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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Summertime and the Livin' Is Lackluster

It's getting to be that time of year again. August 1st always reminds me that I only have one month, perhaps two, of summer left. And that two months of it has gone. Disappeared. And how much I have not done this year. Again. Every year its the same. I'm not a regretful sort of person. But I do like to take advantage of as much as I can in life. If I get invited to a party, coffee or dinner, I do try to say yes as often as I can. It seems like summertime goes by more and more quickly as we age. I'm not sure what that particular phenomenon is called but time does have an innate ability to shift in how it actually "feels" to us -- as adults rather than children.

So, back to the topic at hand -- the storage shed sits full of camping gear. A brand new tent, cook stove, sleeping bags and foam pads, pots and pans, dishware, the whole works. We used to use it regularly and haven't now for several years. Each year I try to see where we can fit camping in to our schedule only to be disappointed that it just isn't going to work. We had a great vacation in Provincetown in early July but that has sucked the life out of my checkbook and work time. I'm now working as much as I can. Plus, we can't leave town now with our responsibilities to my MIL. She is in an assisted living facility right now at least and needs me in town for the driving and errands....I'm the sole driver in our family. I have five days off starting next Saturday but hubby doesn't. And that's the only stretch of days for August. I swear, the schedule just never fits. And, so, no camping this year.

We have been able to go to a few of Portland's free Summer Concerts in the Parks, thankfully. The beach has been a lost cause with cloudy days, cool weather, and responsibilities with MIL. It's August 2 and I've been twice since April. We have yet to have a BBQ at our condo. At our other home, it seems to me that we had backyard get-togethers regularly but perhaps my perception is skewed. I wanted to see more of my little puppy dog friend Wink this summer -- we were supposed to get together with her Mommies and go to the park. My buddy James had back surgery and I have yet to check in with him. I haven't been to the Oregon Coast for several years. I'd love to go to San Francisco, Seattle or Vancouver BC Pride some year....but it probably won't happen. We've been invited to Folsom Street Fair at the end of September -- what do you want to bet that won't pan out either. And I'd love to see my family in Boise more often but...... And I got a nice photo ID and access to a very nice doggy park to take Mason this summer. He went once and was bored within five minutes. We haven't been back. There was a huge celebration of all of Portland's bridges over this last weekend. We didn't go. And a buddy has a 1970s party this coming Saturday -- but I'm not so sure I'll be there. And Rolfe and Stephen wanted us to have drinks in their backyard this summer. Who knows.

Something always comes up. In the way. Requiring me to leave early, come home sooner than I'd like to....it just makes things too complicated. And I don't do complicated. I know, I know.....focus on what I HAVE been able to do. Count my blessings. Be happy with what I have. I know. I get it. I'm generally that way. But there's something about summer that drives me nuts -- wishing, hoping, thinking for more. And generally being disappointed. Summertime just isn't what it used to be.


Blair said...

You have always been there for me and my family and maybe it's time for me to be there more for you.

Since I don't see a change in what is happening in my screwed up life anytime soon, I say, take off. Go. Do what you need to do. Hit the road. Leave the worries behind. I can't step on your toes any longer. It's clear what is keeping from enjoying your summer and I can only open the door for you and hope you will take advantage of some well deserved freedom from the daily grind. I'll be here waiting for you when you return.

FlipFlopsBoy said...

What a wonderful husband!

Summer for me has gotten dreary as well. Of course, I was sick for the entire month of July, and still can't be seen in a speedo with my abdominal scar...but here in Louisiana, it will be summer until December!



Greg said...

With all those responsibilities, never forget to set some time aside for you. Otherwise, you'll be a mess and need an assisted living space, too. And we can't let that happen!!

BosGuy said...

Yes, I know what you mean. Summer is always too short here in Boston too. Although, hopefully next year if you come back to Ptown I can meet you for a beer here in Boston before you head to the Cape.


Anne said...

ummmmm what? brother, you sold that home with the nice backyard on purpose. it was a good decision. i hear a lot of negativity here and that's a signal. how soon can you retire and do all this extra-curricular stuff? not soon? then i think you should schedule one big "place" each year. if it's camping, great. if it's ptown, great. you are constantly on the go with all the aforementioned things. some are necessities, most are not. i'm sure you'll be fine after a xanax and some mind-numbing family guy. do i need to come over there and kick your behind?

LSL said...

Lovely pic and new look!

I just wanted to say that I hear you on this one. You and Blair have tough, involved, time-consuming jobs, and summer goes by too quickly in these wonderful but rainy parts. I think it's a privlege to be there for family members and friends, but we all need some me-time, too, to refuel ourselves so there's something to give. Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others? Haven't I heard that somewhere? :)

I hope you get to do some soul-level refueling soon. Hugs.

Lemuel said...

Your comments about the camping equipment and inability to use it made me sigh. We used to own a pop-up camper and would not only have a week or so vacation in it, but also go out on a few random weekends during the summer. Then I changed careers and we moved and for years the camper sat at the back of our property unused. About 15 years ago now, I finally let go and sold it. It was a very sad day.

Peter Maria said...

Have you guys looked into Silver Falls State Park, down in charming Silverton, OR (about an hour south of Portland)? They have CABINS with fridges and beds and (outdoor) gas grills. You'll need to supply your own linens and cookware and firewood (if you want to build a fire in the handy fire pit), but to me that was always a LOT easier than dealing with packing up all that camping equipment and setting up (and then tearing down) a campsite. Also, the hiking trails to see the many various waterfalls are great, and the Oregon Garden is nearby and worth seeing. And I'll take sleeping in a cabin over sleeping in a tent any day (or, rather, night).

SO, quick access from Portland and ease of use of site meant we were always able to get down there 2-3 times per year. There are communal restroom and shower facilities for each little grouping of cabins, too. You'll have to book online at the state park site, but they take reservations quite a bit in advance, so it's easy to plan trips.

Finally, the cabins are heated, so you can really go year round. We went in late fall and had a great, romantic time. Just FYI, in case that time of year would be more conducive for a quick "camping" trip.

P.S. The nearby towns of Silverton and Mt. Angel are very charming, in a Mayberry-on-the-best-coast kind of way. You may be able to tour the nunnery and church in Mt. Angel, as well.