Sunday, July 26, 2015

A breath of fresh air.

My "Fresh Air" kid, Amy,  just left.  Now don't argue that at 43, she's not a kid, because she had that same wonder and sense of excitement in her eyes as we explored Lancaster County for four days.  During her time here, she celebrated sunsets, commented on the lush farmland, squealed at the sight of baby ducks and goats, and consumed a soft pretzel from the oldest pretzel bakery in the United States.  Okay, so we didn't chase fireflies or make s'mores -- we have a more sophisticated appetite.  We explored the Quilt Odyssey quilt show with former student, Alexis -- now a fiber enthusiast.  We went to the Lititz Village Art Association's Outdoor Fine Art Show,  perusing the vendors, admiring their use of color and imagery.  We explored Central Market, dined at Annie Bailey's, and wandered Lancaster City.  We went to a small community theater and saw their production of Into the Woods.  And on at least three occasions during her visit, Amy commented about how laid back and wonderful my life is, and how this was the perfect escape from her corporate engineering job in Texas.

At some point, I started feeling a bit guilty -- and maybe other teachers feel the same way -- summer break is more than half over, and the gearing up for fall is happening, mostly in my mind.  I have bags of school supplies, bought on sale, in the back of my car, waiting for the wax to dry in the hallways so I can get back in my classroom and start creating the new year.  Summer break is exactly that -- a break from reality.  A fresh air experience for teachers everywhere, generating that same sense of celebration and astonishment that we hope to ignite in our students in the fall.  But for this long weekend, I had the luxury of putting aside the school planning, and forgetting about demands, and being a tourist in my own town.
And you know what?  When there is nothing urgent demanding your work-brain, being in the moment, wandering in a beautiful park on a Saturday afternoon with good friends, fresh Wilbur Buds, and a hot from the brick oven pretzel, it's very easy to understand why anyone stopping by and living my life would see my world as a breath of fresh air.