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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Plans for a do-nothin' summer

Summer arrives this week. This year, I’m planning to make the most of it. I find if you don’t plan ahead for this sort of thing, you blink and just like that, summer is over.

Each summer we pack our weekends with a number of events that take us away from home. We go camping, we rent a cottage, we visit friends and we travel to take part in festivals and celebrations. Even if it’s just for a few hours and not overnight, it takes us away from a day on the farm. This year is going to be different.

I’m not at the Farmer’s Market this year. I gave up my market space so that a farmer who is working hard to produce local food can reach his customers on Sunday afternoons. I used to schlep my tent, tables and boxes of books out to the car every Sunday and spend approximately five hours of my weekend in the hot sun. While sales were good, I really wanted to be at home. Reading a book. Weeding my garden. Sitting on the porch with my husband.

I’m also not working weekends this summer. Last year my job was busiest on weekends – working at the liquor store – so although I saw most of my friends and knew where the parties were each week – I didn’t have the energy to go anywhere.  This year I’m sleeping in on Saturdays. Making a big breakfast on Sundays and enjoying my coffee on the porch. I’m parking the car on Friday and not moving it til Monday morning unless I absolutely have to.

Things will come up. They always do. And we have certain things we are looking forward to – like the Kemptville Live Music Festival – which will take up the majority of one weekend in July. But for the most part, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be home. With my dog. He’s tired of being shoved in his crate while I hop in the car and zoom from one event to the next. He wants me to stay home too. It’s no fun playing fetch by yourself.

This plan will take a little organization and creativity, I know. And I might have to turn down the occasional invitation if it’s going to mean I have zero downtime on any given weekend. We are going to stay local when possible, even when we are ‘going out’.

I even found a way to get my International students to Parliament Hill on Canada Day without having to take them myself: my daughter is going via Uber and they can come along. That’s great news to me because I don’t do well in crowds and the last time I was on the Hill on July 1st a flying beer bottle hit me in the back of the head.

The Farmer has his summer project – he’s building a house on Bass Lake near Lombardy. That means I will have someplace to go if I really want to get away from home for a day – but it also means he will be happily occupied doing his favourite thing so I don’t have to worry about entertaining him. I can do my own favourite things. One of them might be sitting on his newly built dock, my toes in the water, while I sip a cold beer and read a book.

We do have one week-long getaway planned that I am really excited about. We will be renting the same cottage we rented a few years ago, on the Big Rideau. I do love me a cottage getaway. It’s a heckuva lot of work, because you have to pack up everything you might possibly need for every kind of weather, activity, menu plan and surprise guest. Then you have to clean the place top to bottom when you arrive, because mice nest in the weirdest places (like the stove – which you won’t discover until you are heating it up to cook Sunday dinner…). Then you enjoy yourself for a few days, floating around the lake on an air mattress, roasting marshmallows and singing around the campfire at night, sleeping in each morning. And before you know it, the week is over and you have to do everything in reverse in order to go home.

Summer in Canada. It’s arrives this week, and aren’t we happy to see it. My goodness you are a beautiful season, Summer. Let’s just hope you are in a good mood until the end of September. We have plans – to do nothing.

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