Saturday, August 19, 2017

I'm Not on Vacation, I Live Here

 I have to get up pretty early in order to get anything accomplished in the summertime.  If any items on the chore list can be checked off, it will need to happen before 9:00 am, long before the pull of a sunny day begins to nag at me to get outside and enjoy it.  When you have school age kids, summer is only two months long: July and August.  It's fleeting and fast.  Before I know it, there is only a week or two left of the days when anything is possible and adventure awaits.
  Summer mornings are jammed with activities: early morning swim lessons in the cool ocean, basketball camp, writing class and when all that ends, it's "Mom, can I go fishing, will you bring me to the beach and can you see if anyone else will be there?"
  It's a mad dash from early morning until late afternoon.  Then there is dinner to prepare and clean up as well as all the other household chores: shopping, vacuuming, laundry, bills and walking the dog.  Life on Cape Cod in the summer may seem like a vacation but dishes still pile up in the sink while I take a moment for a dip in the salty water and briefly sit with my feet in the sand before I need to get up and pay attention to the rest of my life.
  Those of us who live here all year, clamor for summer sunshine as we trudge through February snowstorms and bone chilling, wet spring weather.  Because of the long wait for warm, sunny days and sunsets after hours at the beach, the push to enjoy it all while its here can get exhausting.  We don't want to waste a single minute or take any of it for granted but the constant running to take it all in is enough to make me wish for a day full of rain.  And not just a little drizzle. Declan will remind me that overcast days are still good for fishing off the dock.  He will beg me to bring him down to the now abandoned beach, to meet his friends for a wiffle ball game.  What I need is a downpour to keep everyone indoors and under the covers.  A serious deluge that lasts from morning until night so that I can get the beach towels washed and the bathroom cleaned.  Perhaps even curl up on the couch with a good book for an hour.
  But Mother Nature has been kind this summer.  Just enough rain, but not too much to keep us from packing in the fun.  So, the ever growing to-do list has barely an item crossed off.   I tell myself that there is plenty of time to go thru the stack of magazines in my office that began piling up back in March, re-organize the plastic container cabinet before it all busts out onto the kitchen floor and finally clean out the old, worn clothes from the kids' drawers.  It's time to get rid of the pants that are three inches too short.  I will get to all of that in September when the kids go back to school and all the fun is over.  But in reality I know I am really just lying to myself.  Post Labor day brings its own hectic schedule.  I will probably have to wait to clean the closets when a snow day is called next February.

  In order to get a second wind to unpack the beach cooler and throw something together for the dinner table, I need an after beach pick-me-up.  After yelling at the kids to get into the outdoor shower and wash off the sand and salt before entering the house, I am ready for a moment of peace before round two begins.  It's time for a cold jolt of something slightly sweet and a little caffeinated. (Not too much to keep me up past my  9:00 pm bedtime.)  I want a refreshing drink just like the kind you can order at the fancy coffee place with the mermaid logo but without the astronomical price tag and the line that ends outside the door in the summer heat on Cape Cod.  This easy recipe fits the bill and I can sip it in my big chair under the shady tree in the yard, maybe catch a minute of silence before my children begin to ask, "Mom! What's for dinner?"  Did I mention that I need a vacation?

shaken coffee in a stem glass

 Frothy Coffee Drink
(serves one)

1 handful of ice cubes
1/3 cup lowfat milk (fancy coffee places usually use 2%)
3/4 cup black coffee (leftover in the pot from this morning)
2 squirts of agave syrup or honey

Add all ingredients to blender or cup of Magic Bullet.  Blend until smooth.  Drink immediately.

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