Countdown to ‘Back to School’

June 6, 2011

It’s always good to have something to look forward to.

Seriously, life with nothing on the horizon can get pretty low.

That’s why I feel bad for people who say they have no plans for the summer.  Really?  No plans at all?  You aren’t going to grill one burger or go to one ball game?  That’s rough.

Part of my responsibilities as my wife’s husband is to always make sure there is something for her to look forward to.  I am the master of plans, itineraries, adventures, expeditions, treks and voyages.

What does she get to look forward to this summer?

My Summer Job

I’m housesitting again for a family from church, which entails taking care of the pets and swimming in the pool.  Not a bad way to spend a couple of weeks.

A Solid Week with ME!

My wife is the luckiest person on Earth.  Each year, we pack the car, hit the road, and she gets to spend a solid week as my captive audience for my clever anecdotes, hilarious rambling stories, and radio singalongs.  Last year, she only had two panic attacks as a result!

This year, we’ll go camping in Colorado.  If you think about it, we’re just going to be looking at a bunch of rocks, which sounds pretty dumb, but the rocks are rather large.  Any old piece of junk that no one cares about becomes impressive if it’s really big.  When we went to Arkansas, we saw the world’s biggest wind chime.  Regular wind chime: meh.  Ginormous wind chime: kind of awesome!  Just look at the Grand Canyon, the Pacific Ocean or Big Bird.  If they were just smaller, they’d just be stupid.

A Solid Week WITHOUT Me!

A week without me while I’m in Mexico.  For as long as I can remember, I’m pretty sure a week without me was always been the highlight of my parents’ summer.  Send me off to camp, no wait, two camps.  And a visit to the grandparents!  You want to stay two weeks?  I know your mother and I will miss you, but, why not?  I know when I have a week without my wife to bach’ it up, it’s a week of eating all the delicious food she frowns on and not shaving.  I haven’t asked how she plans to spend the week, but I imagine something similar.

The Small Stuff

Like another year of gardening and canning a lot of food, which makes me feel like a farmer or something, and less like an incompetent, helpless suburbanite.  I just need a pair of overalls.  Maybe I’ll build a moonshine still this year…

What are you looking forward to this summer?  Any big (or small) plans?  What do you like to do when you have a few days away from your family?

46 responses to Countdown to ‘Back to School’

  1. It is heading into winter here but I do get a bit of a break. Helping organise my university ministry’s annual camp which is happening in a few weeks. This year we are combining with college ministries from almost every university campus in the state for camp. We are expecting 500 students will come. That will be kinda crazy having that many people but should be a lot of fun- especially when it comes to inter-campus sports and the inevitable practical jokes.
    Joanna recently posted..Book review- Trevin Wax- Counterfeit Gospels

  2. Hi Matt,

    Sounds like you have great plans for the summer.

    So do I!

    I look forward to working, really working, this summer. And I really, really look forward to it with rejoicing!

    For the past couple of years I have been transcribing and editing a prayer diary left to me by a local saint–600+ pages of the thing. Finally sent to the printer for pre-publication proof pages last week… and yesterday, my wife, God bless her, told me that she will undertake proof-reading and correcting that diary, a job I’ve been dreading.

    Ginny’s willingness to do this frees me to actually write something original for a change instead of doing what was essentially clerical stuff on someone else’s book.

    So, I’m rejoicing that I will be able to work on another book of my own this summer… at the same time, I dread that prospect. I wonder if I still have anything in me original, or worth saying, or even faintly amusing. I’ve done donkey work on that prayer diary for so long that I question if there’s anything left of me inside? It scares me to find out.


  3. Early July we’ll be celebrating my daughter’s 4 year old birthday party.

    End of July is the family vacation.

    And early August is my wife’s birthday and we’re going to celebrate our 5 year anniversary.

    Should be fun.
    Charlie Chang recently posted..294 Blacktop patience

  4. Due to my hear attack, a lot of plans have been derailed because I used up all my leave at work and then some. And money is tight for the time being because the then some wasn’t paid.

    However –

    We’ll be going to the beach for the day on our anniversary, instead of staying there. We’ll actually get to choose the day before, or the day based on the weather. We’ll stroll the park, dip our feet, have lunch and end with a seafood dinner.

    We’ll still be able to spend a few days on Cape Cod instead of a week to end summer.

    We’ll walk around the lake behind the house, rollerblade at the 9/11 park. Charlotte and I already are playing catch every day. Then there is riding bikes, running my mile, grilling with I do all year round, but it’s best in the summer. I’ll be walking along the Charles River with an iced coffee.

    I am co-teaching a class at the church on Friday, recording a CD, studying Spanish and back to work!

    Summer is a busy time.

    Looking forward to hearing about Mexico!
    David recently posted..Taking the Land- Or Kicking the Devils Behind

  5. I always wanted to be a teacher 3 months out of the year. Our vacation (other than a couple long weekends away) will be saved until the October wedding of our daughter. (Bye-bye vacation fund). If I’m gone, RB immediately buys ice cream and freeze pops and those orange push-up thingies. It’s like a gustatory vacation for him. Truth be told, we really enjoy “vacationing” at home. I read off the honey-do list and honey do’s it. Then we bike for miles on the trails, grill out, sit on the patio and watch the grass grow, take on special projects. This summer I’m making tutus for our new granddaughter in Iowa Hawkeye black & gold and UNI (can you say Ali Farokhmanesh?) purple & gold. Honey wouldn’t do that one. Oh, and we buried the cat.
    Candy recently posted..Functional Foodie Friday- Steamed Baby Bok Choy

  6. I’m always the busiest with work in the summer…But that doesn’t stop us from firing up the grill, getting slip and slide out….and inviting family over for a couple of weekends in a row for some fun….

    we also like to take a weekend to go just a couple of hours away somewhere…

    Nothing too major…

    I’ve been the Grand Canyon 3 times….and each time…it’s been awesome…i like things like that….don’t know why…

  7. I love the comment about suburbanites. I am quite certain that without a freezer I would starve to death. I have no idea how to grow food and then prepare it.
    Jeremy’s Confessions recently posted..Confession 62- I turned God into a formula

  8. My dad (a school teacher) has gotten a job as a park ranger several of the past few years. This year he’s actually near us! We’ll probably take a weekend to go up and visit his park (Sandy Hook, NJ) and visit NYC, but we’ll get lots of weekends with PawPaw coming to visit! We’ve got my hubs home pastor visiting tomorrow to catch an Os game, and the two “big” kids will be spending a week in NC with Nana and Granddaddy while I take the baby to Nashville to see Grandma while I go to MOPS convention!!

    Other than that, we’ll continue getting the backyard in hand (moved in last Oct. and the yard needed a LOT of work), probably grill out a lot, and keep the garden going (and hopefully get something out of it – so far we’ve “harvested” one tiny mushroom, a couple of strawberries that weren’t really ripe yet, and the lettuce that there wasn’t space for once we “thinned”).

    Nothing huge planned, but it’ll be lots of fun! :)
    Princess Leia recently posted..Shoeboxes!

  9. Just starting a new diet and would be thrilled to lose some weight; that is something to look forward to! We’d like to take our “rent a kids” for a week and do fun stuff with them. I’d like to get some gardening done, but the weather isn’t cooperating – we’ve a storm moving in but they say it (probably) shouldn’t snow this time. Sigh.

    Your comment on “something to look forward to” made me think about my hubby’s cousins. They are Jehovah’s Witnesses and as far as i can tell, the only things they celebrate are weddings and wedding anniversaries, and out of town family coming to visit. I try to get my head around no Thanksgiving, no Christmas, none of the things that most people enjoy celebrating. It boggles my mind to think of living that way.

  10. Wait, it’s not summer yet?

    Unlike the previous years of married with kiddos life, this past year I’ve been a stay at home mom/homemaker AND we’ve been living in North Carolina (I lived all 30 of my previous years in Minnesota), so I’ve kind of felt like I’ve been on summer vacation for the past year.

    I’m planning on going back to school part time this August to beef up my BA in psych so I can eventually go to medical school, so I guess the next 2 months really are my last months of the continual vacation I’ve been on. So, I’m looking forward to:

    The grandparents taking the kiddos for a week and a half. Most of that time, my husband will be at work, but I’m an introvert– so this sounds like heaven to me. The last half of that we are flying across the country to go to friend’s wedding in Oregon. I am REALLY looking forward to that. I haven’t been to a wedding sans kids for almost 7 years. I won’t have to sit in the back pew trying desperately to keep my little ones from blurting out something loud in the middle of their vows! Yay!

  11. There campfires, frisbee, a wonderful game of speedmitton, trying to run, giving up on running, and eating some fresh fruit!

  12. You’re camping in Colorado this summer? Since about half our state is rocks, which rocks do you intend to pitch your tent next to? And do you have a site reserved?

    Since we spent 10 days in California in March, we won’t be going anywhere far this summer… just camping locally (a major perk of living in Colorado!) for a few days here and there.

    The Big Deal this July is my husband’s family’s first-ever reunion with siblings and spouses. He’s one of six kids, and his dad is turning 90 this fall, so they decided to celebrate together… here in (you guessed it) Colorado. One sister is bringing her family from Germany, others are flying in from both coasts. I (an only child) considered spending the weekend in Alaska, but that week is also our 33rd anniversary, so I guess I’d better hang around after all.

    • We’ve got a couple of places in mind. First stopping at Golden Gate Canyon State Park, where we’ll be staying in one of the walk in sites, then heading toward Colorado Springs where we’ve got a cabin for a couple of days.

      It’s really interesting how different states do their state parks. Arkansas was very commercial and pretty expensive. It’s pretty much their only tourist attraction. Kansas’ are practically non-existant – no reservations. MO seems to have a nice balance. No one thinks of coming here, so it leaves a nice selection of campsites at reasonable prices.

  13. Honestly, we have no plans. Since I’m unemployed we can’t really plan something until I find a job. We can’t even afford to grill. :) But it’s OK…God’s got us.
    Jason recently posted..Day 156- A moment over three years in the making

  14. Just bought new bicycles for the kiddos, so we’ll be taking some fun family bike rides in this God forsaken heat. Heading down to Gulf Shores, my new favorite beach, completely redoing my daughter’s room–paint, furniture, bedding, and reading. Lots and lots of reading. And we’ll probably take the boat out a lot. Unless all the lakes dry up because of this God forsaken heat.
    katdish recently posted..The proper care and feeding of elephants- Part 4

  15. Gardening and sitting on the patio reading.

    Hopefully I’ll be rehired for summer school. I still haven’t heard back.
    Helen recently posted..Beginning of Summer Twitter Ho Down Post

  16. Our plans for summer? SELL OUR HOUSE!!! Move to COLORADO!!!
    We are ‘fsbo’-ing it, listing it on the market tomorrow!
    Matt, where are you going camping in CO?
    Leslie, where do you live in Co?
    We are just over the border in Wyoming (aka. the end of the world) and moving (God, are you willing?) to Fort Collins.

    And then there is the process of sending our firstborn off to college. Six states away. :{

  17. Oh summer, it’s still so cold and rainy here it hasn’t felt much like summer. Maybe it will help my garden grow.

    I go back to work after a year off so it’ll be lots of adjustment and finding childcare ect,. We did just buy a tent trailer though, so I hope we can enjoy it, while I work to rebuild our emergency fund! :)

    The pinnacle of our summer though in a week in sept we are going out to bc, cabin on the lake and some really intentional family time. Really looking forward to it. Should get us through the rest of summer.
    Jenn recently posted..These are the days in which church isnt making great sense to me

  18. “it’s a week of eating all the delicious food she frowns on”

    that made me laugh
    tim recently posted..The Canucks are simply Bieksallent

  19. I like that your wife gets to have you for a week and gets to not have you. And both are good.

    My plans are stay cool, work some camps, shoot fireworks, eat hotdogs, watch movies in the park. Uber productive.
    Jamie recently posted..The Post About The Rabbit Recommends v91

  20. I will be driving about 6,500 miles with my fiance doing all kinds of stuff. I think it’s going to be awesome, which is way better than kind of awesome.

    Then we are moving her out to Oregon. Good-bye long distance relationship!

    • 6500 miles? I hope she is still your fiance when its over! 😉

    • 6500 miles! Dude, where does she live, Argentina? Is she a missionary, or a mail-order bride? (heeheehee)

      • wow. No there are just a lot of different trips: Oregon to New Mexico and back, Oregon to california, St. Louis to Phoenix and then to Oregon.

        Mail order bride?! I am so not telling her you said that!

        • Phew! Thanks, sometimes I just get in a mood to say crazy thangs. All in love, brotha, all in love.
          Enjoy your road tripS!

  21. Growing up in Colorado I had the privilege of hearing my Dad explain the scenery to the flat-land touristers. “Did you every wonder what the Lord wanted with so much wasteland? That’s it. When he finished creating the world, he had to have a place to put the leftovers.”
    vanilla recently posted..Shopping With the Beloved One

  22. Matt, sounds like a recipe for pure summer bliss. I would love to visit Colorado – might you and Vanilla have any suggestions of must-see activities?

    Our family is renting a cottage on a lake for a week in August, looking forward to that. If it’s incredible, we may consider purchasing a lake place in a year or two. My wife spent her youthful summers on lake front property and wants our girls to have similar memories.

    Any spare time I have absent my family is spent running, writing or fulfilling orders for our online book business.
    Tor Constantino recently posted..Cute Caption Contest Winner!!!

    • I don’t know what the real must see places in CO are. We’re going to the Garden of the Gods and taking the cogtrain up Pike’s Peak. If you asked me about where the best beach in the US is – I could tell you that…for a price. :)

      • LOVE Garden of the Gods. I’m going to C.S. tomorrow to meet up with my Intervarsity Staffer from my college days. We will probably sneak in a visit to God’s Garden. 😉

  23. I truly laughed out loud. My neighbor has a small, raised garden bed in his backyard. I water it for him every morning. I need a pair of boots. Ah, domestic agriculture.

    I love Colorado. I’ve been to a music festival in Steamboat Springs two winters. Hoping to visit during the summer in the next few years.

    When I was scratching out from under some trials, I celebrated small victories and some seemingly trivial things. It’s a good perspective to have things on the horizon.

    Summer plans: Finish reading my pile of books, buy a few new ones, taking a couple weeks away from the Interne, and some exciting day/long weekend trips.

    Be well and be careful, everyone!

  24. I have plans to survive this summer. Our son has returned home from college and is driving me crazy! We also have a conference at church in the summer. I always look forward to that!