The Post Vacation Blues

I’ve got the blues. There is no need to feel sorry for me because the melancholy mood that is weighing on me is actually the “post vacation blues.” It feels heavy and hollow at the same time. My big vacation is over. The bags are unpacked, the piles of laundry are done, and the house is quiet. Too quiet. Aside from the energetic hopeful-for-a-walk pups, everything is calm. Even my steps around the house are slow, with no sense of urgency. No lengthy “to-do” lists stuck to the face of my kitchen cabinet on sticky notes. No mental computation of who will sleep where and what the menu will be for the week. It’s all done. Everything that kept my motor running fast for the last few weeks and months has come and gone. It all went wonderfully: the college graduation (along with his traditional hour-long home movie I created from years of video recordings), the high school graduation (complete with the traditional K through 12 scrapbook that I always wait until a month before to start), the send-off of the college freshman (our baby), the arrival of fifteen family members from across the country (for a seven day stay altogether out at our cabin). Done.

The crazy thing about being busy like I have been this past spring is that it distracted me from the next chapter of my life creeping in. On Tuesday when our last visitors had departed, I re-entered my house and looked at the dogs, the cat and my husband. This is us. My “us” for so many years included a kid or two or three or four. Over the last ten days my “us” included my sisters, their kids, my parents in addition to our college kids and city kids. Our cabin was at full capacity, overflowing with love, noise, mess and activity. It was a wonderful “us” that we worked hard to prepare for: fixing up the cabin, shopping, cleaning, and planning. It was a full team effort before and during. The fun times exceeded all of my imagined scenarios.

As I sit with Sansa on my lap, Koda and Summer at my feet (beginning to stir with noises outside the window), I am reveling in the fullness of my heart. There are many sweet and special moments that I’d like to describe in detail, such as the interaction of my relatives, old and young, the connections made with nature out in the beautiful Virginia countryside, and the times we laughed until we cried during skit night. Quite simply, it was a week that could fill a whole book about a special family. This family is separated by miles of land and sea, for many months at a time, yet somehow finds it’s way to dissolve that distance and embrace a raw closeness. Sadly, the week ends and planes carry the people we love back to their lives that are far away and separate from each other. Tucked away in each person’s suitcase is the matching blue “Cabin Time” t-shirt we wore together. When I designed it a month ago, I imagined about ten things we would do and found clip art to symbolize those activities (swimming, fireworks, bbq, skit night, music, art, campfire, games, etc). What you will not find on the Cabin Time shirt is a symbol for the great conversations had in Adirondack chairs or the early mornings of coffee gazing at the pond together. Perhaps the appropriate symbol would be a full heart.

What I love most about writing is how the words can sometimes shift something in my mood. I started this piece feeling a little sad but after taking stock in all of the wonderful things that took place in the last month and especially in the last week, I am energized. Koda and Summer sense it and are dancing at my feet. What shall I do next? Take these cute pups on a walk of course!

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