End of the Summer Blues

CA copy - Version 2“I was so bored I organized my closets.” I told my son. “I lined up my cotton shirts, pull-over black sweaters, and buttoned black sweaters.”

He was silent.

“Who are you and what did you do with my mother?” he finally gulped.

Loyal readers, friends, family and many former bosses, and co-workers, probably know that “organization skills” does not feature prominently on my resume.

My lack of organizational skills came to me forcefully years ago, at a book club meeting. The group leader announced the date of the next meeting, and next book. Everyone whipped out their blackberries and small calendars. Startled, I borrowed a pen from the person in the next seat, and scribbled the information on the palm of my hand. Gee, I thought, I am diverse.

“Funny, very funny. If you want I’ll wear a name-tag.” I promised my son. “But don’t ever do this to me again!”

You see, my children had given me two whole weeks without their children. Right at the end of the summer and I had been thrilled.

When I first realized I had two weeks off, I pictured a road trip…somewhere, anywhere. After all, my husband reminds me at rather frequent intervals how I have totally welshed out on my commitment to our quarterly “undisclosed location weekends.”

“That’s right” he just piped up. “Our last one was in 2011!”

“This time, I’ll make it up to you.” I promised passionately.

“Sorry, but I’ve got other plans.” he answered.

Well yes, I conceded, we did have a wedding to attend, a child to pick up at an airport, and a potential real estate deal (that got cancelled.) Plus my husband was walking 5 miles a day so that he could triumphantly finish his virtual Appalachian Trail to meet an end of September deadline.

“I only have 40 miles to go!” he declared. “Look, I’ve gone from Georgia to Maine.”

“Do you have to tell me about it?” I sulked.

See, when I retired, I figured that I didn’t need money, or company, or volunteer work. All I needed was the library and the state forest. And of course, the Internet. I would never, ever be bored.

But last year, I ran into a small problem. Or I thought it was small. Around Thanksgiving, my heel hurt. Almost like I had a nail or a splinter right in the middle of it.

First, I ignored it. No pain, no gain, I thought. Then I reluctantly bought better sneakers. That should fix it, I was sure. Third I started reading everything I could about heel pain on the Internet. I sincerely believe that Dr. Google has the cure for everything. Finally, as a last, desperate resort, I went to see a doctor.

“The longer you have planters fasciitis, the longer it takes to recover.” he told me, and then gave me a shot. “Rest it.” he continued sternly. “Rest. Ice. Ibuprofen. No hiking.”

So, I spent my two glorious weeks of freedom on Facebook looking at other people’s vacation pictures. They were all camping, hiking and generally frolicking in the woods. Next, I would pull up “Locate Friends” on my smart phone to check where my husband was on his daily 5 and 8 mile walks. I would pretend to congratulate him on his progress.

I read every single Internet article about Trump. I seriously thought about finding a job, but I didn’t see any that didn’t involve periods of standing. I seriously thought about weeding my garden, but it had died of thirst sometime in July. I seriously thought about taking up knitting, but couldn’t remember how to cast-on. I would have cooked but it was too hot. And my freezer was already crock-full of crock-pot meals.

I read two books a day. Desperate, I organized my closets. I had serious summer blues.

“I’m bored.” I whined (to anyone who who listen…but mostly to my husband). “I’m bored. I don’t have anything to do…”

“You know what your problem is…” he began.

I looked at him and he stopped. Perhaps he belatedly realized that any conversation that begins with “You know what your problem is…” will never end well. Or he noticed the large knife behind my back.

He tried again.

“What you oughta do…”

I glared, and gripped the knife handle more tightly.

He tried again.

“Umm…What would you like for supper?”

I frowned.

He squinted, and tried once again.

“Lov…where would you like to go for supper?”

I had the end of summer blues. And my husband was suffering mightily from it.

But then my son and daughter presented me with their solution.

“Ahhh…admit it Mom.” they loled. “You miss ‘em. You miss the grandchildren! That’s so sweet…”

“But It’s OK, really! Labour day over and they’re back. Camp Uncle Josh starts Tuesday and we need you on Wednesday mornings to babysit Death-wish Auggie. Oh and don’t forget you have Ryder all day on Friday.”

“You know…” I murmured “I think I still have the closet in the guest room to organize…”

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