Seven Quick Takes are hosted at Conversion Diary.
1) We got back from Stratford about noon on Tuesday. We had a wonderful, restful time, but I got up at 6:30 AM so that I could pack. This is actually a good thing for me; for the first several years I insisted on packing the night before, thereby effectively cutting our stay short by 12 hours or more. How can you play Trivial Pursuit or read a novel by candlelight if games, candles, and books are all packed up?
2) Unfortunately, when I got home there was immediately a LOT to do. Some of it was the "whipping the house back into Mom-acceptable shape" that happens every time I leave, but a lot of it was the seven loads of laundry we brought home with us. Yes, we wear a lot of clothes in Stratford. Actually, I wear a lot of clothes. I have quite a bit of lounge wear I've accumulated over the years, and in a house with a teen-aged boy it rarely gets an outing. So I take a couple of outfits per day to Stratford and wear it all there. (Have I mentioned that the appeal of Stratford is doing NOTHING?!! We sit in the room, read and play board games, watch a movie, rinse in the Jacuzzi, and repeat. We go out for breakfast and dinner, and sometimes sit in a coffee shop while they are "doing" the room. Ahhhhh...)
3) I wouldn't, I suppose, really have needed to do all the laundry immediately (especially the stuff I won't wear again for a year..) But one of the things that makes our household work is assigned laundry days. Back when our six kids were all under 16, I was getting buried in the mountains of laundry. So we instituted "girls' laundry day", "boys' laundry day", and so on. They learned the job, I wasn't so stressed, and it was all good! But "my" laundry days are Tuesday and Friday, and even with only Kelson at home, woe to the person who does laundry on the "wrong" day. So I got it done on Tuesday.
4) Aside from getting up at 6:30 -- which I NEVER do on vacation, and as rarely as possible otherwise -- another reason I was tired by the time we left Stratford was the stairs. Bentley's Annex, where we stay, is an old, elevator-free building. Mostly we stay on the lower floor, but this year we had to change our reservation, and our favorite room wasn't free. I was reminded again why stair-climbing is considered such good exercise. And climbing down laden with too-many clothes and books; whew!
5) The week since then hasn't been normal, either. On Wednesday this part of Michigan got its small share of the Snowpocaylpse/Snowmageddon going on elsewhere. (A shout out to Tracy with three inches in a Gulf Coast state, and to Miriel and our friends David and Lauren who are awaiting another 10 inches outside D.C.) By Michigan standards this wasn't much of a blizzard, but the timing was such that schools were closed. Kelson went back yesterday, and today is the first day of mid-winter break. So I am seeking in vain for a nice, routine, day. The choir even has this weekend off, so Sunday will also be different! And did I mention that break includes Monday?
6) Tuesday, of course, is Shrove Tuesday. In some places that means "Carnevale"! Here in the Detroit area people celebrate with paczki, overgrown Polish jelly doughnuts. (In a sad misunderstanding of the point, they've been on the shelves for more than a week...) I will be making the more restrained German faschnachts I grew up with.
7) And Wednesday, of course, is the beginning of Lent. This year I am not giving up chocolate, or fiction, or lunch on weekdays. I am giving up the mess in my house, and the boxes that all our books reside in. Even before we moved, I knew that my "Lenten discipline" would be making my new house fully home -- and clean and organized to boot. I wish that didn't make me tired thinking about it... But tomorrow is a sleep-in Saturday, so my hope is to begin the week with more energy, and Lent with a heart open to more grace. I'll keep you posted.