Friday, April 27, 2012

In the Garden, Getting Ready to Go . . .

  Perhaps it's a legacy from all those years raising kids, feeling odd, guilty, whenever separated from them, no matter how welcome the breaks might have been. But getting away from home always feels wrenching to me. So over the last few weeks, we've had good visits with our kids, spent a great weekend with our granddaughter, and had a pleasant morning with my mom, as I reassure myself that everyone's okay. I'm still feeling as if I want another day with my son and future daughter-in-law (they were up a few weeks ago, but I need another hug or two!), although I know the four weeks will zip by quickly and Mom and Dad's absence is not significant as it once was.
  I also find our spring trips wrenching because I'm usually lurching out of end-of-term marking, still disoriented from the intensity of a teaching schedule and its abrupt termination. Most academics who have a moderate to heavy teaching load will tell you that we store up all kinds of chores 'til classes are over -- I've oscillated between marking and catching up on dental visits, home de-cluttering, brow waxing, and all the sundry and boring maintenance that keeps the wheels turning. . . oh, and wheels -- luckily, I'm able to delegate car and boat maintenance, now, to the Mister, he of semi-retirement, he who also took care of taxes and bank visits, so that I was able to clean out the cutlery drawer, re-organize the pantry. You know, the exciting stuff.

And while the marking's done, and the grades all entered, I had to rush to fit in some committee responsibilities before heading off. A student wrote me begging for a reference letter to support a scholarship she's applying for. Forms had to be filled in and submitted to explain the Incomplete grades entered. I spent some time thinking about what texts to put on September's course lists, because book orders will be due soon after I get back.
All of which is to say that it's busy work, getting ready to head to Europe for four weeks. I know, you all feel great sympathy for me, right?

But seriously, if there were a time of year specially designed to make it tough to leave, it's got to be spring, at least here on the Coast. We do spring beautifully, and right now, my garden is bursting with delights, from the Temple Belle rhododendron that is opening just in time for me to see it bloom, to the Flowering Red Currant whose rich pink frames our pond, as you see above and below.
The Euphorbia's acid green (in the third photo from the top) draws the eye throughout our garden, and the white buds of the Choisiya ternata (Mexican Mock orange) are ready to popcorn-snow their contrast against the shrub's glossy green, while nearby the Viburnum's also ready to release its sprays of bloom.
All this story -- these stories, really -- will be unfolding while we walk the streets of European cities, revelling in the contrast. For now, though, we're still here, and I have some packing to do. . . Stay tuned . . .

12 comments:

  1. I rather do know how you feel. The family element to some extent may be missing, but I have a lot of goodbyes to say as I'm leaving my job here and an office to clean out, which feels bittersweet. I am in the midst of the last bits of marking that I have to do in the next few days and the many sundry errands that I have to accomplish before I leave town on Thursday for a month on a research trip.

    All this. But Europe will be enjoyable and wonderful.

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    1. That's a lot to do before you leave, physically and emotionally. But I know you will have a wonderful and productive time in Spain -- bon voyage!

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  2. I can empathize with the wrench at leaving children, even though they are well-established adults. Way in the back of my mind is the thought, "what if...." which I try to squelch as much as possible.

    You asked about why I felt I needed to change my blog. I used incorrect terminology - it was the new Blogger interface that was foisted upon me, and although I know that I can change it back temporarily, it will become inevitable so I thought I'd deal with it now.

    Enjoy your trip. I'm envious!

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    1. I try to squelch that as well, but it's always there. . .
      I wondered if that was what you meant about Blogger . . . I'm crossing my fingers it doesn't happen while I'm away, but I suppose it's inevitable the change will come, as you say.

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  3. My children moved away from me:). But I understand that need to button a house down before you take off. Makes one so much freer to travel.

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    1. None of ours live in town, but they're only hours away, albeit in different directions. Somehow I still feel as if I've got to hug them all before I go, but it's not always possible. At least the house is ready for us to come back to, and the house-sitting's all arranged, the cat looking forward to having some peace and quiet, I suspect . . .

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  4. I too share this feeling when leaving town. I even feel it with my cat Pepper and she's a real mischief maker!
    Getting the house in order is wise, we do as well, as we have house sitters to keep Pepper fed and looked after.

    Europe beckons and memories await you.
    Happy packing!

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    1. We have a cat-sitter as well, for our hand-me-down cat (left behind by our oldest daughter many years ago -- has cost us a small fortune in cat-sitting fees by now!)

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  5. I don't feel the list bit sorry for you. ;) Course, my finals are still to come and I can't start the housekeeping for another 3 weeks...

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    1. You do that as well, right? Put everything off until the term's over? That means by the time I get back from our trip, you'll be enjoying a very well-earned break, something to look forward to, seriously!

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  6. The children moved away and now we have moved to be closer to at least one of them. But I always want to make sure everything is in order, the hatches are all battened down, and generous hugs profferred all around before any departure. Have a great trip.

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  7. Actually I do feel sympathy with you trying to plan a trip to close to the end-of-semester crunch. I don't know how you do it.

    I got into my grad program so I'll get to experience my own version of an end-of-semester crunch this Fall :).

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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