Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Three-Day Weekend, Oh How I Love Thee

When I still lived in the Washington DC area, I got used to having a fair number of day-off kinds of holidays. Many employers in that neck of the woods simply follow the federal government's holiday schedule. When I moved to the midwest, I lost a few holidays. No more days off on Veteran's Day, Martin Luther King Day, etc. Let me just tell you that the period from New Year's Day to Memorial Day is a vast wasteland of drudgery and disappointment.

So it was that I was very excited about having a three-day weekend for Memorial Day. Now, lest you think I'm a shallow hag who doesn't know what the holiday is for, allow me to assure you that I do. But still, sunshine and lollipops, too.

I had to leave work early on Friday for a band concert at my daughter's school. God love that poor band instructor.  He teaches band to fifth graders at every elementary school in the district. He probably hears Hot Cross Buns in his sleep. My kid plays the clarinet - and I'm using the word "plays" pretty loosely here. She didn't practice and didn't seem very enthusiastic (well, she was enthusiastic . . . for the first two days). I'm glad we did the band thing (I thought it would be helpful to her singing career to learn how to read music and such), but I'm also glad the school year is just about over. She did squeak during the concert but did well otherwise.  I talked to the band instructor after it was over and asked him if it is okay to return the clarinet to the music store. I just wanted to make sure there aren't any more rehearsals.

"Are you sure she doesn't need it for next year?" he asked me.

"Oh, I'm sure," I replied.

I returned the clarinet to the music store later that evening. I've had thirty-something bucks ripped out of my checking account every month since the school year started and I was happy to put an end to that. I don't want to make it sound like I don't encourage my child. I do - I just thing singing is more her thing.

On my way home from the music store, I stopped at Home Depot and bought a new umbrella for the deck. I bought a patio set on Craigslist a few years ago and have now replaced all of the chairs and the umbrella. In retrospect, that little bargain is not looking so bargain-y.

The weather forecast for the weekend was a little dicey. I decided to take a wait-and-see approach for Saturday.  I got up and headed to the farmers' market and then the gym. It was the first farmers' market of the year and our growing season is relatively short in these parts, but there were lots of good things for sale. I picked up some asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, and peaches.

The rain seemed to be holding off so the kid and I decided to head to an art festival about an hour away. I'm still bummed that she no longer says "festibul."  It was a windy but otherwise gorgeous afternoon. She had conveniently forgotten her wallet (which contained some birthday money) so I bought her a necklace and a trampoline session. I bought some earrings and a pendant for myself. The fair was held at a waterfront park, so we spent some time just hanging out.  She got soaking wet, of course. Because kids.

After the fair, we went to a candy store and then a toy store. The kid conned me into buying her a root beer float. "Forgot my wallet," my ass.  At the toy store, I stopped to chat with the owner. I knew that the shop dog, a Borzoi named Ziva, had passed away recently. I loved that dog. I used to stop in sometimes just to see her.  "I'm so sorry about your dog," I told the owner. Much to my surprise, she came around from behind the counter, gave me a big hug, and thanked me for the condolences.  She told me how much she missed Ziva and how great the loss had been. I told her that my Giddy died five months ago and I can still barely talk about him. Dog people understand these things.

On our way back home, we stopped at an amusement park to ride a couple of rides. It was supposed to be a quick trip, but we ran into a friend/neighbor and ended up hanging out a lot longer - which was perfectly fine because the weather was still beautiful. My friend has two boys that are a lot older than my daughter, but they are nice kids and didn't mind having a fifth grader tagging along for the rides. After we left the amusement park, my daughter said, "This was the best day ever, Mom."

Sunday ended up being a pretty quiet day. There was rain in the forecast for sure this time.  Church was canceled because of the holiday. So, I decided to take Grover to the dog park to wear him out. He's technically not old enough to be there yet, but I figured it would be pretty quiet. The kid and I took him over there. It rained on the way but then cleared up. Grover had a ball. He was running around with a Newfoundland ten times his size. The Newfie marked a tree and Grover put his head in the urine stream - that's how smart my boy is.

The rest of the day was pretty quiet. I did a little shopping and then went to a yoga class in the evening. I've been really gun-shy about working out (for fear that it will make the plantar fasciitis worse), but I've been easing back into it. So far, so good. The new shoes really have made a world of difference.

Monday was another "good weather" day so the three of us went to the local wildlife sanctuary and hung out for a couple of hours.  Oh, I almost forgot! Before that we picked up a new foster dog.  He's a temporary boarder named Jake - he's a German Shepherd. He's headed to a foster-to-adopt home this weekend. He's shy but has warmed up to us pretty quickly.

All in all, it was an excellent three-day weekend. I enjoyed several meals under my new umbrella and possibly a couple of adult beverages, too.

The last day of school is coming up very quickly. It can't come soon enough for me, I tell ya. I've reached maximum backpack-checking and whatnot. I think that Mr. N (A's teacher) and I have reached an unspoken agreement: at this point, I don't bother to sign anything or fill out any reading sheets, and he doesn't bother to check. It's a win-win.



See the lunatic in the front car with her hands up? That's my lunatic.

See the lunatic with his face in the sprinkler? That's my lunatic.



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