my "vacation" since I was not exactly at the beach or taking a trip or anything. But if a vacation can be defined as a break from the daily routine, than that is what the last week had been.
In so many ways this has been both a summer of renewal, and a summer of new discoveries if such a thing can be possible. For the first time I have discovered the joys of reading Anne of Green Gables, yes, at this late date. How did I get to be this old without reading it? Carelessness? Apathy? Negligent parents? Oh sure, it's a famous enough book that I knew all the characters and plot, but had never actually read it from beginning to end for myself. All I can say is, what a treasure those books are. And to think that L.M. Montgomery lamented that she never wrote the one truly great novel that she always wanted to write, even after penning the masterpiece that is Anne.
Also this month, it finally worked out that I could visit with a cousin whom I had not seen for twenty-five years. It's not unusual for me to go long periods of time between visits with my cousins, as our family is geographically scattered far and wide, even on other continents. I have some that I have never seen, and some I only see about once every ten. And on average I meet up with a new one every few years. But when Cousin Grace and I got back in touch recently, we were surprised to see how much we have in common after all this time. After a year of correspondence, we set a date to visit. What a wonderful blessing to renew an acquaintance with someone that you haven't seen in decades only to discover that you still like them as much as when you were fifteen! Cousin Grace chatted constantly in the car as we cruised the country side looking for good deals and hidden bargains, and all the while I kept making wrong turns on all too familiar roads. At the Reuzit shop we discovered our mutual love of rose ticking fabric, and at our lunch we discovered that we both have the same specific form of dyslexia, and lamented how our school teachers never knew what to do with us. In hindsight, a day that will really make memories is one in which you are too involved to pull out your camera and document it. That is what my day with Grace was, and we plan on many more of those days to come.
Then, I took my special birthday coupon to the quilt shop and found the perfect pattern for that fabric I won, planted spinach and lettuce, and am only beginning to clean off my desk which is littered with unopened mail, newspapers, and catalogs. My week at home was symbolic of my desk in that it was not always peaceful, but it was productive.
I also worked on doing a guest post at Saloma's blog. To be honest, that was difficult to write, a real challenge, and yet, important enough to be written. To many of my close friends who read this blog who already know a little about my family life growing up, much of it will not surprise you. And for others, well, lets just say I'm a little nervous about feedback it could generate.
Finally, the last ping of the canning jars happened exactly 24 hours before I was due back to work, providing a chime that signaled the official end of my canning season. What a relief. All the lovely apples were turned into sauce and pie filling, and the last gleanings from the summer vegetable garden are now chow chow relish. As if on cue, you can feel a little crispness in the air these days, bringing in just a touch of fall. Not exactly my favorite season, so you can't pry flip flops off my cold feet until mid-October. But every year I do rediscover that I love a change in the seasons, a new routine, and some rest.