Monday, April 23, 2012

End of vacation week

It seemed fitting yesterday, the final day of school vacation week, to wake up to a gray drizzle.

It also seemed fortunate, given the spring drought we’ve been enduring for the past several weeks. A spring drought isn’t like a summer drought – the ground doesn’t appear to be parched, and the mild weather has coaxed pale green leaves and tiny buds from tree branches even without precipitation – but our town as well as many around us have put open burning season on hiatus due to the lack of recent rainfall, and even closer to home, with the barn nearly empty of hay, we need rain so that the grass grows faster and the cows can graze.

But from the perspective of it being the end of April vacation week, the drizzle came as a reasonable trade-off for the almost impossibly beautiful weather we’d had since school was dismissed on Friday the 13th. Warm, sunny days prevailed all week; it was a wonderful vacation not to be going far, because there was plenty about New England to enjoy over these past ten days. The kids indulged me with walks in the woods; I indulged them with a bike ride to our local ice cream stand. When another family came over for dinner last weekend, the four kids together set up the badminton net, and we played badminton throughout the week. On Saturday, Holly and I took the dog down to the brook in the woods behind our house to see if we could coax her to swim. We couldn’t, but it was an enjoyable walk anyway.

So a rainy Sunday seemed reasonable and fitting, transitioning us mentally back into school-week mode. I ran some laundry while Rick did deskwork, and I insisted that the kids clean out their school backpacks, a job that should have been done when they came home from school ten days ago but went neglected in favor of time outdoors. I vacuumed the baseboards and corners of every room and changed the beds. I took a long, objective look at all the writing assignments that I’d postponed throughout the past week in favor of a three-day trip to Maine and time in the boat.

Today the kids go back to school and the adults refocus on work. Yesterday’s somber weather forewarned us that this change was coming, but we didn’t mind. With ten beautiful, fun-filled, sunny vacation days preceding it, the rain just reminded us that summer isn’t here yet and there’s still work to be done. In another eight weeks, another vacation begins. For now, it’s time for work and school and the growing season that yesterday’s rain presumably encouraged. It was a great vacation week. We’re refreshed, renewed, and ready.

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