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Best Laid Plans

Our much anticipated trip to the lake was coming up quickly and I was trying to make all of the arrangements. With Steve off work for three weeks, we decided to use some of that time at Buck’s lake house and enjoy a few days at home. I volunteered that Steve could then play golf everyday he was home; I knew he would really enjoy that before returning to work. He reacted as if the thought had not occurred to him and agreed that his game could use some work. That way we would be back in time for the annual block party also; an event I really enjoy. It’s always fun to see how the children have grown from year to year and the conversations are always lively as we sit and watch the obstacle course, grilling and adults maneuver through the buffet. We were having a fruit dessert competition this year. I had chosen a recipe that I wanted to make but I always like to practice a few times before the event. My instinct was to be bold this year and try something different – an icebox cake. If the weather isn’t too warm, all will go well, but I wanted to experiment with the time needed for setup to get the best results. I already make a very good custard because I take a very scientific approach to the time needed to thicken it. I don’t look at the timer; I just know when it has become thick enough to hold. I was going to start my first practice recipe tomorrow and make another up at the lake to test the difference.

In the meantime, I was pulling out suitcases and looking for my lake list to make sure that I packed everything. Nights are a little cooler and the bugs always bite me the most, even when I don’t wear cologne. It must be my skin. I needed to pack extra sweatshirts and throws. The extra throws make it nicer to sit around the fire pit after sunset. The kids already know that it is their job to find sticks for the fire when they arrive at the lake; remembering the sticks always reminds me to pack extra matches. The matches make me remember the ingredients for wienie roasts and the special mustard that Steve likes. The hot dogs remind me to get frozen lemonade concentrate because I just don’t want to spend all day squeezing lemons. The lemonade remind me to pack gin and lots of lime. The gin reminds me to pack aspirin. I wonder if I still need a list? My philosophy is to pack enough to keep the runs to the grocery at a minimum.

While helping Daisy get ready for bed, I was counting how many nighties she had in case I wanted to get a few new ones. I asked Daisy if she was looking forward to the trip and she told me that she really needed a vacation. “Needed” was not the word I associated with Daisy and a vacation, so I asked her to tell me why. Daisy shared with me that there was so much for her to do that she needed some quiet time to spend with her books and toys. I wasn’t aware that she felt so stressed by her current schedule of life experiences. I sat down on the bed next to her and let her know that I always felt better after letting my batteries recharge too.

Daisy’s confession made me approach our upcoming trip differently. I wanted to build in some down time and might not plan every day so carefully. We could all use some days where we chose to fish, swim, hike the woods, play cards, or not. There would be lots of things that we would do together, but if someone begged off to do something more important to them, then so be it. I told Steve about my decision as we crawled into bed. He liked the idea and asked me how I felt about building the fire some nights or driving the boat. I thought for a moment before telling him that I would do those tasks ┬áif he cooked some meals, cleaned up after everyone and bathed the kids every night. He sighed loudly and understood my point. I guess there is a balance to planning every day; I’m sure we would come to a compromise on how everything would get done. We always do.

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