Tuesday, June 1, 2010

For the First Time in a Long, Long Time

May 31st, 1999.

Adulthood had been upon me for exactly one week. I had graduated from Blue Ridge High School 9 days prior. A long summer behind the register at Arby's awaited me. It was also the most recent Memorial Day I had to lazily enjoy and do whatever I wanted.

Until now.

This past weekend marked the beginning of my first "free" summer in a decade. As most know, my summers have been swallowed for the past 10 years by summer camp, be it in Wisconsin or Texas. I used to laugh at people who claimed to have a "busy summer". They have no idea what they are talking about. And while my weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day are filling up fast (6 of 15 left! Call and get on my calendar!), I know that there is an army of summer camp counselors and administrators who used this past weekend to prepare for the onslaught of campers who will arrive throughout the summer. Knowing how these amazing people will change lives this summer, I am genuinely excited for them and my prayers are with them.

That being said, I'm psyched to live a normal summer for the first time since my late teens. To have the freedom to go to weddings again. To choose my own menus rather than eat in dining halls (not about food quality mind you....just to have my own options). To enjoy a summer rainstorm without first coming up with a back-up plan for the 200 campers whose schedules demand beautiful, clear weather. To wander around farmers markets.

It is important to note that my excitement for this summer should not be confused for a dislike of summer camp by any means. Summer camp has shaped me as a person and for that, I will always be eternally thankful. See my related post about it from the end of last summer.

I digress...this weekend we opened the summer season around here by doing as much fun stuff as possible! You may remember from a previous post that we were supposed to have gone to CO to hike Mt. Lindsey over Memorial Day. However, a season of heavier than normal (I'm told) precipitation left the summit under much more snow than usual. Wanting this trip to be difficult but fun and not ridiculous and miserable, we decided as a group to postpone the Mt. Lindsey trip until the 4th of July. I'm very pleased with this decision. So instead, our weekend was filled with lots of little things.

Friday after work brought the smell of grilled green chile burgers and heading downtown for a free concert at the park, as offered every Friday night in the summer here in Los Alamos.

While at the concert, I saw something amazing:

Yes friends...that's the elusive mohawk-rat-tail-spiderman-facepainted-superman-shirted local. Sorry the pic isn't great but you can only get so close when taking creeper shots of strange children. Especially with mulleted dad nearby!

The free concert series brings lots of people out of the woodworks (clearly). Music, food, beer, vendors, dancing...such a wonderful community tradition!

On Saturday, after sleeping in a little, we packed a lunch and loaded the dogs up into the truck. Destination: San Antonio Hot Springs. About an hour drive away and a 5 mile one way hike to the actual springs. It was gorgeous:

Between the 10 miles of round-trip hiking and the new boots, my feet were definitely uncomfortable by the end but I'm still glad we went. Wore out the dogs and took a chunk out of wearing in the new boots, a good thing for sure.

Sunday was a little more lazy. Church, house cleaning, some financial business, resting, etc. Definitely a nice break.

Monday found us on the road. We headed down to the Albuquerque area for some four-wheeling with Nick, Claire and Dottie.

Congrats to Nick and Claire, by the way, on finishing each of their first full years of teaching. They have definitely earned this summer off!

So there it is. A kick off to what looks to be a wonderful summer. July 9-10 is my next available free weekend. Anyone up for anything?

Keep It Real!

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