|five down, seven to go|
Today is also the first first-day-of-summer in five years that I haven't gone to work gardening and landscaping. It was a little strange to wake up this morning knowing I wouldn't be spending today, or any day this summer, gardening on the island. The work itself, though dirty at times and heavy at times, is cathartic and a nice break from the seemingly endless hours of the school day. There is something satisfying about clearing a bed of juniper of all the bindweed (my favorite job at one property), lopping out the deadwood from a prickly row of rosa rugosa (my favorite job at another property), perfectly edging a bed, or weeding around blueberry bushes and accidentally eating a couple that "fell off" the bush. The properties we gardened at are gorgeous, and many were right on the water, with a beautiful breeze, a beautiful view, and an inviting deck to have lunch on. And, I loved that at the end of the work day I could leave everything behind, and not pick up with grading and planning after walking the dog and eating supper.
I've come to terms with having this summer off from that work; with grad school smack in the middle of the summer again, it seemed like trying to find a job where I could take nearly a month off would be a bit of a challenge. Besides, all this seemingly free time can be spent being crafty (a few things are in the works and on the to-do list), exploring and hiking in the valley, visiting folks in Maine, helping my parents out at their place, hitting up Field Days in August, going to a few concerts . . . there are no shortage of options!
In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't really finished with school. I have a student to tutor through two chapters they missed while being away in the winter and through the final exam they still need to take. I also have a bunch of prep work (reading, mostly) to do for grad school before Boston in July (and will have more to do after), and plenty to do to prep my courses for next school year . . . but all that aside, I will have some free time on my hands.
Perhaps next summer I'll get back into the gardening . . .