It's that time of year again. Summer. Although we extended our school year into later days of June than ever before, it is now over, and this long month of July stretches before me. I'm sure the kids love it, but I hate it. Days with no plans. Some would find that relaxing, but I find it...boring and a little lonely.
I guess what it comes down to is the fact that there are, at times, days in a row during the summer where I go without any adult interaction. Sometimes I look at the "olden days" with a little envy. True, today I can turn on the TV and bring whomever happens to be on the screen into my home; I can turn on the computer and there are the faces of my 500+ Facebook friends; I can flip open my phone, punch in a few words, and almost instantly I'll receive a response.
But it's not the same as the days of yore when life was slower and less hectic. These were days when neighbors knew each other and could be counted on to help each other out. These were days when children could play outside all day wherever they wanted with less fear of becoming a headline. These were days when people sat on their porches talking and watching the world go by. These were days where your husband worked down at the general store on the corner and came home at lunch for a meal and a nap.
At least that's how I imagine those days were. And don't get me wrong: I have friends--real friends, not just virtual ones--and even a couple who live within spitting distance and would come running if I needed them. It's just a different world today where Things to Do usually cost a fortune. And it's not always that easy to find where your schedule intersects friends' schedules.
So I'm tackling it a week at a time. Trying to find fun, inexpensive things to do that aren't too far from home. I've got next week filled with visits to a state park the kids have never been to as well as a nature center none of us has visited. We'll also brave the free mall movie again just because it's a different setting than home. Maybe we'll do some late night swimming too; even the pool gets boring after awhile, but night swimming? Totally awesome according to the kids.
As for me, what I'd like to be doing is planning the next school year, but my neck still hurts like crazy and hunching over a textbook or the computer does not help. At all.