Buckle Up! Summer’s Heading Out.

6 Aug

A friend asked me last week if I’d bought my kid’s school supplies yet. I stopped. Turned. And stared at her. “Umm, excuse me, but what did you say?”

“I was just wondering if you’d bought your school supplies yet,” she repeated, looking a little defensive. “I mean, they’re already being picked through….”

I walked away from that conversation feeling a little ill. How is it possible that summer is almost over and I need to buy school supplies already? I guess I was in denial.

But then I went and spent $150 on supplies and reality hit home.
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But enough about that. I have to say that it’s been a great summer and a lot of the greatness is due to all the hard work that many, many willing adults put in to making a ton of great activities for my kids to participate in. Kids need summer activities. Yes, they need to relax and just hang out but they can’t do that for three solid months. If they did, they and I both would go insane.

And so we signed them up for a few things. Not as many as some years, mind you, but a few, well-chosen things. My oldest two did Summer Band at the middle school and they both loved it. I have never seen my daughter so excited about her band instrument, as she was able to begin playing a “Frumpet” because French Horns simply aren’t marching band instruments. Along with my son on his marching band tuba (read Susaphone), we had several marvelous duets in the evenings and loved every minute of it. Thanks so much to Mr. Anderson and all of the band teachers and helpers involved with that program.

A little Frumpet action.

A little Frumpet action.


My daughter also was able to participate in Summer Orchestra and she enjoyed that very much, remembering what it is like to pick up a viola after quite a few weeks of…I admit it…not doing so. The students were even were able to take a field trip to the National Music Museum in Vermillion, SD, which definitely is a place our whole family needs to check out, from the sounds of it. Thanks to Mrs. Loy for a great couple of weeks!

Most recently my two oldest kids enjoyed Kid’s College out at Minnesota West. For four days they experimented, learned, played, created, and soaked in the atmosphere of the college and many willing and capable instructors. Too bad it couldn’t be longer, says this mom!

Not his Susaphone, but you get the idea.

Not his Susaphone, but you get the idea.


Not to be forgotten, our youngest, too, had weekly fun at the Summer Library Program at the Nobles County Library, thanks to all the hard work of Jackie Van Horsen, the children’s librarian. Three Hershey’s kiss gnomes, a caterpillar, an ant, and something that I’m a little unclear as to what it is exactly – still grace our family room with their smiling faces. Her crafts are all smiling, according to her, because she was having a great time making them with her friends at the library.
Library gnomes.

Library gnomes.


There were other activities our kids did – and other activities they should have done (read swimming lessons) – and somehow, all of a sudden, summer is winding down and there is very little I can do about that. Okay, there’s nothing I can do about it, I just like to pretend that maybe there is.

One thing that was very different for us this summer was not being involved with the summer musical at the Memorial Auditorium here in Worthington, as we were for the past two summers. Instead, we were able to sit and RELAX in the audience and enjoy the hard work that the cast and crew of SHREK THE MUSICAL put in over the summer to entertain us all. I intimately understand how much effort it takes to put on such a show, and I appreciate their time and commitment so much. I can’t say that we didn’t miss doing a show a little bit, but mostly, we were just glad to have summer evenings at home. But yes, in case you’re wondering, I’m sure the stage will lure us back one of these summers, if not more than one.
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Summer has been lovely, but all good things must come to an end. School is important, and I guess I’m ready for it, at least as far as my kid’s supplies go. Mentally, though…I’m thinking I’d rather cuddle with my six year old a little longer, savor my coffee on the deck with a good book, watch the kids catch lightning bugs, and have just one more day to sleep in.

But this is my life, at least for a few more years. School supplies, alarm clocks, homework…. Someday I’ll miss all that, they tell me.

For now, I’ll buckle up for the ride.

Didn't catch him flashing, but here is a lightning bug...in all his non-glowing glory.

Didn’t catch him flashing, but here is a lightning bug…in all his non-glowing glory.

One got caught in Boo's hair!

One got caught in Boo’s hair!

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13 Responses to “Buckle Up! Summer’s Heading Out.”

  1. Ruth August 6, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    It’s back to school for me two weeks from today. Enjoyed reading your post as I just returned home last
    night after all the fun activities with the grandkids. Denial works for a time. Enjoy the final days of summer

    • Gretchen O'Donnell August 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      :-) It’s two weeks for students here, too. Too soon. I bet you had a lot of fun with your family – yay! How good summer vacation can be!

  2. Kathleen Mickelson (@kcmickelson) August 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    Yes, you will miss it (unbelievably so) when your kids are done with school! I’ve long been annoyed at how early retailers put out the back-to-school supplies, as if anyone really wants to think about that in the middle of drying of their swimsuits. I love your gratitude for all those people who make summer activities possible. My daughter did summer orchestra camp for a long time and then went back and volunteered as a T.A. when she was too old for camp. What a great thing!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell August 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

      Yes, the music programs here are great. I think Minnesota does a good job with music, and that’s so good. And your “as if anyone really wants to think about that in the middle of drying of their swimsuits” line is great! School begins in two weeks. So sad.

  3. treadlemusic August 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    That was a great post!!! Brought back many memories!! Our boys never ran out of things to do here on the farm. I’ve been seeing back-to-school ads since July 4th!!!!!! I mean, really????? Thanks for the memories (revisited!)…..hugs……

    • Gretchen O'Donnell August 6, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

      :-) My mother used to say (still does, actually) that only boring people get bored. :-) I have a feeling you and your family would never be boring!

      • treadlemusic August 6, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

        Wow! You know us WELL!!!! Our days are never long enough …… always something left to do/enjoy when the day is done! Our boys are the same. “Bored” is a word only used with a laugh–even when they were young! I still can’t understand how ppl can even entertain that thought!

  4. Gwen Stephens August 7, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Working in the education profession, my whole mindset changes as soon as we turn that calendar page over to August. The end of summer is a mixed blessing. I’m also looking forward to getting back into our routine, but I’ll miss the more relaxed schedule and the fun summertime activities, like those you mentioned above.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell August 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      Yes, I can imagine. I am looking forward to having some time to read other blogs again! Routine is good. As much as I’d rather sleep until 8:30 every day. :-)

  5. cravesadventure August 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Love the Library Gnomes:) Happy Weekend!

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