Monday, September 20, 2010

SURVIVING SUMMER, SURVIVING VACATION


Sycamores across from the cottage.

Well, it looks as though I've survived another summer. As I said before, summer is my least favorite of the seasons—though there are many things about summer I like. The heat is my biggest grip. Anything above 75˚F is too hot for my boreal tastes.

As if to rub itself in my face on this final day of the season, today's afternoon temperature is predicted to hit a high of 90˚F. I say that's a decided lack of good manners, like a guest who cleans out your refrigerator before departing. But I'll endure such childish games and say good riddance—autumn will be here tomorrow and with it the finest weather along with some of the prettiest scenery of the entire year.

This is also the last day of Myladylove's 10-day vacation. On the agenda is a trip to the doctor for her annual checkup, lunch somewhere on the far side of town, a possible run to check out a new outlet mall, and a visit to the Ikea store near Cincinnati.


I once asked a friend about his recent vacation. He's one of those extreme sports outdoor types whose idea of a good time is kayaking some ugly piece of jungle whitewater, or climbing the most challenging rock face of a soaring mountain where a single misstep would send him plunging over a sheer, 1000-foot drop-off. So I wasn't too surprised by his answer.

"There were moments when I honestly didn't think I'd survive," he said.


"Did you encounter troubles trekking across some foreign wasteland? Or have a close call cave diving in the tropics?" I asked, ready to be regaled by his latest adventure.

"Nahhh," he said, looking a little sheepish. "Nothing like that. It was my wife and her chore list. She was relentless …dang near worked me to death!"

Our recent attempt at vacation has given new insight to my friend's explanation.

The problem is that we didn't take a real vacation. When Myladylove's time-off date rolled around, she wasn't feeling good because of an upper respiratory and sinus infection, which caused concurrent inner-ear problems. I'm still having vision difficulties because of the contact lens issues. Moreover, at the time her vacation began, Myladylove's sister, who lives in east-Tennessee, was in the hospital with the potential for things to take a serious turn, necessitating that we'd have to head south.

So we made a command decision and elected to forgo our planned wilderness campout for several shorter excursions—plus a day here and there at home to laze by the riverside and watch autumn come slipping in. Unfortunately, this latter notion kept getting interrupted by Myladylove's inability to sit idle when she could be working on something. Naturally, since it was a joint vacation, all work projects were expected to be addressed through dual labor.

Things reached the point where, not only was my own survival in question, but hers as well, and I found it necessary to lay down the law over breakfast yesterday morning: "From now on, you're going to rest!" I said. "It isn't negotiable, and will be enforced even if I have to drag you off to a lake for a picnic and duct tape you into your chaise longue! And quit grinning at me like that—I'm not kidding!"

So yesterday we lazed around for two or three hours. I shot a few photos around the cottage. Myladylove made a turquoise, red jasper, and silver necklace. Then we ran around to various stores, did a few necessary errands, and got back home just as the sun was going down. But we didn't once pick up a shovel or pick-axe, load a single boulder into the wheelbarrow, or rake even a cubic yard of gravel. And who knows…we might even manage another two-hour sit-down late this afternoon!

The sky's the limit on this last day of summer AND vacation!
———————

8 comments:

The Solitary Walker said...

Sometimes you just have to tell 'em, Jim! (Though I suspect your Yourladylove has tried to get you to slow down even more than you have her!) I sympathize once more with your continued eye problems (I myself have constant and annoying problems with 'floaters' dislodged from the vitreous) and with Yourladylove's ear problems. Having some hearing problems, too, at the moment, and it just places you in an unbalanced and isolated world.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

I love just being lazy on vacation days. Travel and sight seeing is exhausting. I, like you dislike the heat of summer and agree that 75 degrees is the limit. phew. Your treks about and leisurely afternoons duct tape or not sounded delightful. :-)

Love to you and your lady love
Gail
peace, hope and healing.....

P.S. I am still on the mend, perhaps I have reached a new "abnormal-normal"!!

Carolyn H said...

Griz: Yay!! Another summer is over. (I made it through, too!)

Carolyn H.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

We left at 8:40 a.m. and just got back in at 4:25 p.m. after a full day of errands, doctoring, shopping, mall trolling, overeating, and congested freeway driving. One final fling at vacation madness!

Myladylove now has new pills for what ails her. Perhaps they will help both her upper respiratory and sinus infection, and do something for the inner ears problems and her balance and occasional nausea.

I've just called the optometrist and found out the new contacts which were supposed to be in last week have now arrived, but that the doctor is out of town (no doubt vacationing with his wife on some congested freeway) and will not darken the doorway of his office, or tend to my vision needs, until the END OF NEXT WEEK!

Sorry to hear you're having both hearing and vision problems. I've never had the inner-ear deal, or been seasick, but I've had a couple of large floaters in one eye—and I hated that like the plague. I wish you well, my friend. (And I will catch up on your posts.)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I've been "abnormally-normal" for years, though maybe it was just a novice-curmudgeon's railing at creeping geezerhood.

Keep mending…and get ready to enjoy autumn.

Best, as always…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carolyn…

My sentiments exactly…hallelujah for another autumn!

George said...

Well, Grizz, having read your post and the comments, especially those of our friend, Robert, The Solitary Walker, I don't quite know where to begin. The problem is that, regardless of the weather, it seems that many of us have some nagging health issues — your eyes, your ladylove's bug and respiratory issues, Robert's vitreous detachments and ear problems, my own recent problems with "floaters" from vitreous detachments, and my own ladylove's throat, sinus, and chest problems that have left her sidelined for two weeks. On the asset side of the agenda, however, we have those sycamores dancing in the river next to your cottage; we have friendships through which we can express our grievances with the universe; and we have the knowledge that all things pass, including those pesky things like health issues, hot temperatures, and disruptions of vacations.
Here's hoping the the autumn will rain blessings upon you and your ladylove.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

George…

Thank you so much for your understanding words. Really, we had a pretty good and fun vacation, all in all. Just not the vacation we'd planned. And you're right, health issues can see to take over your life sometimes. But I'm fairly unsinkable. I try and make the best to things—and while I'll whine to beat the band for awhile…I can't keep from whistling for too long. Life is too wonderful, too filled with wonder and joy and hope to allow circumstances to keep you down forever. I sense you share much the same life outlook. Love, friendship, and sycamores dancing in the river will trump almost anything given a measure of time.