post vacation funk

Lake of the Clouds viewed from the Escarpment Trail in the Porcupine Mts state park in the Michigan UP

The last several years we have managed to schedule trips as soon as school is out, which postpones rather than alleviates the post-school summer vacation funk when the kids (and, by extension, I) realize we have two and a half months stretching ahead of us with lots and lots and lots of together time and not a whole lot of structure. We will, eventually, find our groove. We'll make jam and go to the library and start swimming lessons and find new parks to explore...but today was long and hot and boring. Daniel didn't even put clothes on until mid-afternoon. Way to herald in the first official day of summer, huh?

We were up north last week. Stuart's parents drove up from North Carolina (yes, that's a long way) to take charge of the kids so he and I could take a trip ON OUR OWN (first time EVER since the kids came along) to the north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. It was glorious and beautiful, and then we all met in the western part of the Michigan UP to spend a few days together in the Porcupine Mountains. Gorgeous and wild, that place. It almost makes me want to try backpacking in the wilderness, if it weren't for the bears.

I finished a sweater and wore it more days than not because it was actually chilly in Minnesota. I got some nice photos, too, but I can't post them yet because the sweater is a test knit for Thea and the pattern has yet to be released. I finished socks, too, but didn't get pictures because they're just socks and not so interesting, though I do look forward to wearing them.

And now we're home and everyone is sluggish from heat (which isn't even that bad, compared to, say, Arizona) and boredom. Also, while we were away I was able to push all the awful news of the last week out of my mind, but now that we're home, I can't stop thinking about the terrible things we humans do to each other and how terribly we deal with it. We have mass shootings so often we shrug it off, we're on the brink of a presidential election where one of the candidates likely has a bona fide personality disorder, the southwest is burning up thanks to climate change, and, well, you get the picture. It's hard not to feel paralyzed with helplessness.

Last night around bedtime I heard a terrible, wild noise. At first I thought it was the TV from downstairs (Stuart's been catching up on Game of Thrones, but I can't stomach watching it since whatshisface was beheaded early on, like season 1), but then I realized it was coming from outside. There was some kind of feral throw down happening right in my backyard - screeching and yowling and rustling and scratching. It sounded like something was being attacked and dismembered. I couldn't see much, but I could see the shadow of a large spruce from the neighbor's yard and the branches were shaking. This went on for minutes. I realized eventually (actually, I did a google search; YouTube answers all queries) it was raccoons fighting, which is vicious and violent and sounds awful, but this morning there was no evidence anything had been amiss. From the sound of it, you'd have thought there would be bloody patches of fur and parts strewn about but there was nothing. I had dreams, though, dreams where I was angry and screaming and out of control. I blame the raccoons.

What does any of this have to do with knitting or sewing or any of those other things I write about here? I'm not sure. I'm in a funny spot with that stuff anyway. I'm fairly productive these days, in part because the musician-work part of my life slows way way down with 24/7 parenting during the summer. At the same time, I am struggling with feeling like I should be productive All The Time and that sometimes takes the joy out of making. And joy of making is the whole point, right?

I think I just need the right mindset: I need to take a step back from the beautifully curated, mindful blogs that set my own expectations too high; I need to use materials from my substantial yarn and fabric stash and make what I want; I need to avoid self-imposed goals and deadlines; I need to get out of my head.


Julie Crawford said…
I'm taking Lila out of day care at the end of the month, so very soon I will know the sort of thing you are taking about! I bet it is hard to find a groove with the kids in the summer, I'm nervous about how long the days will feel, and I worry about how little I'll be able to accomplish once I've got both the baby and a 4 year old at home.

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