Sunday, August 14, 2011


I am officially on vacation. I have been with my current employer for five years now, and have never taken a vacation. A long weekend for a race, sure, but never a true vacation.

And not that this is a true vacation, either. I mean, who in their right mind uses vacation time to go on two-hour training runs with a friend, go to their sister's wedding, and then host a raucous gathering at their home if they don't have to? Me.

The two-hour training run is with my friend, Fast Jessica; she is training for a full IronMan
, and being the good friend I am, I told her I'd keep her company on this run. Did I mention that it'll be the longest run I've done since my Spring marathon? Oy.

This wedding I'm going to is a milestone of sorts: my baby sister (she, my 26-year-old "baby" sister) is the last of the nine siblings to get hitched, and the last of six girls. My dad is going to toast heavily and often this weekend. This is also a different experience for me, too, as it is the first sister wedding I'm not a bridesmaid for. Say it with me, ladies: PHEW!

Anyhoo, after the wedding, I'll need to get things together for the latest installment of B & B. B & B, if you remember, is my book club. I am the hostess this month, and we will be discussing Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes , dining al fresco on some delicious grilled salmon with soba noodles, asparagus and spinach with an Asian dressing, and drinking some sort of Summer-y alcoholic concoction in mass quantities. I am beyond excited to be entertaining my friends in my new place, even though we'll be outside (so small is the new pad).

What's that? Have I read the book yet? You, Dear Reader, obviously don't understand protocol when it comes to book club; we, the Ladies of B & B, are all fine, upstanding, and (in some cases) founding members of Procrastination Nation. And as one of the founders- nay, The Queen- I shall listen to the book on CD as I drive the eight hours to my parents' home in Illinois, gazing out at the sights so familiar to me...

... like the Mars Cheese Castle, the brown IDOT sign for the Bong Recreation Area (*giggle*), signs for Alpine Valley Amphitheater, past the wind farms that dot the fields along I-39 and I-80, all the way to Exit 33, past the Sale Barn Road, past Northeast Park, down Main Street, past the ghosts of the businesses of my youth, all the way to my parents' driveway. My dad will be sitting on the front porch swing with a beer or glass of wine waiting for us. My mom will still be at work. My siblings will come and go, rush here and there, all weekend long.

And then, when the wedding excitement and the nostalgia have subsided, when I have driven the hundreds of miles back to my little dollhouse, when the book has been discussed and the food and drinks have been picked over and over and real vacation will begin.

I know that I will not be able to keep myself from waking up before 6 am, such is the rhythm of my clock these days. But I know this: I will have some wonderfully busy days to reflect upon during the following two totally unscheduled weeks.

Cue the Go Go's...