Loyal readers will recall that, during the months of March and April I suffered under the burden of the Paper to End All Papers and the wrapping up of my master's degree coursework. It was arduous and painstaking, as I spent countless hours sitting in an old lawn chair in my tiny kitchen surrounded by books with horrid titles like Curriculum Development: Theory into Practice and Sociology for Music Educators. The mere mention of them makes me shudder--ugh! There, in the very midst of this scholastic purgatory, the memory of one marvelous week in Florida shines, like a firefly in the gloaming.
At the behest of my newly acquired sister-in-law (who is a capital person!) I spent my week's worth of spring break with her and my brother at their house in Pensacola, FL. From the moment they picked me up in Jake's ferocious black truck to our last picture pose by the fountain in front of the old Pensacola Museum, I gave myself over to opulent rest and relaxation with no thought for the half-finished monster-paper I left behind me. It was marvelous. I got a tan! We took several small trips to various museums (I sat in a real cockpit at the Museum of Flight and had Jacob explain all the buttons and levers and other doohickies to me) and to the beach (where I laid down across exquisitely white sand and read books just like a native--except for the blindingly white legs) and to the Gulfarium (where we watched a trained seal feed a trained dolphin). But my favorite part of the whole trip, although watching Thomas the Train with my adorable niece-in-law Emily comes in a close second, the very favoritest of favorites was the time when Jake and Sara and I just hung out around the house...playing darts, washing the car, eating amazing home-made breadsticks. It was simultaneously weird and wonderful to see my little brother being a husband and the man of his own house. He was the same and yet not the same...more purposeful, maybe? Definitely better. And I loved getting to know my sister better. She's wonderful--vivacious and smart and equal to just about anything. You chose wisely, Boy.
It was a glorious week, and just what I needed to remind me that there's life outside of school, and that it can be a heckuva lot of fun living it.
And that's just part one of my (spring and) summer vacation report. Tune in next time to read about my adventures in Sunny California.
Right now I am going to bask in the hedonism of a summer vacation that isn't quite over yet by starting a movie at 9:30 at night!