My summer seesaws between calm and chaotic. Let me explain…
A summer day in the life of a retiree…
Mornings begin with an early exercise class, then quiet time dawdling over breakfast and coffee. Activities include reading the paper, checking emails, chatting with neighbors, and thinking about lunch and dinner.
Afternoons fritter away reading, taking and making phone calls, deciding on dinner and wondering whether all ingredients are available somewhere around the house, talking to neighbors, watching the neighborhood kids play ball and fetching lost softballs among my bushes…
Late afternoon hub and I grab a couple of chairs and books and stroll down to the beach. Digging toes into the sand, enjoying the late afternoon sun, we linger.
I make a mental list of the next day’s should-do tasks. Weed the garden, spread some organic fertilizer. Time flies even during the summer, and the veggie plants need sustenance.
There is laundry to do, and piles of mail patiently await my attention. Bills must be paid. I doubt creditors consider summer laziness a valid reason for late payments.
Dinner enjoyed al fresco on our patio and a quiet evening at home conclude the day…summer (for a retiree) oozes the essence of laid-back living.
A summer day in the life of a Grandma…
Mornings begin early with the patter of little feet jumping out of bed and bounding downstairs. The kids lounge on the couch and floor, turn the TV on and fight over who gets to choose a show first.
Breakfast challenges. Cold cereal, French toast, chocolate chip pancakes, eggs, bagels, oatmeal…whatever the choices, the kids decide this particular morning they do not want whatever the cook (a.k.a. grandparent) suggests. Delicate negotiations ensue before the menu is finalized, prepared, and consumed.
Everyone suits up. Suntan lotion is liberally applied, towels collected, and the beach wagon, laden with toys and chairs, wheeled out of the garage.
The beach procession begins. We decide to buy subs and enjoy lunch at the beach. A quick detour to the sub shop and we continue our journey.
After some deliberating the perfect spot of sand is selected, chairs opened, toys scattered, and finally, lunch.
The four-year-old sits in her small pink chair, eagerly grabs her sandwich, carefully unwraps it and takes one bite. Suddenly a seagull swoops down, snatches the sandwich out of her hand and drops it on the sand a few feet in front of us, pulling it apart and consuming his (or her, I have no idea how to discern the gender of seagulls) lunch right in front of us.
Meanwhile Sami begins crying over her lost lunch. Who can blame her?
Grandma and Sami return to the sub shop, enduring hot sand and hot sun, and order another sandwich. The shop owner is concerned, asking, “What is the problem? The sandwiches OK?” I assure him all is fine and regale him with Sami’s misfortune.
A second sandwich quickly appears and Sami insists on eating inside. She was not going to lose her lunch to the mean seagull again.
The kind sub shop owner refuses to charge us for the second sandwich. We return to sand and sea. Grandma, much later rather than sooner, devours her lunch.
The afternoon passes quickly – for the kids - jumping waves, building sandcastles, covering bodies with sand, seeking out the ice cream man and inhaling purchases before they melt.
Adults exhausted, children hungry and tired – although unwilling to admit it – by late afternoon toys, towels and assorted paraphernalia are collected and packed. We trudge home.
An early bedtime concludes Grandma’s day. (I do wait until dark. Usually.) I fall asleep immediately and dream of an idyllic summer day in the life of a retiree…