Mar 12, 2012

What makes a good weekend?

It's pretty hard to ruin a weekend if you work.  Even if you don't work, and are a student, weekend's always rock, am I right?  Last weekend it was just me and the boys and the dogs, and we had a really great one.

Maybe it's the age I am, but a "good" weekend to me does not involve going anywhere.  Unless you just want to and have no time frame to have to stay within and no pressure to be anywhere by a certain time.  We get enough of that during the workweek, don't we?  I do.  My weekends are strictly my own, and the best ones often involve doing a whole lot of nothing.  I think we all need a lot more nothing in our lives.  The definition of nothing is not actually nothing, of course.  My definition is loosely what used to be considered "normal life" in an apparently isolated period that occurred during the 70's, for the most part.  During this time, at least it was my impression, "doing nothing" included taking care of your house, your yard, your children, and your soul all in one fell swoop.  This was before everyone started signing up their children for various and sundry classes, or sports teams, by the age of 3.  This was back when it was a long time until dark, no matter what time it was, because you didn't have anything to do until then but "play".  Your mother would call you in for supper, not on a cell phone, but by simply stepping outside and calling your name loudly, probably followed by "sup-per" and you would hear it, wherever you were, and you would go home.  Just like that.  No discussion, excuses or compromises, you just went home for supper when your mother called your name.  It was a brilliant system, dependent only upon the same people being in the same neighborhood from year to year.

What did we do?  Not much.  It has been beautiful here, after the winter that wasn't.  Friday night the twins wanted 2 other boys to spend the night.  I said sure and they did and the next day I was naturally the first one up.  I had this whole plan, what I have come to think of as "the usual" in mind.  "The usual" consists of dusting, laundry, sweeping, occasionally turning mattresses, raking leaves, drudgery, mostly, but normal life depends upon it.

I walked outside and it was----beautiful.  The first nice day we had had in recent memory that I would be able to actually see it, so I just sat there and made myself sit in the sun and enjoy the beautiful weather.  Then I went inside and started the washer on laundry, made coffee, and did a few dishes as the coffee dripped.  I felt my spirits rise, and it wasn't just the smell of coffee.

For some reason I just love being the only one up in the mornings.  I think it gives me a false but comforting sense of being in control, and with everyone wondering when the world is going to end these days (I'm not the only one, surely?) I try to cherish every moment of it, false or otherwise.  I made biscuits.  Real biscuits.  Easy as pie but I never take the time to do it anymore.  I made angel biscuits, that include yeast and light kneading, just because kneading bread comforts and calms me.  If you have never kneaded bread, you should give it a whirl.  If you have, you know exactly what I am talking about.  I was euphoric, and "the usual" was already seeming like a good thing to avoid on this day.

So I made biscuits, grabbed my coffee, threw the laundry that was in the washer into the dryer, grabbed my book and headed outside.  Glorious!  

When the boys got up I had biscuits ready and they even helped clean up.  A little.  Enough, because it was glorious outside and who wanted to be in the house?  Not us.  They spent the day trooping between all of our houses and the creek.  I spent it sitting in the sun letting the warmth seep into my bones and not feeling the least bit guilty.  The dogs spent it lolling in the sun on their backs and keeping me company as I did NOT rake leaves in the yard.

I threw a bag of chicken breasts in the crock pot with a jar of bbq sauce and some brown sugar and vinegar and planned on scalloped potatoes and steamed cauliflower, broccoli and carrots that evening, which during the week I never feel that I have time to do.  The entire house smelled wonderful all afternoon.

About the time the birds started chirping and the sun was getting very low in the sky, I went out and here came the boys trooping up the street.  They were sunburned and muddy, slightly in both cases.  They also were euphoric, not just because they hadn't dusted or vacuumed that day, but because they had spent most of the day on the creek.  

The creek is about a block and a half from my house.  They love to go down there and fish.  How much fishing gets done is anybodies guess, but they are 14 and old enough for such manly pursuits.  On this day they had decided they were an Indian tribe and everyone had picked an Indian name, known only to the others.  They had caught frogs, quite a few of them, and then built a fire on the sandbar in the creek and sharpened sticks to cook the frog legs with, and then dined upon what nature and their own wits had provided.  They were incredibly satisfied with themselves, as was their mother.

We had our incredible supper and went to bed happy.

The next day was the dreaded time change.  It was also raining.  I made coffee and decided not to get out of my pajamas for the entire day.  When they finally got up, the twins concurred.  We spent the day reading, watching movies and taking naps.  They also played video games, and I didn't care.  I felt I had been away from work for longer than two days.  That is priceless.

We can't go back to the days when we had more time.  We can try, but the world won't cooperate.  What we can do is take our time when we get the chance and make the very most of it.  Sometimes making the very most of it means doing very little, or only the bare minimum of what we usually hold ourselves responsible for.  We should not be so hard on ourselves.  A little time outside in the sun listening to the birds and the breeze and just breathing is not just good, but I think essential to our lives.

Make sure you make the most of the time you have while you have it.  It goes very quickly and you don't want all your memories to be of waiting in line for one thing or another.  Don't forget to make some memories at home.  They are the ones that will resonate the loudest.