I’m on vacation. Sort of.
It’s kind of hard to tell sometimes, I know. Ever since I “retired,” so to speak, from my career as an advertising agency creative director due to a bout with cancer, my schedule has been pretty easy going. Like fruit picking, life guarding and ice fishing, my Star Courier gig is rather seasonal, with the busiest times occurring during fall and winter high school sports and the slowest time happening during summer. On the other hand, I’m always kind of on hiatus, with no regularly scheduled office hours or business trips, no neckties or high pressure client meetings, and a lot of flexibility that allows me to slow down when I need to.
So, you’d think summertime would be just the ticket, especially since my partner in crime has her break from school going on now, too.
But, after a June dominated by home projects, like gardening, cleaning the catacomb we call a basement and otherwise preparing for a festive Galva fourth, we realized something startling: School starts in less than a month.
But it’s just July!
The fourth was just a couple of days ago, wasn’t it?
Long gone are the days when school started after Labor Day and football was strictly a fall sport. Instead, kids and teachers swelter in hot classrooms, while coaches and players pray for the cooler weather yet to come.
In any case, the threat of a waning summer has us energized, as we fill late July and early August with trips to see our kids. As I write this, we’re visiting older son, Colin, and his family, who live in Moorhead, Minnesota, just across the (formerly) raging Red River from Fargo, North Dakota. Next, we’ll head to the coastal plains of North Carolina to see son Patrick and his family.
It figures, then, that we’d leave town just as my previously slow summer schedule has begun to--like summertime weather--heat up. Between a pair of pretty big volunteer projects, a couple of freelance writing jobs and some fast-approaching Star Courier events like Hog Days and pre-season football, I find myself needing to work and report on the road, which, thanks to technology, is an easy enough thing to do.
Late July-early August travel is a familiar thing to us. When our kids were younger, we always waited for the end of swimming lessons, camps and baseball season to go on our actual out-of-town vacations. As a result, we found ourselves visiting places like Disney World and various Florida beaches and other attractions during a time of year when those venues are just slightly cooler than the surface of the sun.
It’s a little different here in Fargo/Moorhead, where the natives start to complain and perspire when the temperature crests 70. And later on, when we visit North Carolina, we’ll probably manage to capture enough sea breezes to make the mid-Carolina summer tolerable.
But the whole point of these trips is, of course, not so much the weather as the company. We miss our kids and grandkids when we’re not around them, and look forward to a chance to be involved in a little part of their lives.
So, we’ll pour over maps, plan routes and hit the road again and again.
Summer will be over soon.
There’s no time to lose.