As I spent most of the summer home and unemployed, I thought it was a good time to write a ‘What I Did on Summer Vacation’. The last time I had a summer vacation that lasted more than a week, I was 21, smelled of body odor and too much cologne, and was home from college. Also, I haven’t written about what I did on a summer vacation since I described burying my GI Joe’s at the Jersey beach ‘awesome’. I figured I’d be able to bounce some ideas off my kids when they come home from school and had to write about their summer vacations too.
Since I have been out of college, my summer vacations have been restricted to one week (or 5 days depending on who my family and I are spending vacation with). This summer was different though. The summer began in the beginning of May with my pink slip and wondering how we were going to pay for things like the electric bill as my wife turned down the AC and as I furiously sent out resumes.
After the initial shock of having a summer vacation and no job had passed, I picked up my ‘Honey Do’ list that was thicker than the King James Bible and covered in dust (it had been a while since I went through it). I scanned the list, skipped over the hardest ones or the ones that involved using a pipe wrench and settled on grabbing a paint brush.
I picked through the 2 inch thick scab of dried paint hiding the half gallon of paint left in the can to finally finish painting my front porch I started 5 years ago (‘Honey Do’ #15 done). Next up was multiple trips back and forth to the mulch pit (and possibly multiple slipped discs in my back) to fill up my gardens with something other than dirt (‘Honey Do’ #22 done). I also managed to keep the house clean, do the laundry, and make lunches while the kids were still in school (‘Honey Do’ #1, #2 and #5 done).
I also got the chance to be with my kids. Besides weekends, work schedules have left time with my family to only a few precious hours at night and lunch breaks don’t usually last long enough to meet my kids for an afternoon matinee. So while the kids were in school I weeded through my ‘Honey Do’ list so that I would have the time, when my kids were home, to spend with them. And I had lots of time. Time at the pool, going to the library and grandmom’s house for free lunches. Time riding bikes, walking the dog, going grocery shopping, walking around the mall (and fending off their pleas to buy something like a matador performing a ‘pase de la firma’), and watching movies. Time spent together we did our best Jackson Pollack impressions as we painted the garage with our hands (Put the kids to work and check off another ‘Honey Do’ item? That’s killing two birds with one stone at its best my friends).
In between making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, working like a general contractor eliminating things off of a 5 year old ‘To Do’ list, and worrying about how I was going to pay the mortgage, I spent time laughing, talking, and just being together with my kids this summer. So to borrow a phrase from the last time I wrote one of these…What I did on summer vacation was awesome.