Kids are returning to school after the summer break. And I remember the first school assignment that you could count on upon returning to school. That is: write an essay on "What did you do on your summer vacation".
My essay would usually say that I hung out with my friends...rode my bike...went to the beach...it was fun. Then I would try to expand it so that it covered the 2 or 3 pages that were required.
Upon reflection I note I do not have as much fun during the summer as I did as a child. Where I once just went over to a friends house and knocked on the door and asked if Johnny could come out and play. I now have to clear the calender....make a formal invitation weeks in advance...plan activities.
Our activities seem to gravitate to a bar-b-que. And instead of the hot dogs and hamburgers....potato salad and baked beans of my youth....we have grilled vegetables....salmon on a plank...or boneless, skinless chicken. We would then tell each other how great the meal is. While dreaming of hamburgers dripping with grease and cheese. But we're eating healthy! *sigh*
In my neighborhood.....if a kid showed up for a bike ride with a helmet....he would need it to protect himself from the rocks we would chuck at him. And as we rode off without him...he would hear us laughing and calling names that are now not only "bad",,,but politically incorrect. Better to have shown up with training wheels.
I don't ride my bike nowadays. I refuse to wear the required uniform. Not only a helmet...but spandex shorts that are so "form fitting" that you can tell what religion the guy is. Those little socks that barely peek above the shoe that attach to the pedals. And the yellow shirt. Everybody wants to be Lance Armstrong. And when they are slowing traffic....while disobeying rules of the road....and righteously eschew common courtesy...because they have a right to the road too....I feel like chucking a rock and using a politically incorrect term.
As a child the beach was fun. We would spend our time in the water until our lips turned blue...then on the beach until we warmed up and back in the water again. Build sand castles..and bury ourselves in the sand. Unable to sleep that night because of the sunburn...and peeling for a week after.
It just doesn't seem worth it to smear myself with sun blocker that smells like a tropical drink. Not to mention the "shrinkage" while swimming in the cold water. The irritation of sand that seems to find its way to places God didn't intend sand to be. And the college level entomology lessons! What kind of bug was that?
So...what did I do on my summer vacation? I enjoyed my air conditioned home. Slept in my comfortable bed. Sat on my deck..enjoying an adult beverage..while watching the humming birds flit from flower to flower in my garden.
I wonder if I can expand "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" to 2 or 3 pages.