the queen of summer

‘Cause we keep it together the better the weather,
We love it that way…

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Last summer, when we were in Europe, I realized how much I miss having summers off. Not (just) because of the whole not-working action, but because my family is off in the summer – and I love those guys.

For seventeen years, David and I had summers off together. Most of that time, it was because we were both either students or teachers or one of each. Occasionally, we were between jobs, between states, or between countries. Whatever the reason, we had that time together.

David is different in the summer. During the school year, he is so focused on school – and playing board games to alleviate the stress of school – that he rarely has time to just relax and be himself. In the summer, he is that person… and I really like that person.

Quinland marveled over this repeatedly in Europe. David was so friendly, so chatty with strangers, so energetic, so willing to do hikes and bike rides and sea kayaking, so eager to sightsee and go to museums, so FUN. (We took to calling this aspect of him “Euro Dad.”) But really and truly, I know that David from all the summers we spent together doing all those things. It was so incredible to get to have that experience again after almost 10 years without it.

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So, this year, I decided I was going to get at least a taste of it. We took a vacation – a real vacation – and went on a road trip down through Oregon, Northern California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado, stopping at National Parks and State Parks along the way. D and Q went for three weeks; I couldn’t get that much time off, but I went for two full weeks. Camping, driving, visiting friends and relatives, hiking, just hanging out – it was like having a summer again.

Oh, I can’t forget to add this: Crater Lake is beautiful. Why had I never managed to get there before?

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