Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The summer that never was

          Have you ever had a summer that was so busy that it flew by before you had a chance to appreciate it?  Welcome to my summer of 2013.

    While I consider myself fairly computer literate, and in actuality my degree is in computer science, I still keep my schedule on a monthly day planner. For work I have a vague idea about 6 weeks out which market that I am going to travel to, so I can throw a quick pencil line across the middle of that
week and write "New England Trip" and then fill in the days as the appointments get made.  Last week, as I was doing some future planning, I happened to glance at the weekend days and to my great surprise there were only 2 or 3 blank ones for the entirety of this summer.  I turned 48 just a few short weeks ago and I had anticipated slowing down by now, but this summer is just balls-out busy. As the cartoon depicts, it's like standing on a beach about to get swamped by the wave of summer activity.

     It's my friends fault first.  You see, they insisted on having children and their children, following in the footsteps of their parents, are insisting on getting married, and so we have at least 3 weddings we are attending this summer.   They are all close family friends and we've already got one in the books, but 3 in one summer is a lot for us.  It was more common when all of our high school and college friends got married around the same time that we did, but suffice it to say it's an unusual year.  The calendar is further filled by graduation parties, another oddity since we don't have a high school or college graduate this year, but many of our darn friends again do.  A lot of our
My wife's handiwork for the first rehearsal dinner
weekends, therefore, will be spent helping our friends celebrate some special moments in their children's lives, so they aren't really things we'd want to remove from the calendar. We extended one graduation party that we attended in Rochester into the next day by staying over and celebrating our wedding anniversary and busy or not, it was nice to make the time to do that this year. 

     It's also my brother's fault.  Ace decided that he wanted to start a catering business, specializing in whole hog BBQ's many years ago and unfortunately I'm one of his helpers.  I actually have more experience on the full catering side of the business as I ran a catering company for a few years back in the 80's, so I guess I can say I'm his partner more than his helper, but like kids having a fight, I'll use the old line "He started it" to shift the blame for me being involved at all, back to him.  We do a dozen or so jobs every summer and he prefers to just do the meat and to leave the side dishes to the hosts, but I don't mind doing the whole job as it lets me stretch my culinary catering muscles.  This summer, in addition to the other jobs on the calendar (I turned down 2 just last week), we have been asked to do
How we normally cater
3 wedding rehearsals and none of them are pig roasts.  They are, once again, all close friends and it's an honor to be included in, and trusted with such events, but it's a little out of our wheel house so we've had to add some equipment and supplies, and have to do some additional recipe testing, so it's not only the days of the event that fill up, it's the weekends shopping for the new items and testing new dishes.  In addition to these jobs we have our family reunion that we attend in August and my brother Ace insists on keeping the tradition of having a corn roast the day prior, alive.  We just agreed to host some cousins at our place that weekend, so we'll do a little more preparation than normal.  I'm not complaining about hosting family, as kids we were recipients multiple times each year of such family generosity, so I try not to say no when asked.  These cousins are favorites of mine, but don't tell them, it will just make it awkward when they are here.  Ace and I try and check out some BBQ competitions each year during the summer too, but there's no time left to do that, this year.

     As many of you know I'm a Scouter and have been the Scoutmaster of my local Troop for 8 years now.  Since we take a break from meeting each week, during the summer, we tend to get less busy, but wouldn't this year have to be the exception to that rule?  Of course it would.  We have been
fundraising to attend the Boy Scout National Jamboree for the last 18 months and it takes place in July.  It's only held once every four years and we've never attended previously, but we've got 9 of our 15 Scouts attending, one of our leaders, and I'm headed down to work on staff.  In addition I've got a couple of Scouts attending Camp Massawepie this year and I've volunteered to bat clean up at the end of that week so I can check out a new camp.  For a while now our main Troop planning happens at a family camp that we hold in late August, where we all rent out adjacent sites at a campground and then mid-weekend we hold a Boy Scout meeting to determine our direction for the year.  This year will be no different, so 3 days get checked off just for that.  Our fundraising schedule, at least, has ceased for the summer, so that is a bright spot on this full calendar.

     I've mentioned that I just turned 48, so if you have done the math, you'll realize that I'm 30 years now out of high school, which of course means, I have a reunion.  I'm a big fan of these as I have more in common with my high school friends now, than I
4 siblings at this year's tournament
did back then, so I've been a part of the planning committee.  We've got some meetings coming up to finalize the details and it's not a one day event either.  I'm chairing the Friday night get together, golfing in the tournament, and attending the Saturday dinner and Sunday picnic.  One more weekend, completely filled.  Speaking of golf, did I mention that we just put our 16th annual family tournament to bed, raising an additional $10,500 for the charity?  Cuz we did.  My wife and I were smart and knocked off 3 would-be weekend events and celebrated them all on that Sunday since all of our kids were home.  Necessity is truly the mother of Invention. 

     To wrap up the blog and the busy summer we've got just a few other events and some yet to be planned events.  We've had one family party on my wife's side but still have one to go.  We want to hike/camp  with my daughter and her boyfriend but nothing's on the calendar yet.  We've squeezed in
I don't even have time for my girlfriend
a couple of short hikes already, and should keep it up to prepare us for the Jamboree.  I'm a big fan of the Sand Bar in Cdga, so I do plan on getting there a few times this summer, but it may have to be on Sunday afternoons, weather permitting.  We've got friends with a new outdoor fire pit that we'd like to visit and some with boats too.  Concerts are always a possibility, but no plans exist yet and wine touring pops up as an offer quite often, but nothing is penned in there either.  We'll surely squeeze in our church festival and maybe a fireman's carnival or two and we are trying to support a neighboring Troop's pancake breakfast some Sunday.   We've got tickets to a Fireman's party a few Saturdays from now.  I'd love to say that's all of it, but I'm certain that I've missed something.  The point of today's blog?  To boast? To gripe? Not at all, just a recap, and a pre-warning for our friends, if you call to invite us to something this summer, don't be surprised if we politely have to decline. 


1 comment:

cdyarger said...

You better make time for your girlfriend - she might start looking beyond YOUR backyard! We do like to keep busy, though, don't we??