Why, this is very midsummer madness!

"Then followed that beautiful season… Summer…
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
lay as if new created in all freshness of childhood."

~Henry Wadwsorth Longfellow


Do you remember the anticipation that word used to induce in you as a child? I know I do. I would count down the school days left until summer vacation and create scenarios for all the things I wanted to do with my freedom despite the fact that summer vacation fell during our colder months. Climbing trees. Hide-and-Seek in the tea fields blanketing the Kenya highlands. Hikes through the woods. Trips to the beaches of Mombasa. Safari game drives. Days spent swimming at Limuru Country Club. Camping on Lake Naivasha. Running barefoot around Brackenhurst. Fun. More fun. Even more fun. (Forgive me for those of you who don't comprehend the references which obviously relate to activities that took place during my childhood in Kenya.)

"Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." ~Henry James

I miss summertime.

Oh ... it still comes and goes, but without much fuss and with much less gratification. We are creeping up on midsummer here in North America and what have I done? Nothing. I've gone to work as expected like a responsible adult and watched the summer pass me by. Midsummer madness, it is. My children have grown blonder and tanner while I have spent more then one moment stealing glimpses out the panoramic windows of the lodge where I work. I have envied the sail boaters, water skiers, tubers and those who are generally enjoying themselves in the warm summer waters of DeGray Lake. Granted, I have a general dislike for lake water but I would still prefer to be out there as opposed to in my office with no windows.

"There's a very valid reason for summer vacation: the human brain needs rest." ~Summer School, Film 1987

Why – in the United States – do adults not get summer vacation? We have to work and work and work in order to build up a bare minimum of two weeks off for an entire year … and that is if you are one of the lucky ones. The rest of the world seems to understand how necessary vacation time is for the standard adult. The city of Paris (France … not Arkansas or Texas) practically shuts down during the month of August … even major restaurants. And yet, we Americans just keep on pushing ourselves to the point of cardiac arrest and forgetting that we do need to slow down. Only our teachers take off during the summer and many of them are bi-vocational and have a second job to occupy their time from May to August. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves?

For those of you whose employers provide generous vacation packages which you use to spend a few short weeks with your children each summer … be grateful. The rest of us who either don't have the funds or the vacation time will just keep working toward that goal. Me? I work in hospitality anyway and the odds of actually taking time off during peak vacation months are laughable at best.

I will say it again, “I miss summertime.”

"Why, this is very midsummer madness." ~William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night


  1. It's not midsummer--please. In New York school vacation just began last week and we all live on a school schedule

    I did hate it when I was a social worker and would vacation in a town that would have special discounts for teachers--they had the whole summer off; I had that week, made less money than most and had to be more educated. It made no sense

    I hope I can sell my apartment so that living at the beach is a year round thing and I don't have to go back to social work

    I live for summer so you hit on something I think too much about :)

  2. I do tend to speed it up a bit. A habit I should break. Once the solstice comes and goes ... midsummer for me. The longest day is done. Boo!


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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