It’s another three-day weekend for me and a four-day weekend for the kids both my own kids and my students. Monday is President’s Day and schoolchildren across the land have the day off. I think those days should be spent in school, but I’m a minority voice. My school district has parent-teacher conferences Tuesday and the kids are off while we meet with parents to give feedback, praise, and some serious honesty about how their child is performing (or not) in our classes. My kid’s school district had an in-service day Friday – so we both had a long weekend. What it really does is to provide an excuse to spend time recreating, so we left town and headed north for snow and winter outdoor fun.
The kids left Thursday immediately after school and the plan was for me drive up Friday evening but I decided to go home and sleep Friday night and wake early Saturday morning and drive up then. It was a good choice. The week was my typical mid-winter week – it had its ups and downs but it had really worn on me and I needed to sleep before I drove six hours, especially with most of it in the dark. Instead, I set the alarm for 3:45 and got up at 4:15, packed, cleaned up, loaded the car and was on the road by 5:25. It was dark when I left but I could see the thin blue line of the coming day as I drove east into the sunrise. The road was clear, though it should’ve been before six on Saturday morning; it’s a long drive, just over 360 miles, and I can make it in under six hours solo, or even with one passenger. But, that is only if the traffic and the weather cooperate. Yesterday, everything clicked! I listened to old Marketplace podcasts and caught a radio program called “Under the Influence” about the influence of color on our behavior. It was very interesting and by the time it was over, I had reached the Michigan line and light lake-effect snow showers. I made two stops one for gas and another for a coffee refill and was cruising along US 131 north of Grand Rapids when I saw a horse pulling a wagon and pulled over to take a picture. It is Amish country and home of a simpler life away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Up north, where we go it’s a different kind of simple, but quiet and peaceful an escape from the buzz of modern suburban life.
I called to check in with my brother, my mom, and my mother-in-law – three separate calls. We laughed, we caught up, and I left the road behind me. When I was an hour away, B called to check in and asked me to meet them for breakfast. I got a big hug from O and we caught up over pancakes and eggs. We plotted our day – the kids wanted to hang around the cottage and that was fine with both B and I.
Like home, there’s always something to do at the cottage. Late last summer, I caught a clip on CBS Sunday Morning about a digital thermostat and I almost got one for home, but did not. School started, the kids athletics kicked in and I forgot about until B complained about the heat at the cottage. It was too hot or too cold, never just right and we figured it was the thermostat. I remembered the clip and did some quick research, made a call to check availability, and by six had it installed and running. Yeah, I changed the thermostat and it works. If it didn’t, it would have been cold inside the cottage, because it was six below when I got up this morning and it’s seven above now, it’s warmed up, but still cold. It was a simple install and we can control it with an app on our phones. I am amazed and impressed. Check it out at the Nest.
We spent the rest of the evening with dinner and a fire. W built a quinzee, or started one, in the front yard. He, O, and Ivy played in the snow and our cottage neighbors came over to sled and have fun. Today, we are headed to the slopes, or at least the kids are and it’s gonna be a great day. I’ll man base camp, grade papers, hand out money for snacks, and enjoy watching the kids have fun. Regardless, I had better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Today is gonna be a great day. Making the days Count, one day at a time, one weekend day at a time.
What are doin’ to celebrate Abe and George’s birthday?