Summer Vacation, Week One


Our first entire week of Summer Vacation (which MUST begin with capital lettering, because IMPORTANT and also LOVELY-WONDERFUL-TIME-OF-THE-YEAR) has finished.  One of our precious weeks of freedom is over, and let me tell you this:  It was pretty much wasted on loafing around, collecting our thoughts, and just breathing deeply after the explosion of fireworks that signaled the end of May.

May is the silent killer.  I don’t care what everyone else says about December.  Yes, December really IS busy, and there’s Christmas, with all its decorations to put up and shopping to get done, and then our family likes to add chaos to the mix by having SIX family birthdays that month (Bless!), but December cannot hold a Christmas candle to May.  When May finished up and school let out for the year, we all just took a deep breath and settled ourselves onto the sofa for endless games of Candy Crush on our phones, because we were worn out.

Or maybe that was just me, because I’m the only one in this house who actually plays Candy Crush.

Oh, people.  It’s a ridiculous addiction, and one that a friend even warned me about.  A few months ago, I told her that I’d missed riding the Candy Crush Bus when everyone else was raving about it, and she told me, “Don’t even go there!  Lining up three or more matching candies will ruin your life, because it’s all you will do!”  Of course, I said, “I have no addictions, and this will be no different.”

I’m on a level now that’s even embarrassing to admit to y’all, because YES.  I have traveled so far along the Candy Crush road in the game and knocked out so many of the puzzles and dropped cherries and acorns and wrapped candies into their bins, that I could be labeled as a Professional Crusher.  I’m thinking that this isn’t exactly the status that I’d like to be known for, so I’ve had to tell myself, “Your reign at Candy Crush was a good one, but now it’s over, Sister.”

The first step is admitting you might have a problem.

And that’s when I gave it up.

But!  I should be clear that NEVER was I the kind of Candy Crush gamer where I crazily spent hard-earned American dollars on extra lives and an extra chance to move two blue candies out of the way to solve a puzzle.  No, ma’am.  I spent exactly zero-point-zero dollars on that game.  I won’t lie.  It’s frustrating after you die five times in a big hurry, because you ran out of moves before you solved the puzzle, and then you MUST WAIT for two hours to regenerate those five lives.  I see where you went with that, Candy Crush Creators!  You WANT us to be frustrated after five quick deaths, so that we WILL spend copious amounts of money, buying more chances, so that we can solve the puzzle NOW NOW NOW, but I saw it for what it was worth.

Which was nothing.

I never traded ninety-nine cents for five extra moves.

I became a professional at waiting two hours to gain my five lives back, because the waiting is FREE.

But now, the waiting is over, because I’ve set Candy Crush aside for the summer, and because I was staying up too late at night, trying to knock out JUST ONE MORE LEVEL!


What else did we do during our first week of Summer Vacation?  Well, the boy worked.  He’s working at both of the golf courses in town, so my job is to turn on the taxi light in my Suburban when I have no passengers, which signals to the boy, “Mama can now drive you to a golf course of your choosing.”  And then I drive him.  And then he doesn’t pay me any money, like a real cab passenger would do, because that seems to be the unspoken law between mothers and their sons.

Free rides.

After I have dropped the boy off at a golf course, I will then need to return to pick him up, and I did a whole lot of that last week.

And then he has been going to see movies with his friends, and out to dinner with his friends, and golfing for fun with his friends, and over to the houses of his friends, and off to youth group for church with his friends, and THE DRIVER’S LICENSE IN AUGUST CANNOT COME SOON ENOUGH!!  Teenage boys with social lives in full swing require a lot of trips hither and yon, before their sixteenth birthdays strike.

So there has been that.

Hubs and I also rolled up our sleeves and attacked a horridly overgrown flowerbed at the top of our retaining wall.  It was SO overgrown, it sort of resembled a flowerbed in front of a haunted house.  The weeds crept in and grew tall, while the neighborhood deer population crept in and ate my little plants down to stubs over the winter.  The stubby plants didn’t survive, so I dug out their roots and planted new food for the deer to eat, in the form of THESE ARE $7 PLANTS, MR. AND MRS. WHITETAIL.  It’s because I can no longer afford to feed the deer $25 plants.   Their days of dining in my yard are now going from a gourmet, fancy restaurant, to something similar to a gas station hot dog covered in nacho cheese slime, pumped straight out of the stainless steel container.

I didn’t take any BEFORE photos, because I didn’t want to embarrass myself with exactly how bad that flowerbed looked, but behold!  I have a few AFTER snapshots.

IMG_6448 IMG_6446We also had a few play dates in the park last week.  We ate pizza, straight out of a box in the park grass, with good friends one afternoon.  Those are the spontaneous Summer Vacation moments that I love the best.

IMG_6417We also did a whole lot of laundry last week.  I didn’t take any pictures of our mounds of dirty clothes.  You’re welcome.

We power washed the deck, because THAT needed to happen.

Thing 2 declared that this would be The Summer Of The Cowboy Boots and Hat.  He has a blister on his big toe, and he doesn’t even care, because he refuses to trade those cowboy boots in for sneakers.  HE.  REFUSES.  My hardwood floors are also covered with one thousand black streaks from the bottoms of those boots, and I’m trying to breathe slowly and remind myself that kids are only little once, and then they grow up and leave home and never scuff your floors again.

IMG_6460 IMG_6424

IMG_6485The cowboy boots and crushed cowboy hat are with Thing 2, wherever he goes these days…

IMG_6433… even if he’s outside, playing basketball with the neighbor boy, who is home from college for the summer.

We had dinner with friends a couple of different times last week.  We flopped on patios and we sat politely in restaurants, and we talked and laughed and said, “Welcome, Summer Vacation, when everything slows down enough that we have time to do what we want to do!”

I had dates with my boys, too.

Thing 2 had coffee and brownies with me at a coffee house…

IMG_6425… while the boy devoured an entire shrimp basket from a local seafood truck that serves lunch and dinner.


The boy and I took Thing 2 to see Shaun the Sheep at the theater for an afternoon matinee one day, too.  Our preschooler ate his weight in popcorn, slurped his Sprite and laughed his little head off at the sheep’s crazy antics.

Thing 2 also decided to step out of his cowboy role for a little bit one day.  He traded in the boots and hat for Ninja Turtle attire.

IMG_6387People, it was a good, GOOD week.  We have ushered Summer Vacation in properly, but now…

… well…

… I’m afraid it’s time to take some adult responsibility and clean up the house, because we’re living in something that can only be described as The Seven Dwarfs’ Cottage.

Before Snow White cleaned it up.

Don’t judge.

Happy Monday, people!  It’s SUMMER VACATION!


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