summer vacation.

Monday, August 23, 2010

i'm not sure how i feel about this word right now. . .V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N.
especially when used with THESE three (note picture above.)
it was always such a lovely word.
filled with great excitement, anticipation, dreams of adventure.
MOST importantly, the word, to me, summons up hope of RELAXING.
HEH!!!  (well, it still can be, just not at this point in our lives.)
not with toddlers.
whining, screaming, tantrum-throwing, ungrateful, sassy, 
let's-have-a-meltdown-&-throw-ALL-the-contents-of-our-suitcase-over-the-loft-on-to-the-kitchen-table-below. . .
BECAUSE i told you you had to wear pants instead of your usual summer dress because it's
(argh.  can you guess who that was?)
so, that word.  that used to be lovely.  has taken on new meaning. 
not necessarily a BAD meaning, just not as JOY-FILLED & FREE as it once was.
(again, at least not if the children are involved.)
or is it?
to them,
it's everything.
all of that & more.
it's EXACTLY what it used to be for us as kids & young adults with no responsibilities.
an adventure, a change of scenery, a break from the norm.
it's newness, new experiences, new places, new freedoms.
no rules, no bedtimes, no t.v.
just bonding.  being. 
where we can play outside in the rain, because, well, there's nothing else to do.
where life is simplified.
where we're the only ones who dare to swim, despite the chilly waters.
there are only so many choices.
do we swim today?  despite the frigid temps?  why not?
do we go looking for bears?
(oh yeah, we saw bears. . .at the ely bear center.)
do we do smore's tonight?  a campfire?  
you can do anything.
because there are no distractions.  
no cell service, no t.v. (other than the one that ONLY plays VHS tapes.  and oh wait, brian IS on his cell phone there, in the background.  we got desperate for a little connection to the outside world.  it was a long week.)
but no meetings to get to, no deadlines to meet (well, they're there under the surface of your sanity, but of no importance. . .just for this week.)
time seems to stand still & there is so much time fill with nothing & with everything.
whatever you can find to do to wear the kids out for bedtime.
so you can salvage, selfishly, SOME of this vacation for yourself.:)
and maybe you've run out of ideas or things to do, so just go for a ride to dairy queen,
taking in all the splendor that is ely, mn (one of my most favorite places on earth.)
actually DUBBED the 'coolest small town on earth.'
it's true.
and it is a MAGICAL place.
and i didn't take NEARLY enough pictures 
to do this heavenly place any justice.
but i love it.
ely, minnesota, the hub for the boundary waters' canoe area,
OOZES wilderness, northface jackets, kayaks, no-make-up-ratty-hair-toting peeps,
is FULL of lovely, lovely bearded men stopping in for a quick cup of joe at the local coffee shop, before embarking on a week long portage through the boundary waters.
and brian even let his beard go for the week!  SO handsome.
but it is a place that just DARES you to let it all go.
to soak up the nature that surrounds you & all the peace & stillness that lies within it.
it FORCES you to slow down, to breathe, to 'just be' for a bit.
it's a unique town, in that it's people are eccentric. 
you have your avid campers & fisherman mixed in with amazing local artists, the local grocer, the pamida cashiers that still don scrunchies as their best accessory & talk to you like they've known you forever, & have been 'runnin' the till' since they were in h.s.
jack thought he'd died & gone to heaven.
a lot of time was spent here by jack & daddy,
fielding balls & running bases, just like in the major leagues!
he could've spent his whole vacation there.
again, i love it here.
also called the 'end of the road,' ely is growing in popularity, as more are discovering it's beauty & uniqueness.
for us, for the kids, it was our summer vacation.
where seat belts were optional, trips to the park were limitless,
it was a little taste of fall, as it only got up to the the low 70's during the day,
dropping to the lower 40's at night. 
AWESOME sleeping weather.
and it was where, the unexpected moments, the priceless moments
that will be etched in our brains forever, occurred.
where we realized charlie likes to sing & tried to sing 'twinkle, twinkle' even though he can't say all the words yet.
where i caught these magical images, that i will cherish forever.
THIS is what vacation is all about now. . .
despite the noise, the chaos, the sometimes boredom. . .that forces you to look at each other more, 
play with each other more. . .come up with other things to do.
it's about them (as brian always reminds me.)
not us.
it's about creating memories & learning to soak up THESE special moments that are so fleeting, but so beautiful & forever a part of your being, as a parent.
time away, out of the norm, out of your comfort zone, although stressful sometimes (even more so with kids,)
changes you.  alters things in your brain.
shows you your life with greater magnification, taking out all of the nonsense, the daily obligations, the 'amenities' of your home life,
and shows you the things that are MOST important in life, much more clearly.


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