Friday Five: How I Know Summer Vacation is Here

Okay, we’re a week into summer, and our vacation pattern is settling in. Much faster this year than others–maybe because my son’s older, maybe because I have deadline work to do–which does keep me much more focused, maybe because son leaves in another week for sleep-away camp in the sierras–and the shopping/prep is giving a bit of structure to our days. Not sure, but enjoying it. I may actually be relaxing into this mom/writer thing, after only 14 years!

Here are five ways I know it’s summer vacation, 2010:

1. We ended up at Target yesterday, at the only rack of long-sleeved shirts in the men’s department, and were seriously grateful that a) son liked them, b) they are light & comfortable for taking to camp, c)they don’t have any obnoxious or supposedly-cool logos on the front, and 3) they had two colors available in his size. What are you supposed to do–shop for summer camp in January? 🙂

2. I don’t see my son until, oh…9 or 10 in the morning. I think he’s actually waking up earlier than that–thanks to Mom and Dad not being too quiet as they get started and thanks to Bard the cockatiel for whistling excitedly on his swing after we uncover him. (You just cannot make a bird keep to a teenager’s summer schedule.) And when he does get up, there’s no schedule to get moving or get out the door–he pretty much does his own thing. What this means for me is that I can have a leisurely cup of tea and get caught up online before breakfast, then settle in to work for a serious few hours. Lovely. I do not miss getting in the car and heading down the hill to school.

3. I’m shutting down out of work-mode earlier. During the school year, I always feel like there’s something more I need to be doing at the end of the day. I actually don’t think that’s because I have more to get done, or because I accomplish less during the day. I think it’s that chopped up feeling of interrupting work, coming and going, shifting focus between too many things. Somehow, this summer is feeling more about stages of completion and knowing that, when I’ve reached certain milestones, it’s okay (even good) for me to just stop and wait for the next day to get going again. Boy, if I could bottle this feeling and use it all year…

4. The doors and windows of the house are open. Yes, sometimes, we get there in May, but not this year. And even with summer officially almost here, I’m still wearing socks on  my feet and even a sweater some mornings. But it’s warm enough that we’ve got the doors to the back porch open many hours of the day, and the window in my office, and I can hear the birds and smell the trees.

5. Iced tea. I’m taking some of my tea doses cold these days, thank you very much. Iced tea in California is not nearly the big deal it is in the south–there is NOTHING better than a glass of strong, “sweet tea.” Unless it’s a glass of that alongside a huge plate of fried chicken. Anyway…we can’t really get that out here, but I am simulating it as well as I can after in the afternoon, often after I get my exercise in and just want something half-bitter, half-sweet poured over a PILE of ice cubes.

What rituals, patterns mean summer vacation to you? What are you enjoying about June right now?


  1. Jenn Hubbard says:

    I am so glad for the weather, and the fresh vegetables, and the fact that I don’t have to put on tons of layers when I leave the house!


    • beckylevine says:

      I’m just about with you on that, Jenn–other than the fact that I had to put on a fleece jacket to go to the movies tonight! 🙂


  2. I actually sat on the back patio yesterday with a glass of iced tea and a book to soak up the warm sun. It was quite lovely. Exactly the way I picture summer should be, even though it doesn’t happen often enough!


    • beckylevine says:

      I think that’s been one of my unspoken goals, to actually enjoy this summer AS a summer. I haven’t done that for a few years, and it’s about time. Yay for iced tea, books, and porches. 🙂


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