Summer Brain–CoronaLife Day 467

A weird thing happened this week. My daughter ended school last Thursday…and my brain went on vacation.

I have been oddly unable to focus or scare up too much motivation this week, even after a decently productive week last week.

Some of it may be my change in sleep schedule–or lack thereof. With no need to get up for school, my daughter and I are sleeping in, making up for the sleep deficit we’ve been running on for months.

The advice is usually to keep to a regular schedule, and I expect that I will settle into a new sleep routine shortly, but right now it feels really nice to not have to get up at a certain time. To really SLEEP.

The last week and a half has been very social, too. Lots of people. As an introvert with more than a year of quarantine behind me, the sudden re-immersion in society has been stressful and exhausting.

So I am giving myself permission to let my brain be on vacation this week. Next week I will have to get back to reality.

School’s Out!—CoronaLife Day 460

We have made it. Today is the last day of school. After this, we will be free of scanning, printing, posting, and Google- Meeting.

Remote learning is not for everyone. Many students struggled to stay engaged. My daughter was not one of those. She thrived academically. She had the best grades of her school career, and her standardized test scores were off the chart.

Socially was another story. Already shy and awkward, the isolation did not help. She really missed her friends, and even frequent phone calls just didn’t fill the void. As an only child, the lonliness was sometimes intense. When we swung by the school the other day, she yelled, “Mom, there’s people! Real people!”

Re-socializing next year should be fun.

But this year—this crazy, disorienting year—is finally over. We close that chapter and start another, this one a more-normal-than-last-summer summer vacation. My daughter is already wondering how she will fill her time, lamenting the loss of that everyday contact with her teacher and classmates.

We will find ways to fill the time, hopefully using the time to heal and rest from the enormously stressful school year. Hopefully there will be more outdoor get-togethers with her friends. Then she’ll be ready to dive back into regular school in September.

Will I be ready to get back to a real routine? To have enough time to myself to think, to breathe, to create? To finally start putting this pandemic behind us?

Time will tell. I hope so.

Summer is a Beach

Summer night at the harborSummer is over, my daughter is back in school. And although I am glad to get back to a routine and overjoyed to get my writing time back, I found myself thinking about what summer means to me. While images of ice cream, heat waves, and the pool popped into my head, the brightest image by far was that of the beach.

Having said that, I will say that I am not an all-day-every-day beach person. If I get to the beach a few times a summer, I am happy. I dislike the heat and the sunscreen and those nasty greenhead flies. But I do find something soothing in the sun on the water, the warm breeze, and the roar of the surf. Water has always been a soother of my soul.

This year, my daughter got to the beach more than I did. She went with Daddy while at the Gans Family Reunion, and while I was at the Ocean City Authors Showcase. She described the waves the day of the Showcase as “fierce.” But she had a good time.

I went with her (and my mother) to the Long Island Sound during our last week of summer. We spent a day on the beach, building sandcastles…

summer sand castle on the beach

Catching fish in a bucket (released back into the water)…

fish in a bucket

And swimming in the calm water.

Summer day on the Long Island Sound

As the tide went out, sand bars appeared and we were able to walk to “islands” far out in the water. Daughter named one of them Mossy Rock Island because of the algae-covered rocks all around the sand bar.

It was a relaxing day (aside from the bees attacking my daughter), and we all enjoyed whiling away the time. The water chilled at first touch, but then became pleasant—especially as the tide went out, creating warm shallow pools between the beach and sand bars.

We finished off our vacation at the playground near the harbor, where hundreds of boats bobbed peacefully in the sunset.

Summer sunset at the harbor

A wonderful way to end the summer.

Summer means beach to me because I lived my whole life close to the beach. Other people don’t live near the water. What does summer mean to you? What memories of summers past do you cherish most?




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