Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Hare

This week is our spring break. I thought it would never arrive. I felt like the hare, from "The Tortoise and the Hare." I was going so fast; but I needed to "lie down by the wayside and rest." I was getting nowhere. We had three snow days in a row this year, in mid-February; but then we MADE UP the three snow days BEFORE our spring break, using those little built-in days off that would have made the long stretch from mid-February to the end of March more bearable. Teachers, kids, administrators...we were all WORN OUT by the time spring break finally arrived.
For weeks, I dreamed of this week. I built it up in my mind. It was going to be the BEST WEEK EVER.
Our family didn't have no frantic packing or traveling. The boys had no sporting no uniforms to wash. We could just relax and enjoy our time off; we could actually enjoy a much-needed break this spring break.
Easter weekend was busy...with guests and Easter festivities; so I figured that spring break would start yesterday, on Tuesday.
I started the day yesterday by going car shopping with my husband (who is an administrator in our school district; and therefore also on spring break). Our older son, now a licensed driver, is ready to inherit my husband's faithful Honda Pilot. My husband is now on the lookout for a vehicle. I never know what to do in this situation. If I enthusiastically encourage my husband to buy a car, it could turn out to be a lemon. That's exactly what happened the last time I insisted on buying a certain type of car. It turned out to be a lemon. I realized that fact when I was driving to work and ALL the warning lights on the dash came on AT THE SAME TIME. That's how bad it was. Since then, I try to withhold most of my opinions about our family cars. My husband does a good job researching automobiles and finding good deals; but he is the tortoise. For hares like me, car shopping with him can become taxing. I want to run ahead, hopping from dealership to dealership; and when the going gets tough, I want to curl up in the warm car (that we already own) and read a book while he plods along slowly and steadily.
When we returned from a long morning of car shopping (without a car), my husband (who loves to work even on spring break) decided we should cut back the ornamental grasses in the landscaping in front of the house. Usually, he does not include me in these gardening jobs because I am TERRIBLE with any kind of plant. My older son was recuperating from strep throat, though, and my younger son had plans with a friend; so my husband needed an assistant.
I was a few minutes into my assignment when I became thoroughly convinced that the homeowners before us must have used a landscaping service. Otherwise, they would have done away with those ornamental grasses. I don't even know what they're called; but they are more trouble than they are worth. They grow in little mounds that have to be cut back every spring. There are exactly 115 (?!?) little mounds. In order to cut them back properly, I had to use these super-small gardening clippers, barely bigger than my teacher scissors. It was like cutting the hair of 115 chia pets. I unpacked my angry eyes about two chia pets into the job. I couldn't reach all the little mounds unless I crawled around in the mulch. After hours of crawling around, trimming that crazy grass, I was ready to go back to work.
When I FINALLY finished cutting back the mounds of grass, I decided I'd better finish off the day with an even more daunting task...finding our missing towels. I'm notorious for bagging up piles of dirty clothes and stowing them in the storage room temporarily (a very hare-like thing to do). I do this if we are having unexpected company and I don't want the company to see the dirty laundry spilling out of just about every room in the house. Apparently, I bagged up most of our towels a few unexpected visitors ago; and now I can't find the towels. We have been using beach towels.
I dug around in the storage room for a sign of the towels.
Feeling defeated, I washed, dried, and folded all the beach towels.
I felt as if the BEST SPRING BREAK EVER was slipping right through my blistered fingers. If I didn't change things up soon, my spring break days would be as lost as our bath towels.
* * *
Today was a new day; and I was determined to enjoy it. My older son was feeling better; so he and my husband decided to play golf. My younger son decided to spend the day at the basketball court.
This is what I did (quick as a rabbit).
First, I spent $220. 98 at the local bookstore, using a purchase order that the librarian asked me to spend as a favor for her (more like the most wonderful gift for me). Although the books belong to our school library, I will get to read some of them before they are shelved.
Then, I met my best friend for lunch. After lunch, I helped her try on glasses. Unlike me, she has never had to wear glasses before; so she said she needed my opinion. We had a great time trying on different frames. I'm due for a new pair soon; so I got her opinion, too. The sales associate asked how the two of us knew each other. I said, "We've been friends forever!" The sales associate congratulated us. Congratulations are in order when you've been best friends for 28 years!
Finally, I ran in to Target to buy my favorite Make-a-Size paper towels. I ventured back to the clearance aisle, knowing I would find Easter candy. However, I convinced myself that I WOULD NOT buy any candy UNLESS they had my very favorite Cadbury white chocolate mini eggs...and they had ONE BAG LEFT.
Now I am home. I admit that I am the hare, high-strung, plunging head-long into work and life...then conking out before I reach the finish line. But today, on the second day of my spring break, I am on the couch, eating white chocolate Easter eggs; and I have been captured by Kathy Appelt's new novel Maybe a Fox.  I am finally taking a break on spring break, and it's everything I'd hopped (I mean hoped) it would be.  


  1. Sounds like you've finally got a great handle on how to do spring break at home. What a sweet deal to be the one to pick up those books for the library! I loved your comparison to the turtle and the hare. Shopping for a car will find me sitting in the car reading too. Once it is narrowed to 2-3 choices, I will weigh in on my comfort level and if I like the options available. Drives my husband nuts, but really, it's his area of expertise. Keep enjoying your break and go look for those towels if yard work is mentioned again.

  2. Sounds like that bag just knew that you needed it. It is always nice to spend someone else's money...especially on books. Enjoy the rest of your break.

  3. Sounds like that bag just knew that you needed it. It is always nice to spend someone else's money...especially on books. Enjoy the rest of your break.

  4. Your Spring Break has definitely taken a turn for the better - enjoy it!

  5. What a jam-packed slice: I enjoyed the tour through your vacation priorities, minor pitfalls, and unexpected (Cadbury) triumphs. Keep living that dream for as long as you can :)