Something feels like it’s missing this summer. Grad school is over, but old friends who are still working on their Master’s just returned to Vermont and Oxford and Santa Fe this week and last. But it’s not like the past two weeks have been jammed packed with staring at a white wall. What I have done so far with my summer: I have one full week of summer school under my belt. I have been up to Tahoe twice since the beginning of June. And I went to The Gorge in Oregon for a long weekend. So what is it that feels like it’s missing?
I think it’s the anticipation, the expectation of something big. It doesn’t really have to be a big trip per se, or even a trip for that matter. But I think about five full summers, packing up my life for six weeks, and trekking either across the country to Vermont, or over the Pond to Oxford. I have been very blessed to have this experience. I don’t miss the late nights, the bugs, the extreme heat followed by extreme cold, or never having a moment to just be. But let me tell you about the first time I arrived in the little village of Ripton, Vermont and burst into tears, thinking what in the hell have i gotten myself into? I kind of think the same thing my first summer out.
I flew from San Francisco to Boston and stayed with my friend in her tiny third floor Charlestown flat. Three suitcases up those teeny tiny stairs. Three. The next morning, I headed out, equipped with a french cruller and vanilla coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. Butterflies reminiscent of sleep away camp in grade school consumed every nerve in my gut. The long, winding road through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and the bulk of the most beautiful areas of Vermont revealed less and less signs of civilization. I passed the school because I thought, surely this couldn’t be. Ten minutes later, I was able to turn around, park on the side of the road, and with a shaking hand, open the front door of the Inn.
That same anticipation revealed itself each and every time I arrived. Where will I be living this summer? Which old friends are here? Will anyone notice that I’ve gained a few pounds? That I need a haircut? That I am ghostly pale because I live in San Francisco? Will I be able to live up to my professor’s standards? Did I bring enough cute clothes? Serious life issues.
Well, now that it’s over, I miss it. I loved that feeling. I want an adventure this summer, the semblance that something is looming out on the horizon. That something beckons me and pushes me a little beyond. I’ll admit that this week, I’ve been searching for writing retreats, yoga retreats, dude ranches. But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. If I had an extra $4800, I know a great biking and cooking trek through Provence. Sigh. Not this year. Or the next.
But I have made a decision. I will have a summer camp experience this summer, come Hell or High Water. I have already attended a sourdough bread making workshop last week. I just signed up for a metal working class. Groupon is full of these things. I am on it. Camp MightyMo is now in effect. Daily schedule is as follows:
5:30am Wake Up
6:45 Scenic Drive to Palo Alto
8-12:15 Activities with Younger Kids
1-2:30 Exercise and Fresh Air
2:30-4:00 Whatever the Hell I Want
4:00 Cabin Cleanup
6:00 Mess Hall Duties
8:00 Quiet Wine Time
9:30 Reflection and Blog Time
11:00 Lights Out
Note: Cabin Cleanup, Mess Hall Duties, and Reflection and Blog Time can and will be deleted as needed to do other fun things like Concert Sing Alongs, Pub Quizzes, Awkward Dating Hours, and Wine and Cheese Appreciation. All Hail Camp MightyMo!
What will you do with your summer? Do you miss the anticipation of summertime vacations or activities?
Tops–The Rolling Stones
(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long–Chicago
Radio Free Europe–R.E.M.
True Love Waits–Radiohead
Stare it Cold–The Black Crowes
Merchants of Soul–Spoon