Sunday, July 15, 2012

What Did You Do This Summer?

"What Did You Do This Summer?" could have been a writing prompt for a fourth grade classroom assignment.  Summer is not over, and already I am panicking. Where did the time go and what exactly HAVE I done?

There are only five weeks left until I start back to teaching and my to-do list is only getting longer. We are leaving for a week at the beach August 11th, and then "boom" school starts as soon as I get back. That really only leaves four weeks for summer projects, book research and  'chores.' You know what I mean--all those 'want-to-dos' that you tell yourself will get done during the longer days. My summer has been TOO full with what I am not sure, but I do wonder how I am going to accomplish those lofty goals I set when I dreamed of not teaching this summer (a first for me in um, about forty years.)

What I accomplished is so plebeian that I hate to even mention it.  I did not prep for a show, write a book, speak at conferences or trek in Africa. Mostly I cleaned out a closets, cleaned out a recently deceased relative's house and trucked stuff home, started an Etsy shop, posted dozens of items on Ebay (silver is the only hot seller), moved a daughter, cleaned up after the mega-storm, buried a cat -- well, you get the picture and I will stop before boredom sends you screaming back to Francesca's exciting post.

Oh, did I mention selling at three big yard sales?  When I strapped on a caving helmet and ventured into our dark basement closets and dank garage corners, I was amazed at the heaps of dusty $%^& that I encountered.  It took days to clean, sort and box it all. Then there were the two dozen Avon bottles I bought this spring for the booth, erroneously believing  people still collected Avon, and the boxes of other 'antiques' that turned out to be not so valuable. I didn't bother pricing anything since I have learned that dreams of a $45 price tag on your 1982 'vintage' bike (okay, vintage here means rust) , quickly deteriorates into selling it for $5 to the first interested person.
This summer I have learned lots more since I have joined the hordes selling at flea markets and yard sales. Come early, resist leaving early even if there are only two customers left ( yesterday I sold my daughter's old saddle as I was packing up), bring water and snacks, make friends with the folks on either side of you, always have more change than you need, make sure that what you are selling isn't dirty junk, and don't buy more than you sell. This is a problem for me, since I am always scouting treasures for the booth or Ebay. It's my favorite part of the 'business,' which is in quotes since I am not sure I am making enough money to call what I am doing a legit business even though I am working my tail off. But treasures can still be found.  Yesterday, I bought this adorable L.E.Smith Scottie creamer that was a Post cereal promotion item from a woman who'd once owned an antique booth and had given it up during the economic downturn (and no, her 'message' of doom didn't get through to my brain.)
And I had to have this picture from around the 1930s, buying it for a mere $4.00 because who else at the entire jumbo yard sale was horse and vintage crazy?  The photo doesn't do justice to the soft colors, tramp art style frame and glitter accents. (Yes, glitter, and in my research I discovered that glitter was not invented until 1930. thus dating this no earlier.) I could not decipher the artist or even the medium (I have MUCH to learn about art) and will have a hard time parting with this even though I don't need one more picture in my house.
The Scottie and picture were plopped into my office that is now a jumbled storage unit for all the un-inventoried, 'valuable' items  soon to be listed on Ebay, Etsy or placed into my booth--one day, soon, because summer is flying to an end, this office MUST be cleaned up, I must get to that book research, and sheesh what have I done with my time this summer?

I am interested to find out what projects you have completed (Laura, here is your chance to tell about your new renovation) and what is still on your-to-do list.  Tell, tell.


Laura Crum said...

Alison--I did finish remodeling my bedroom, yes. I can't imagine anything too interesting I could say about that, but I'm very happy with it. Otherwise, its been tending the garden, riding the horses..etc. A happy life. Soon we are taking our horses to the mountains for a week of camping and riding--which will be my big adventure for the summer.

Alison said...

Oh, have fun camping. Will you take your horses?

Laura Crum said...

Yes--taking the horses. We plan to ride every day.

Christine said...

Every holidays, every weekend... the list is always too long of things to do and too short with regards to things accomplished at the end!

I'll always add more and be hopeful that some will get done!

Alison said...

I hear ya! I hope you can check off one or two things.

It's been so dry here that I've almost given up on my vegetable garden, so that's low on the chore list. Off to the farmer's market instead.

Anonymous said...

Well this summer I had planned to walk everyday, ride my horse and log some miles on the trails and attain a certain goal I have been working toward in my riding lessons for the last three months. None of this has been accomplished but I have organized all the drawers and closets in my home, gotten some things done for the coming school year and read this blog.

Linda Ann - Mane Dates: Horsing Around in the Upper Midwest said...

Know the feeling of being busy and all-business, but maybe not sensing a marathon of accomplishment. The summer calls for flexibility, particularly in families.

We're on horse time, remember? ;-)

Alison said...

Linda Ann - Horse time means 'all eating' if you asked my horses. What is your definition?

1stHorse--I am glad I am not the only one who spent the summer cleaning out closets!

Abbi said...

I know!!!! So much to do, not enough time....for being lazy. I basically have a horrible case of procrastination, followed up with a recovering illness of laziness. All my goals - buy a horse, set up my own "buisnesses" ect, bathe the pets, ect, ect. did not get done. Hear!

Camping sounds fun!