When I was a kid in grade school, within the first week of school, we always had to write a paper titled, “what I did on my summer vacation.” Back then, I would regale about happy, carefree days traveling with my family to each state of the United States, visiting family, and many more fun activities. These days, as an adult, I looked back at this past summer and ticked off a list — what I did all summer:
- Celebrated small steps of my spouse finally recovering from his prolonged illness. No more dizzy spells, no more drugs. He still has occasional symptoms which may never go away, but for the most part, he’s over it. I helped him learn to be confident driving by himself again, which was a rather major accomplishment since his doctor told him not to drive a car until his symptoms abated — some 18 months!
- Built a pond, waterfall, and patio in the forest behind our house. This labor of love occupied a full eight weeks of my time outside of my regular job–weekdays and weekends. I have to say, this is a lovely addition to our property, and provides a peaceful, restful, and quiet place to relax.
- I went on a few group motorcycle rides with my club, but most of my Harley-riding has been commuting to my office. Fortunately, the commute is rather short and let’s me take advantage of free parking for motorcycles.
- I continued to look after my legion of senior pals with regular escorts to go grocery shopping, ongoing “kvetching” on their behalf with onerous idiots, and occasional home repairs. I enjoy their company and providing service with a smile.
- Worked. I mean, I really work at work. I enjoy being busy and the trust from my boss and challenges that I am given on a daily basis. It’s nice to be able to say, “I love my job.”
- Got the rest of our marital relationship in order, especially after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Besides marrying the love of my life in April, the title to our house is registered as “tenants by the entirety.” Further, I am officially designated now as a spouse and am entitled to spousal benefits that his employer (the U.S. Government) provides to its retirees. I enjoyed writing the letter to my employer to request that they take me off the plan they offered for my health insurance.
- Yearned to travel, but stayed put. I could not take significant time off from work because I did not have accrued leave, having used a lot of it advanced to me for all the time I had to take off when my spouse was so sick last year. That’s okay, I managed quite fine by enjoying our lovely home.
That really was about it. Stuck close to home, did lots of work, rode my Harley almost every day (mostly for commuting, but it doesn’t know the difference) and most of all:
Showed those I love how I love them (because life is short!)