The week leading up to Labor Day is difficult even if the weather is great. The anxiety is running rampant in children and teachers alike. So much to do, so little desire to do it, so much fun needed to be had, too anxious to really enjoy it.
When my kids were in grade school, I hated the return to schedules and carpools. As they got older and I went back to work, I was ready for the high school to start. Now, I find I just get used to the youngest being home for a month between her summer job and classes starting, and she's making me take her clothes shopping and we're making the big last barbecue. I am pretending right now that she is at her friend Leah's house and that I will hear her come in after I am in bed. I think I can keep that up at least to the weekend. It's the end to summer vacation and the beginning of school. It is a weekend filled with such anxiety for children and teachers, yet so much anticipation and excitement for parents.
In reality, she drove back to college today. In order to not break tradition, she drove back in the mdist of raging downpours and flash flood warnings. But she made it - though a few hours longer than expected. Her schedule was fine-tuned and finalized; she has a happy problem of whether to stay in her print-making class and intern at a letterpress or only intern; and she is in beautiful ownhouse with a koi pond and is anxious for me to come down and see it.
I can't wait either!
A busy six weeks is coming up but as soon as the 3rd weekend in October comes round, Mr. Pom and I will be driving to see her and her new digs. We will bring everything bagels and Temptee whipped cream cheese, and we plan to spend a lot of time in Annapolis and maybe sneak over to DC to visit my nephew.
I had such a long, lovely post for y'all about Cape Cod. I had finished writing it- and was saving it as I went - and was just plugging in the photos when I noticed that they wouldn't upload. To heck with this, I thought, tomorrow will do, and when I went to save I got the dreaded "Bad Gateway" error page and my little post went to the heavens.
I haven't had the time, strength, or enthusiasm to redraft it, but this weekend we will be back there and I will get my first whiff of salt water and be ready to tell you all about it!
The best part is that we are done renting The Cottage for the summer! It is a necessary evil as it helps pay the bills and we'd never be able to fight the traffic to get there for summer weekends. We usually get 7 weeks of renters and usually 6 weeks are filled by the same 4 tenants we started with us 4 years ago, so we know the house will be well cared for. The best part of Labor Day weekend is that when we get ready to leave, we can just clear the milk out of the fridge and lock the door. No mad scramble to lock our personal things up, clean out the dressers and shove our clothes in the linen closet, check to see if the shower curtains are mildewed, or empty out the firepit. We don't have to move our pantry items to the top shelf, scrub the sink, or wash out the fridge drawers, and haul the dog crates down the basement! We can just be the slobs we are and let the sand grit under our feet because that is what beach houses are for!
It is hard to believe that it's been 4 years! So much has happened since then. When we first bought the house, I had very mixed feelings. I had a very strong, emotional reaction to the idea that we were actually buying the house we would retire to. Seemed almost like buying our cemetery plots (no, we don't have any). I hated going to this strange, empty house on the weekends and leaving my girls home, especially when it was just the youngest, who couldn't leave because of her part time job.
The following summer warmed all things up and we had so much fun bringing all our family up and having parties and barbecues. But even Mr. Pom felt the letdown that first autumn when we went up and no one was there but us.
Now, of course, it really is our second home. Everyone we know and love has been there. We married our daughter from there. We celebrated in our backyard with almost every friend and relative we have. My mother sat in the chaise lounge and read in the sun, and ate lobster with us at so many places. We had here there for the last time for the wedding and she watched me paint the mud room and supervised my sister washing the outer windows in the rain, and ate homemade pizza while sister and I ran up and down the basement steps as it was flooding. Never a dull moment there, I tell ya!
Monday would have been my mom's 88th birthday. The sisters were supposed to go out to dinner, but I didn't feel well. We will do it after everyone settles down with back to college and back to teaching. My older sister is fully moved into mom's apartment and has painted it and had the floors done and moved all her furniture it. The apartment looks like her place now (except the pink bathroom which kind of takes all our breaths away when we walk into it.)
I am deep into working on the book but took a little break to get my Art is You class prep finished up. I will be publishing some more samples next week, but there is a chance that my artist journal will still be a work in progress in October. I keep coming up with more ideas for stories about picnics and dinner on a paddleboat and the best popovers in the world that I can't stop.
I read a lot this summer. And yet, I have somehow accumulated about a dozen books in the TBR. I have one that I cannot wait to get from Amazon and you are going to love it! I will be doing my Fall Reading Round up in September. For now I can tell you that I read The Interestings and enjoyed the late 1970's timeframe as it is when I went to college. I am in the middle of The Burgess Boys, which is excellent. Kate Christensen's Blue Plate Special is a beautifully written memoir and has this snazzy chalk lettering cover!
Her book and blog led me to Poor Man's Feast: A Love Story of Comfort, Desire, and the Art of Simple Cooking, and The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage. What is better than when an art project leads you to great books to read? It's even made me think about doing a separate Art of Food book entitled, "The Greatest Moment of My Cooking Life Was When My Mother Said My Gravy Made My House Smelled Like Her Grandmother's On a Sunday Afternoon". Too wordy? Think so.
So I've rambled enough. I am a little doped up on Super Strength Advil due to some back problems and miserable foot and leg cramps. I am going to sleep because Mr. Pom said I have burned the candle too much on both ends the past week. I am trying not to pout and mope because I had tickets to see Mumford and Sons tonight at an outdoor concert with MM and his girl, but due to a variety of stupid logistical circumstances (like not being able to leave work at 2 in order to get into Manhattan, get to Penn Station, take the LIRR to Forest Hill Stadium, and get in line for GA seats at 4:00 - what is UP with concert promoters??) MM is taking his friends.
Good night and see you on the other side of summer!