It’s not unlike the one I do at the end of every year for New Year’s! Oh boy, will that be interesting this year! We’ll get to that, though. I originally got these awesome end of summer questions from Old School Blogging. Does anyone remember Old School Blogging? I sometimes feel like I’m a dinosaur because I haven’t paused in over 10 years. I do sponsored posts, organic posts, weird posts, blue posts, red posts, and just plain posts. I’m the only one of my kind left, it seems, but I’ll just keep going. Why not, right? So, let’s talk Summer 2020.
When I filled this out last, I used Peter Gabriel lyrics. And as for the Not Bummer Summer reference, I think there’s a series of kids’ books called, “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.” This might be more of a Bummer Summer, though. I really don’t know what it is, except that this weekend marks SIX WHOLE MONTHS of starting this weird life. “The Weirds.” The summer was rather amazing, and terrible. Where we missed camp and friends and travel, we saw puppy life, the start of our home renovation, and my continuing baby growth. We had hope and light, and we continue to have it, although so many dreams were shattered. Of August camps, and then golden school bus mornings again. No, not yet. I ache for it, but no, it’s not yet.
Last year, this time felt like magic and fairy light. Both kids were quite adept at bike riding, and we spent nearly all of our free time finding new trails or parts of trails. The kids got adjusted to their new school years, and there was at least some trepidation or exhilaration. We’re coming up on our year anniversary of Cassidy taking Scarlet to Panama, and me taking Des to Georgia – all to see their dream animals. These days, I get tired walking up the stairs too much. I get anxious by endless Zoom meetings, uncertainty, loud construction, loud kids and loud dogs, and I even get anxious about feeling “meh” about this school year. Or I get “meh” about feeling anxious about it. Does it even matter? Will they ever meet in person? What does matter, but resilience and kindness? Catching fleeting moments of golden light. The way we keep going; dreaming.
So this bummer not bummer summer starts to wrap up, and we package it up and store it in our memory banks. Summer berries and face masks smeared with strawberries. The socially distanced play dates. The way it wasn’t safe to drive to some places, and I didn’t have the energy to take them to others. As usual, they wore and wear their disappointment well – letting it fade away as they busy themselves with new products and passions. Scarlet sews or plays LEGOs or busies herself with baby clothes. Des is content just to make himself chocolate milk in his underwear and watch rain drops on the window. I think so often what they will take with them.
I haven’t looked at these questions in two years, so I don’t even know if they CAN be answered in the Summer of Corona, but, what the heck? “Here I go, here I go, here I go again (again?)”
Peter Gabriel and the Bummer Not Bummer Summer:
What was your favorite thing you did alone this summer?
Did I do ANYTHING alone this summer? Or since March 13th? Cassidy took the kids swimming one morning and I used that alone time to fret a bit, try to get comfortable, and catch up on the DVR. That’s the thing. Some TV shows left off abruptly in COVID, and I up and left them abruptly too. Everyone was always home and I couldn’t bear to watch the commercials from that time. That said, I’m catching up again. Watching “Superstore” alone is wonderful. Or taking a bath.
What was your favorite thing you did as a family this summer?
Good question because we did have nice family time – and it was quiet. Puzzles and walks in the woods – without much talking because we were memorizing all of the changing details through the changing seasons. Another thing we did as a family was to build a dream, or at least continue the one of expanding this house and making it more swoon-worthy. And also the way we planned for the baby through an IKEA shopping trip, but that’s another story, later or below.
What books did you read this summer?
I have to confess that I thought I’d read SO much and catch up on the DVR SO much, and edit SO many old photos through March on, and I really didn’t. WHAT DID I DO? I guess I worked and spent time with family. Let’s see – I read a great book about eating during pregnancy, “Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner, “The Giver of Stars,” by Jojo Moyes, a couple of Lemony Snicket books at Scarlet’s insistence (I struggled), and now I’m reading Emily Giffin’s “The Lies That Bind.” It takes place, partly, around September 11th, 2001. So I’ll be reading the book today a lot.
What do you WISH you had done this summer?
Well. Of course I had travel dreams of taking the kids all along the gorgeous California coast, but I think it was more the pregnancy that squashed that. And even though we sold the Cape house, I had dreams of renting one there and letting the kids do circus camp there again. And then circus camp here! Plus visiting my NJ family. And we had that dream about renting a cabin in Maine, bringing our own food, and going on socially distanced moose safaris. Alas, it’s far away and expensive, and I felt weird about being so far from any hospitals. So many obstacles.
What movies did you see this summer (if any)?
Well, nothing in a theater! And nothing really even new, because the kids have been watching a lot of movies from my childhood, but I’ve already seen them. I did see one or two of the X-Men movie I’d never seen, but fell asleep. And Cassidy put on that new Palm Springs movie, which I stayed awake for 100%, and also the new Bill and Ted movie which I slept through. That doesn’t mean anything I slept through was boring. It just means I’m ridiculously pregnant. I guess Palm Springs is the only movie I watched, new and straight-through. At least it was an intriguing one.
Where did you travel this summer?
I didn’t! I dreamed about all the amazing places, though. And it’s almost enough. (not nearly)
What was your favorite treat (as in dessert) this summer?
So I’ve been watching my sugars this whole summer. I tend to do that in pregnancy anyway, but I do have some impaired glucose tolerance. I have never had a spike or anything, but I am so low carb that the glucose test affects me and then I choose to exercise and eat like a saint. It’s better this way. Anyway, ice cream is my favorite thing always but it’s actually pretty ok in moderation for my pregnancy diet. So I will say the best treat was New Jersey bakery cookies.
What did you celebrate this summer?
Oh, we had BIG celebrations! I had a big birthday! And you will not believe what they gave me. Cassidy and the kids told me to not go into the garage for a full month, which was fine by me, and they made me a LIFE-SIZED ADVENT CALENDAR! As you know, I’m an Advent Calendar Queen and love to surprise my family with them every year. Well this was a work of art. It was floor to ceiling and filled with all sorts of secret compartments, treasure hunts, drawers, food, cupboards, doors, windows, cards, frames, and more. I mean it was the biggest work of art ever. I wanted an IKEA trip for my birthday and we went and got baby stuff. Plus, yummy food. It was a great birthday, considering the pandemic. We also celebrated Scarlet’s big 11th! Can’t believe it.
Did you grow anything this summer?
I sure did! We have a GORGEOUS garden and I have done like under 1% of it, if even (maybe I harvested a lot), but people constantly think I am the gardener? It’s fun to take fake credit. (ha!)
What is a favorite post (if you blog) that you wrote this Summer?
Well I never read them more than once or twice – for editing – so I’ll have to really think about this for a minute. So let me see.. I know I loved writing this one about “Are We There Yet?”
What do you want to do next summer?
It’s truly my favorite season, and I have zero regrets about growing a baby, raising a puppy, and working on our new home during this weird summer. That said, of course I wish for safety and health next summer. I wish for travel, with a near one-year-old, and seeing our family. Hugging and loving and adventuring without limits. (I’d love without masks, but I’ll take what I can get)
What is a favorite photograph that you took this summer?
I don’t have a lot from this summer. Usually my favorites are from epic landscapes and beaches. That said, I love this simple photo of Lucy, in her awkward puppy phase, touching my stomach.