Thursday, May 24, 2007
I have never thought of May as a particularly busy month. I never thought moving to another state would impact that idea whatsoever. I just didn't pay it much attention. Would you? But here we are at the end of May, (and I have gathered similar testimony from other migrants to this area) so I now attest that the month will forever be a distinction, and geared up for with more fervent action in the future. School gets out for Summer vacation on May 25th, instead of the usual 2nd week of June so many of us Northwesterners have grown up with, and that single event seems to be the catalyst to the organized mayhem messing up my calendar on the kitchen wall. I have been given several reasons for such an early release: 1) to take as much advantage of the short summer season as possible, 2) students are needed to staff the tourist-driven businesses of Cody, 3) we've been cooped up long enough. After I first learned about it, I was with a group of women and the subject came up. I made the mistake of assuming their feelings would reflect my own when I asked, "What are you supposed to do with the kids home that early?" I received blank stares...then one of the women said, "Enjoy them! Go see things! Go visit places!" I raised my eyebrows and nodded, thinking, "Your children must behave." But, that was before the long winter, before -13 degrees, the wind blowing so hard at night you ducked under the covers in anticipation of the window glass giving way, trick-or-treating in 7 degree weather, and filing February garden catalogs away until 2 weeks ago. Before our schedules filled up with piano lessons, football practices and games, basketball practice and games, ballet lessons, cub scouts, boy scouts, choir practices and concerts, women and co-ed volleyball leagues, track meets, baseball practice and games, science projects, computer projects, parent-teacher conferences, homework, and more homework, calls from school begging to bring the forgotten item by next class period, packing sack lunches every morning, going through paper piles every afternoon, all juggled precariously on a write-on-wipe-off calendar, whose magnetic pen finally ran out of ink and was replaced last week. So, May brings the end of track season, the last ballet lesson and Spring recital, the last piano lesson, the final cub scout pack meeting with the last batch of homemade brownies, the last day of babysitting, the final choir concerts, the volleyball championship tournament (our women's team took 2nd!), tonight's 8th grade graduation ceremony, for which the final touches on the formal dress were made last week, the last study session for end-of-the-year tests, the 6th grade 3-day Nature Camp Brandon chaperoned with Braeden, the planning and assignments for the Jensen reunion in less than 2 weeks, and the itinerary laid out for our summer trip to the coast. I also must mention the window for getting the vegetable garden in is pretty small here, "After the last frost, but before June 6, or it will be too late." So, the vegetable garden is dug, composted, furrowed, planted, and staked, and I bit my lip as the temperature dropped to 35 degrees 2 nights ago. (We covered things up and the seedlings look great.) And now, as the class parties are being held and baseball survives its place on the calendar for a bit, I find myself anxious to have the family home and doing lots of nothing in particular, but making it fun. We are starting this weekend by celebrating Brandon and Jacob's birthday, May 27th, with Pirates of the Carribean III, and a day trip to Yellowstone, where we have a really good chance of seeing some bears. After that, who knows? I do know one thing: I will enjoy my kids, go see things, and go visit places. I just won't have to look at the calendar to do it!