It’s finally here. Summer. I’m free as a bird for a precious cluster of weeks and I don’t want to waste a minute.
First, I tackled the to-do list, starting with the windows inside and out, upstairs and down. My husband and I chuckled over our choice of bonding time as we shouted and pantomimed directions through the brightening panes. Somehow he thought he could get by without the aids (hearing) that day, sort of like one of my students showing up for a field trip without the meds. I forgave him when the sunshine practically burned a hole in my spotless windows much like horseradish kickstarts a stuffy nose.
Next it was the floors. Down on all fours Cinderella style until the original colors began to emerge. Out out, “darn” spots, I commanded. Lady MacBeth couldn’t have washed away the sins of the year any better, and Anne Lamott would have been proud of my tile-by-tile technique which reaped some fertile plot points and colorful character ideas as my mind drifted way beyond the floor.
Don’t get me wrong. My idea of summer doesn’t translate into a self-imposed hard-labor camp. It’s just that teachers and writers both tend to let things really pile up during school and writing projects, and it makes us feel extremely efficient, well-organized and productive to stir up a bunch of dust once a year (maybe twice) before settling into the fun stuff.
And what about that fun stuff? First I took one giant leap for woman-kind (at least for this kind of woman) and invested in a smart phone. I began to experience the length and breadth of my leap when I ran into one of my sixth-grade students at the phone store who escorted me around the displays with sales tips that put the customer service rep (and me) to shame. This is supposed to be fun? I secretly vowed to go home and cram like a freshman before finals lest my smart phone outsmarts me.
But the fun event that tops all so far this summer is the resurrection of two nostalgic 3-speed bikes: my husband’s 1966 Rudge and my 1972 Raleigh. This culminates several years of debate about whether or not anyone could even work on such antiques, and assuming they could, how cost-effective it would be compared to buying new bikes. It turns out the process was much easier and less expensive than buying a smart phone, and the learning curve just a matter of practice and review.
1973 – Queens, NY
2011 – Charlotte, NC
Now if I can just stay upright and use the GPS on my Droid to find my way home, I can truly say I am at least as smart as a sixth grader!