soaking up the rest of summer

For good or ill, my life thus far has existed on the academic calendar.  Some people function on a fiscal-year calendar, others (most people) function on the Gregorian, and then there are whole bunch of other calendars that I am vaguely aware of, which are really only useful when playing trivial pursuit – Hellenic and Julian come to mind, but I don’t recall the cycles of those at all (which goes to show what was not covered in my many years of education).

Still, for me, as August marches forward, I already envision the turning of the leaves, the smell of the autumn air in the early morning, and the feeling of the point of a newly sharpened #2 pencil against the tip of my index finger.  Oh yes, soon the school year shall commence.

For now, however, I am committing myself to enjoying what summer has to offer before I go back to work.  Really, even if it was the dead of January, I would be committed to enjoying these remaining days of freedom.  But it so happens to be the beginning of August, so summer stuff it is.

Today part of my mission was to be outside.  This is also part of Operation Get Out of the Funk.

Gasworks Park

Gasworks Park

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The view from Gasworks. Lovely day to be out on the water if you aren’t afraid of what in under the water.

Going out to the park to read was also critically important because I recently invested in a picnic blanket.  I say “invested in” because it was more than I usually would have paid for a picnic blanket.  But since my year in Singapore and living by all of the malls (five Hermes stores within a 1 km radius = insanity), I have been very focused on buying quality not quantity.  The gross consumerism in that part of SE Asia left me with a very bad taste in my mouth.  Now that I am back in the US, I want to buy pieces that will hold up for the long haul.  I want to buy things I am proud of and enjoy.  Yes, some may be a stretch and I may not buy all that many things, but I think of that and seem to value them more each time I reach for them.

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Pendleton Picnic Blanket

I saw this blanket at the Pendleton Woolen Mills when I visited Pendleton, OR back in late May.  I really liked the nylon-backed wool blanket and the roll-up feature, but did not give it much of a thought then.  Certainly I was not going to spend a good bit of money on it.  Yet between my trip out there in May and my trip to Pendleton in August, I found myself reading in the park a good bit and was getting tired of a damp and grassy bottom.

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Enjoying the blanket and the park

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Reading Bossypants because I found it at Goodwill for $2.99. Score!

While I am not a big fan of spending lots of money on items (see above book that purchased at Goodwill), I really do believe in buying high quality items and getting the best price that I can.  That said, spending more than I normally would on a picnic blanket has motivated me to get out of the house, head to the parks, and use it.  That alone may make the purchase totally worth it.  This indulgence of a blanket is helping me to get out of my funk and soak up as much of these relaxing summer days as I can.

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About OneGoneTwo

bioethicist, cultural studies, literature, and visual cultural scholar, writer, and lover of design
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