Labor Day Hike Fail

Over Labor Day weekend, we decided to checkout the Skokie Lagoons in Skokie for some fishing and some hiking.  According to my “60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Chicago” book, this place had some decent hiking and lagoons.  If you knew me in real life, you might know that when I was a kid I could fish.  Not like it was my job.  But like, a country girl who knew shit but wasn’t interested in doing more of it.  Every field trip to Pine Island to go fishing (it was the 1980s)? Caught fish.  Fishing in our swimming pond (before we realized it was home to gators)? Caught fish.  

Since moving to Chicago, I have been trying to make being outdoors doing stuff a thing.  It is one of the things I missed about living in the south.  When we coached at Wakulla (to the south of Tallahassee), almost every single one of our soccer girls could have taken us fishing, scalloping, etc.  We  lived across from a wooded greenspace, where a Turkey lived.  When Dave and I started living together, we lived a quarter of a mile from a lake.  How many times did we go kayaking?  Twice, and both times it was a beat down.  The last house we lived in in Tallahassee sat on 1.25 acres of land.  I had a shitty garden that I half-hearted attempted to grow stuff in.  Spoiler alert: I was “too-busy”.  I wanna say to my younger, Tallahassee living self, “Like, bitch, you don’t have to do shit to grow tomatoes.  Just put those bastards in the ground.  They’ll grown year round (practically).”

In any case, I am nervous Nico is going to grow up being one of those kids that’s like, “Hey guys!  Let’s skip going camping this weekend and go see the three Star-Wars movies being re-released in 6D.”  And then, I would have to die of embarrassment.  

So, I have been trying to make fishing a thing.  I don’t know if it’s the bait I am using or the weather or what, but I have been striking out and this Labor Day was no exception.  And the hiking was suspect.  I only got onto a little footpath that went nearish the lagoon we were fishing at.  To be fair, the day was kinda over at that point, and my boys were ready to go.

But the good news is that we made it a little bit of a picnic and I had pecan and peach pie, which, if we are completely honest, ain’t too bad.

Summer Stretching Out to the Horizon

Summer is here.

For me, summer arrives when Nico gets out of school. There is something about the imposed structure of his school year that just keeps my feet on the ground.  Knowing every day he has to be up at 615 am just puts a dent in our plans.

Plus, the winter and spring just sucked the life out of me. Teaching 2 classes in winter plus a new prep in spring kept me and my plans grounded.

But now? Summer is here.

Remember the sequel to Anne of Green Gables, when Anne befriends Catherine Brooke, the headmaster of the school she teaches at when she leaves Avonlea?  Towards the end, they are in the Cuthbert orchard picking fruit…

BROOKE: Oh, Anne. Summer has flown by so quickly. A school teacher really is a slave of time. I don’t know how I’m ever going to go back.

ANNE: Don’t be silly. There’s always another bend in the road.

BROOKE: Bend in the road. There’s no bend in my road; I can see it stretching straight out in front of me to the skyline.

Anne is all about bends in the road, but me?  I like a long road stretching to the horizon.  Curves and bends require attention and effort and action, straight roads stretching to the horizon are nice.  🙂

I’m working on putting the class I taught face to face this past spring online for the summer. You have no idea what a relief it is to be teaching online again. Seriously. I feel like Sean Spicer doing sociology lectures- like it’s just a matter of time before the whole thing has gone off a cliff. And I have said something terrible, inappropriate, or flat out wrong.  Or better yet, like Tommy Boy trying to make his first sale.

tommyboy

Yeah.  It’s that bad.

It’s not that I don’t know what I am talking about- its just that I don’t interact well with an audience.

I have a new research project I’m trying to get off the ground. It’s interesting- a throw back to one of my first graduate courses, using formal demographic techniques. Also, I have a couple of manuscripts in preparation. I’d really like this summer to be productive on the research front.

I’m hoping to get a little travel in, too. I’m set to present at a conference in Montreal in August. I think we’re going to be able to make it into a short family vacation. I am planning to tack on a few days at the end for a section hike of the Long Trail in Vermont. Essentially, I’m using it as a scouting trip- to determine what my thru hike in 2019 will be like. I’m hoping to get Nico out on some trails this season. His sports seasons are winding down- he has a handful of baseball games left, which is a relief. It’s the stress of watching your kid play sport, but it’s also the stress of managing the schedule, constantly wondering if you’re missing a practice or a game or what?

Also, my 20th senior class reunion is next year.  NEXT YEAR.  What is even happening?  How can that be 20 years ago?  I can’t even.  Back in the winter, we did a reunion soccer game (which hadn’t been done in a minute).  In order to keep it going, we have one scheduled for November.  The main guy who is organizing it has decided to make a 19.5 year reunion event weekend.  There will be our soccer game, plus a softball game.  One of the things I need to put some time into is helping with the organization for that.  It’s weird, but I spend a lot of time organizing shit, for someone who definitely did not major in it or have any time of early inclination for it as a child.

What about you?  What kind of big summer plans are on your horizon?