Here it is. August. The month that feels like one long Sunday. Sure there’s still plenty of summer left, but even while enjoying it, you know fall is sniffing around. Hints are everywhere. The few leaves on the ground, the slight chill at night when waiting in line for ice cream, the sun disappearing earlier and earlier.
Tomorrow I’m leaving Cape Cod. As I packed my suitcase, I realized I wasn’t taking any clothes with me, just memories. Like the children’s book “The Magic Pen” that my eight-year-old niece Paige and I wrote together; a silver bracelet with a gold starfish to remind me of home; and pieces of art from my parents’ walls soon to be given a new home on mine.
While the highlights of the summer ranged from being on Canadian TV to being on a national American radio program, they paled in comparison to the others. A bonfire on Sandy Neck Beach, playing whiffle ball with my nephew, swimming in the ocean while looking out for sharks, visiting with extended family, organizing closets and garages, editing a chapter for a new book with my dad, power walking with my mom, weekly sleepovers or “gigglefests” with my niece, cycling beside the Cape Cod canal, catching up with old friends, singing to live music, washing cars in the driveway, catching a bullfrog that ate two fish from my parent’s koi pond, and more.
It’s hard to bid goodbye to the Cape when there are still lobsters to be eaten, but it’s time to step back into the familiar patterns of my New York City life. And I do so with a renewed sense of excitement. The change of scenery reignites my appreciation for the city’s conveniences, my passion for creativity, and my energy for long workdays. But as I return, I do so with caution. Next summer is not for another eleven months, so until then I will be taking “mini vacations” from my everyday living. Reading books in new genres, coloring for fun, walking different routes to work, buying a vegetable I’ve never tried, maybe signing up for a dance class. Diverging from our normal routines every now and then may help take us to new places without even having to leave home.
Have any ideas for “mini vacations” you’d like to share?