Saturday, August 3, 2013

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Every kid in America loves summer.  Even if you don't care for the weather (ahem...Liza), you love the time from mid-May to August because of the freedom.  When, with the final bell on the last day of school, every day feels like Saturday.  When I was growing up, I spent most of my summers skiing and camping at the lake, taking family vacations, watching The Price is Right or MTV, riding bikes or playing with action figures in the woods behind my house with DJ (playing "guys" as we referred to it), or running down flyballs on the baseball field.  But, whatever the case, summer vacation was always fantastic.  And, like clockwork, when the calendar turned to August, and summer began fading away, some teacher would undoubtedly assign us to write an essay on how we spent our summer vacation.

Now, as a teacher, I find myself looking forward to summer vacation more than I ever did as a student.  But, it is now August.  Summer, for all intents and purposes, has ended, and school starts back on Tuesday.  So, to harken back to my days as a student in Marshall County Schools, I would like to share with you how I spent my summer vacation.

Quite frankly...I don't know what the hell happened.  I went to bed one night in May, and woke up today.  Or at least that's how it seems.  I realize that time seems to speed up as you get older, but this summer has felt like it flew by in the blink of an eye.  I guess a lot of it has to do with all the change that has taken place.  Adrienne and I moved back from Mount Sterling on the last day of school, we always seemed to be going from one place to the next any given week, we got new jobs, bought a house, and have juggled preparing new classrooms and preparing to move for the last few weeks.  As much as I tried to slow down and really breathe in the summer, I feel like the whirlwind has only begun to hit its peak.  Adrienne and I have more work ahead of us now than we've probably ever had, despite the underlying excitement that goes along with moving into our first home, starting new jobs, and being in a place we truly want to be.  We've had no work-related responsibilities for two months, but with the way everything seemed to fall into place the way and when it did, it almost feels like there never was a break.

It all started with U-Haul.  I won't go into a whole lot of detail there because, quite frankly, if you're reading this post you damn sure read that one.  It seems like EVERYONE has read that one.  Some people I don't even know have read it.  I called our Farm Bureau office back in June to pay a bill.  After getting my name, the receptionist (a woman whom I have never met) responded with, "Oh, you're the U-Haul guy!"  Yes...I'm the U-Haul guy.

Two days after surviving the "U-Haul Incident of 2013," I got hired at Russellville.  I, almost immediately, began planning the logistics of making the hour-long drive everyday.  Even though it doesn't seem like that would be all that taxing, in hindsight it was.  It was as if I was subconsciously always looking to the future, making it seemingly impossible to relax and focus on the present, at least completely.  Adrienne was simultaneously trying to secure employment in Barren County, which she did about 4 weeks later, so there was always a certain level of stress, even if we weren't actually having to get up and go to work every day.

There were plenty of relaxing times, although not nearly as many as I would have liked.  We went to the pool a few times, I played more rounds of golf than I've ever played in one year in my life, and we spent a little time on the lake.  There were weddings and concerts, trips to Lowe's and Brown's Supply, beers at Applebee's and roller coasters, a fun night out in Nashville, and hours spent on the lawnmower. My favorite part of the summer was spent out at the pavilion on Turner Farm, enjoying the unusually cool and dry summer nights next to a fire with Adrienne, Jackie, five or six cats and dogs, and a glass of Knob Creek.

But those times were only more relaxing because of everything else that was going on.  I spent hours and hours painting and refinishing hand-me-down furniture to fill our new home.  We were constantly house-hunting and hammering out a half-dozen "What if?" scenarios, dependent upon several different variables.  We spent so much of the summer not knowing what fall would bring, we almost forgot to just take a seat on the porch swing and enjoy it.

To be honest, I don't really know how I spent my summer vacation...It went by so quickly, I didn't even realize I was spending it.