Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back-To-School Essay: What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Ahhh, vacation...

It was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of these final days of summer. I've been strung a little tightly lately, and squeezing in some R&R at this particular time was, ironically, adding to my general pinchedness. But, of course, the trip turned out to be a good thing.

We stayed in an unassuming beach-side cottage with my side of the family (13 of us, in all). The cottage is a bit of a throw-back to the good old days: no phone, no tv, no satellite, no computer, no radio, no dishwasher. It has a general rustic feel that keeps things simple.

The cottage is located between two lakes. Steps and a path lead a short distance to the smaller of the two out the front door; out the back door, a steep & rugged path cuts straight over a hill and through the woods to the larger one. No palm trees or tropical fruits here; this is an area of ferns and pines and mossy, leaf-blanketed woods.

It's the kind of place where you are more likely to spot deer than crowds of tourists fighting for a patch of beach. The deer seemed to love the area around the cottage as much as we do. We spotted them daily, nibbling on leaves and daintily frolicking through the woods.

The kids did plenty of dainty frolicking of their own, while strengthening their cousinly bonds and building memories together. (They also did a LOT of fishing!)

We spent most evenings playing games. The week started out with silly rounds of Apples to Apples, but ended with nightly rowdy, cut-throat sessions of Up and Down the River. (By the end of the week, even the kids were playing that one!)

We all took turns planning and cooking meals and ate a lot of really great food. The grandparents stayed in with the grandkids one evening, and the rest of us went to a local restaurant...but actually the best food we had was all made right there in the cottage.

Eating all that good food was ok, though, because the four oldest kids and I did some jogging. Well, jog-walking, actually. Some. We set a goal of trying to run to this sign and back every single day (about 1 1/2 miles, roundtrip) and were surprisingly successful. I have not exercised regularly in years, so this was a pretty big deal for me.
We did have some rain, as feared, but nothing like the scenario in that dire forecast. The days were sunny and beautiful, quiet and relaxing, full of family and fun.

Now we're back, slightly weary and rumpled, but feeling good about ending summer on such a mellow note. The kids had a weekend to recover, then it was back to school for them (right after a small flurry of appointments and supply shopping and registrations). There are some other big changes just around the corner for us, which I will post about soon...but for now, let me just say that it's good to be home.

1 comment:

lynne said...

well it is good to have you home. and on my computer!