Stories about travel, life, writing and parenting my college-age children (who think they don't need any more parenting). Oh! And the occasional amazing photograph (I like to play pro photographer on vacations.)
Yes, I'm still buried in my Switzerland project, so unfortunately no new post today. But I thought you might all enjoy this amazing picture of Switzerland's Lake Thun in the Bernese Oberland. Isn't it spectacular?! The medieval city of Thun (pronounced "toon") lies at its northern shore. Should I pretend I'm on location again and tell you that I took this photograph during a leisurely sail between Thun and Interlaken? (Nah, I'm an honest sort. The credit for this image is detailed below. :o)
Well, I thought I could maintain my secret identity as SUPER mom-of-high-school-graduate-'n-freshman/freelance writer/prolific blogger.
But unfortunately, I can't.
If I were totally cool and on top of everything, I would have written all my blog posts for this month (& probably next month!) well in advance, just so this wouldn't happen.
But I didn't.
I spent so much time over the past few weeks prepping for the big graduation hoopla that I kept shoving my writing work to the back burner. Well, now I'm paying the price. I'm writing like a fiend to finish a project that is due very, VERY soon. I've never missed a deadline and I don't intend to now. So in lieu of a regular blog post, I thought I'd periodically share little tidbits of what I'm learning from my current travel writing project which covers the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland. It's really interesting! Well, at least to me it's interesting. My friends tend to roll their eyes a bit when I start sharing all my fascinating trivia. But anyhoo, here is something I learned today:
The Aletsch Glacier is the longest glacier in the European Alps.
Here's me as I take a short break from writing and admire the view of the famed glacier. (Yeah, okay, it isn't really me. But maybe someday...)
Well folks, it's going to be a short post this week because I am in full hyperventilation mode at the moment. We're working our way through the hoopla of our oldest daughter's high school graduation process. I've noticed the tempo of events leading up to graduation week has accelerated until we've finally achieved full-out frenzy mode.
First, there was Senior Honors Night where we got to witness our kids rewarded for their academic achievements and applaud their various scholarship awards. Then there was the actual graduation ceremony last weekend, followed by the senior all-night party. Hubs and I challenged ourselves by volunteering for the 1:30 – 5:30 a.m. shift. (Yeah okay, I turned the volunteer form in late and we got stuck with the least popular time slot.) And now we're gearing up to host our girl's big graduation bash this weekend.
I can barely breathe.
Add to this the fact that for some odd reason a few months ago we thought, "Hey, the week of her party would be the perfect time to schedule her college orientation day, wouldn't it?" What the heck were we thinking?! And why do the parents have to get oriented anyway—didn't I do this once already?
Oh, and one more thing. We specifically picked this weekend for her party because our son plays soccer and soccer tryouts in our area are NEVER permitted to begin before June 15th--ever since he began playing soccer this has been the case. Probably ever since the history of soccer in our state. Until this year. Yup. We discovered after the party date had been set and the tent, table and chairs had been ordered, that soccer tryouts are THIS weekend as well.
Are we having fun yet?
I can't help but reflect though, that instead of hyperventilating I should really be grateful for this whole whirlwind of activity. Because once this weekend is over and I'm able to breathe again, I'll also have to focus on what's really going on here. And I'm not sure I really want to go there yet.
Well, summer vacation is almost here. And it will be time once again to institute my annual Life Skills 101 training. I started the training program several years ago. It was really born from that whole sibling rivalry stage I mentioned a few posts ago. If my kids had time to argue I figured it was because they had too much free time on their hands. Add to that the fact that during the school year they have a difficult time fitting in a significant number of chores between sports seasons and homework loads. Thus, Life Skills 101 was born.
As a responsible parent, I wouldn't want to deprive them of those all-important skills they'll need to be successful, contributing members of society, would I?
Summer provided the perfect opportunity to develop our children's proficiency in such household maintenance tasks as really cleaning the inside of a toilet, sorting, washing, drying, folding and putting away laundry, mowing and weed-whacking the lawn, you get the idea.
Over the years, it's taken time and patience to get them to do the chores to my satisfaction. And unfortunately, due to natural attrition of knowledge from summer to summer, I spend a lot more time running refresher courses than I would like. But we've been doing this a while now that I'm looking for a big payoff this summer. I mean they're old teens now. They can actually do stuff and complete the work to my standards.
This summer, Life Skills 101 takes on a new intensity for my daughter since she's off to college in the fall. Aside from the usual chores, she really needs to fully grasp the concept of (insert Twilight Zone theme music here)…cooking.
Although I've tried multiple times to get my girl to appreciate the joys of cooking, she's resisted with all her might. She even gets stressed when attempting mere mac & cheese. My biggest fear is that she'll end up like me. Standing in my apartment kitchen, staring at a raw chicken with the phone cradled to my ear while my mother talked me through how to bake a chicken breast.
"Ohhhh, the oven dial actually has the word 'bake' right on it. How convenient."
I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
But like I said, they're old teens now. I have high hopes and I'm looking for a two-fold benefit for all the time and dedication I've put into this training.
First benefit: the kids have learned some very necessary skills. And second (even better), while the cleaning service—er, kids make certain all the chores are completed, I'll be free to work longer hours on my novel! I'll be busy typing away, and when I finally emerge in the afternoon I'll be greeted with glistening bathrooms, gleaming dust-free wood, spot-free mirrors and a hot and steaming dinner on the table, promptly at 6:00 p.m.
I'm ready. I've got my new laptop. I've got a nice comfy deck chair, and I've got my white glove test all set for dusting evaluations. Yep, yep, yep, I'm looking forward to my summer off from the ol' chores.