17 June 2011

Summer Spark

School let out last Friday - the most anticipated day of my year. I had an automatic countdown on my iGoogle page that slowly ticked off the weeks, the days, each draining hour. And finally, my sweet reward, a huge component in why I took this job in the first place- 14 weeks off in the summer, 5 weeks off in the rest of the year. I should be completely stoked, electrified, ready to go - but it felt a bit anti-climatic in the end. Part of it was knowing I still had weeks of work to do, that I could not in good conscience leave right away. Some of the teachers were flying off to France the next day or parents were headed out on long, luxurious vacations - and I suddenly realized that I didn't have much lined up for the summer. A few camping trips, but we're saving for the big trip next summer. No airplane trips, no sand and sun, nothing glamorous. No daycare either, and despite wanting to spend more time with my kid - again a big, big reason to take this job! - weeks of full-time parenting doesn't sound exactly relaxing. Part of my mind realizes it is utterly insane to have any quibbles about time off and time with my kid when every working mother across the nation is likely about to throw their commuter mug at the computer screen hearing that- or uh, you know, the 1.2 of them who read this blog. But there you are - I had a little sadness and disappointment when school let out, not what I was expecting to feel.

So I started making a list - doodling a list, busting out my pretty ink pens and Moleskine notebook, all things, small and huge, made it on the list. From the dentist to cleaning my computer screen to writing/finishing my gdmned YA book. Small things like this -

- a knitted banana I started approximately 3 months ago, for a baby I know. It has a jingle bell inside. It looks lumpy and insane because there was no pattern, I was trying to make it up as I went along. And it looks like it. But it is done! Checked off my list.

The list morphed into some little/big projects that I am excited about and by extension include grain elevators. prairies, film reels, audio equipment and two-lane highways. Anything to make this close to home summer feel more purposeful and important and bigger.

I'm also coming to terms with my thrift problem this summer. It has always been extreme, but now I can easily wander into a couple thrift stores way too often. When I'm thrifting for Simone's clothes and shoes, I always find something else I cannot live without. A Czech magnetic toy theatre . A dual Super 8/regular 8 projector that works perfectly.

Spanish baby shoes

Danish pottery with the original Danish price sticker on it.

It turns out this island called Bornholm was the ceramics mecca of Europe at one point. The BOFA factory only existed for ten years but those 10 years happen to be some of my favourite in design - 1953-1963. They still have the original price tag on it, how could I say no? Even though I have no use for them.

And I can never say no to Holt Howard, let alone his tomatoes.

I have myself slightly convinced that I need my own Etsy vintage shop so that I can shop without guilt. Please disabuse me of this notion, as it would likely be more trouble than it could possibly be worth, right? Especially as I only ever remember to take pictures at night, in terrible lighting and apparently only on my kitchen table. Still...it's on the list.


Maven said...

Well, I opened my etsy shop so that I could continue to thrift without guilt too, and also pay for my health insurance (at the time). Both things worked for awhile, esp when I was underemployed. But once I got busier the shop turned into ANOTHER source of guilt because I could never get around to updating. Photographing clothes even reasonably okay took forevvverrrrrrr. Inanimate household objects are easier. I just recently reopened the shop to try to unload some inventory, but stalled after 4 listings (and 2 sales!). It's still on my to-do list for this month.

This week I bought a vintage toy piano, after I walked away from it and tried to repeat the mantra "let someone else discover it; there are ALWAYS MORE THINGS," because I guess I'm a glutton.

Sarah said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog! I'm enjoying reading your posts--I love your voice (and would love to read more about your work at the bilingual school).

Bonnes vacances!

Marigoldie said...

How do you even know who Howard Holt is? How do people know these things?

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to come visit this blog. Those thrift scores are wonderful, but nothing's better than that banana.

Marigoldie said...

I mean Holt Howard. Ahem.