I had an oddly happy, satisfied, excited feeling all day today. Absurdly, I initially chalked it up to having a quiet, meeting-free day at work in which to get a lot done. I did, and I did, but after dinner, playing outside with the girls, I realized that the sensation was much more due to the fact that today’s really the start of summer, complete with typical crazy summer weather that ranged from deafening thundershowers this morning to hazy, humid sunshine this afternoon.
Narcissistically, summer is full of things to anticipate with eagerness. In a month, I’ll take a work-related trip to a professional meeting that is always valuable and that leaves me energized for the rest of the summer’s work. July is dominated by my second-most-favorite sporting event, the Tour de France, which is as complicated, excessive, and political as it is impressive. The long summer evenings leave plenty of time for sitting out on the patio with a beer and a book – including several good ones that are coming out this summer. And as much as I love being outside in the winter, I also love being outside in the summer: it’s the best season for working out. The heat and humidity (“What does not kill me…”), the sudden squalls, the dusty roads, the greening fields… I plan to take a couple workday afternoons off to do some long bike rides, for instance.
Work changes dramatically when – as it has – campus empties out: three-quarters of the students are long gone, and the seniors are only here through the weekend, with commencement occurring tomorrow. Come Monday, we’ll be in ghost town mode at Carleton. Which is, all things considered, pretty nice, both in its own right (fewer meetings! a less urgent pace! lots of time for projects! summer dress code!) and in comparison to the happy hubbub of campus during the school year.
At home, today was our first pick up at our CSA farm, Open Hands, the produce of which pretty much means “summer” to us. Shannon and the girls went out there this afternoon, caught up with the proprietors and their dog, and brought home a nice trove of produce, including lots of greens and some tiny, fantastically sweet strawberries – which we enjoyed with homemade pizza for dinner.
And most importantly, today was Julia’s last day of kindergarten. She’s a first grader now, ready to soak up her first true summer vacation (even if she doesn’t yet know just how lucky she is). Vivi’s been done with preschool for a while, but many things have been on hold until Julia finished up. With K now history, it’s on to summer: soccer and swimming lessons for Julia, summer “school” for Vivi, picnics, lots of outdoor play – all the things that Shannon excels at planning and carrying out. They’re going to have a lot of fun – at least as much fun as these yahoos who were in my yard last summer.