Ha, I had to laugh at the end of the day as I entered my boss’s office and exclaimed, “I really want to be on vacation!” She looked at me, a bit stunned, but knowing me well and smiling, she also knew there was a catch to my exclamation. I continued, “Wine tasters…here they come in looking for a tasting room, clearly on vacation, going here, going there, and…” She finishes my statement, “Well, I get to work full time now! (in her best “Kasey voice”, that is)” Ha, ha, ha…I’m laughing as I write this. HA, HA, HA! Yes, that is correct! You get to travel somewhere, anywhere, and I’m super duper califragicallistically happy that I’ve entered the world of 40 hours per week. To each his or her own, correct?
The afternoon put me back in time to my college years when I worked as a housekeeper each summer to earn a little extra income. All of us girls would go in and out of these hotel rooms like lightening, 15 minutes per room max to get all 12 to 14 done in 8 hours. As we’d do our jobs, a little part of us couldn’t help but turn green for the overnight tenants: remnants of pizzas, desserts, wine, beer, sodas, and the like sprawled around anywhere they felt like leaving the stuff bled into brochure upon brochure of the Mystery Spot, Knots Berry Farm, and Disneyland. And, if room service was ordered, ugh! I was just a young girl trying to gain work experience, but most of my housekeeping comrads were single moms with little or no education, barely getting by to pay the bills. While I would eventually take some vacation time to see family, the other ladies would continue their daily routines.
Before this summer started, I visited Maycee’s school after an assembly, and I joined her teacher on the playground prior to heading home. We sat on one of the benches, and she asked me, “So, you have any plans for the summer?” I kept my answer in check for a moment as I surmised the thought: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Hmmmmm, let me see what my choices are. I politely replied, “I’d like to take her camping somewhere, maybe just for an overnite, and if I can muster up the extra cash I’d like to take her to the Wild Animal Park in San Diego. But, I’d also like to take her to SpiritWestCoast (an all out Christian Rock Jam) for at least a day, too.” It was a very polite answer. Well thought out in the split seconds I had, and definitely things that had crossed my mind over the previous few months. However, none of them have materialized because to take a vacation you need $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, you need paid time off, and you need more $$$$$$$$$$$$$ for the dog kennel, gas, food, lodging… Well, darnit, not this summer!
I’ve had the blues over these thoughts, only infrequently, because as soon as Maycee got going with summer camp, i.e., the VERY SECOND DAY of her June debut, the camp was heading to a Sea Life Center to go boating, fishing, and exploring. Maycee had the best time. Sequentially following that, week after week, has been two days of field trips including Boomers (a miniature golf place with an arcade, race cars, and bumper boats), two different aquatic centers, the county fair, a water slide park–which Maycee promptly showed me she is much braver without mom around and rode the “big ” water slide ALONE–, roller skating, gymnastics, and tomorrow they hit the zoo. This amazing camp will conclude with a trip to Hurricane Harbor the very last day. In between all of this nifty fun they’ve had jammy days with fort building, cooking lessons, tennis lessons, a myriad of unusual sports, arts and crafts, and next week she will be learning cheer leading and sewing. Wow! Are you tired yet?! This wonder camp does not come cheap, but if you do the math of any full-time summer daycare center, completely required if you are a SWM, the cost is no higher. This equals one word: YAY.
Of course, all of this fun in the sun (and the fog) hasn’t meant much in the way of summer lovin’ for mom, but who cares? I mean, WHO CARES? Last summer Maycee spent every day crying before I would take her to daycare at a local preschool. She had a totally bummer summer, thankyouverymuchjudymoody, and the comparison between this year and last holds no bar. And, geez, I did manage to take her to Solvang, my most favoritist place in the local world for an afternoon, and we had a total blast! That counts for something. Therefore, I’ve put my Rhythm ‘n’ Blues away for the remainder of time, which, believe it or not, is only a few more weeks.
I’ve had a couple of terrific visits here in the Yellow Submarine with family, my best buddy is coming up this Saturday with her two boys for the day, and the last Saturday of this month I get to reunite with my longest, dearest, and bestest friend of all time, after six years of being apart. I will meet her little girl, she’ll get to see mine again, there’ll be tears of joy, hugging, and good ol’ fashioned blubbering-no doubt. We’ll look at old pictures of my mom’s. We’ll eat pizza and catch up on our lives-in person. I bought a chaise lounge that I’ve actually USED, relaxing and drinking a soda on my newly painted deck, whilst I throw my doggy’s ball over and over and over again, nearing what I’m sure is 100 tosses or more. I’ve made homemade lemon pies and lemonade, courtesy of my boss’s lemon tree. Picked a nice-sized batch of sweet plums from my own. Taken Maycee swimming in our 90 degree heated community pool. Enjoyed my horse riding lessons and improved, as well. And, really when you live only 5 miles from the beach, see the crest of the ocean waters every day as you drive into the winding mountain roads that take you to miles and miles of intricately groomed vineyards, I would have to say this: vacation is a state of mind. Isn’t it?
So, I guess I have had plans for the summer: to get through it with a bit of ease, to appreciate all that is positive and right in my life, and to know that each day I’m one step closer to not envying the wine tasters, campers, tourists, and stay-at-home moms. Who could ask for anything more? Zen…? Maybe.
Have some summer fun today, drink homemade lemonade, wear flipflops, give a chuckle, and most of all: be happy.