Tag Archives: holiday break

Peace and Quiet

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As a teacher, I look forward to the long holiday break as a time to see friends and family, and even more so as a time to get loads of peace and quiet.  Hubby also has off a week at Christmas, and besides organizing the garage and fixing stuff about the house, he also anticipates our quiet week with time to sleep late and and time for reading on the back patio.

Imagine our distress on our very first day of holiday break.  At 6am we were awakened to the sound of a bobcat in reverse. “Beep! Beep! Beep!”  We put our pillows over our ears, but this continued for hours. What kind of madman would schedule home renovations on the 23rd of December?  Turns out it was our neighbors two doors to the west of us.  Seriously?  Whatever happened to the etiquette of not having work done on the weekends?  And two days before Christmas?? The beeping and other construction noises continued until yesterday.

Christmas Day was quiet in the hood.

But the day AFTER Christmas, we were greeted by the sound of a wood chipper in front of our house.  WTF???  Whose idea was it to have all the neighborhood trees trimmed while so many of us were home for the holiday break??  The sound of chainsaws, Mexican music, and wood chippers are still being heard today, two weeks post-Christmas.  We have many common areas in our neighborhood with many trees. Since I am on the HOA board now, I’m definitely going to do my best to get the schedule changed for December 2018.  As I often say, if I were in charge, things would be a LOT different!!!

On the bright side, I got enough peace and quiet that I was eager to get back to school Monday.  I simply feel better when I’m on a schedule.  I truly missed my wee preschool friends–they’re just so stinkin’ cute (three years old)!  Today a boy arrived a bit late, and one girl was so happy to see him that she ran up and planted a big smooch right on his kisser!  The boy’s reaction was one of being completely stunned . . . and then the girl looked right at me, knowing she’d been naughty.  We talk a lot about germs, and they all know kissing is a no-no at school.  I totally let it go because it was such a heartfelt greeting that warmed my heart.  It was an adorable, unexpected moment . . . just one of many I see at my school each day.

The wood chippers are finally gone, and one of the sounds in my home is William playing computer upstairs on Skype with friends.  He leaves for college in two days, and I will cry.  We miss him so much when he is away, but are proud of the good grades he got last semester while pursuing his Chemistry degree.  Another sound is my persistent hacking.  It’s been two weeks now, and I’m tired of this cough!  And lastly, there is the sound of our daughter’s voice.  Eve decided to return to our nest for financial reasons.  We are proud of her grades, too, and (crossed fingers) she will be graduating from ASU with her Bachelors of Science in Biology in December.  Here’s hoping all of you found peaceful moments over the holidays.  Here’s wishing you all the best in 2018!

Cheers,

Mary

 

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Holiday Fun

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We are having such a lovely holiday break; we’ve spent time with family and friends, slept in every day, and eaten our own weight in baked goods.  Every year, Hubby has off from work Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, and every year, we end up getting snarky with each other.  This morning he verbally committed to doing repairs at Eve’s house tomorrow. Five minutes later when I texted the kids to let them know to expect him, he got all blustery and was so irritated that I was “scheduling his time” for him.  In a patient voice I said, “All I told them is expect you after 10am.  You do not have to be there at 10am.  I’m telling them they don’t have to get up early.”  He huffed and puffed, I rolled my eyes, and we retreated to separate corners.

I texted a few friends to see if anyone wanted to hang out (since clearly being away from Hubby was the first thing on my list) but nobody was available.  I started laundry.  I read a chapter of a book.  I cleaned the toilets.  Hubby puttered in the garage and up in our bathroom. I was still thinking mean thoughts about him when he came downstairs beaming and says, “I cleaned all of the hair out of the drains!”  Well.  If that isn’t true love, then tell me what is?  He gave me a smooch . . . and we put our tiff behind us.

The rest of the days have gone smoothly. We’ve seen movies (Dr. Strange and Fantastic Beasts–both excellent), eaten at a new restaurant (Tom Thumb BBQ and car wash in Scottsdale), and hiked in two new locations.  Our first hike was a 45-minute drive away in the Superstition Mountains and is called the Wave Cave Trail.  A young teacher friend told me it was an easy hike.  HAHAHAHAHA.  I’m the first one to admit I’m out of shape, but wow, this trail kicked me in the arse.  The last half mile is quite steep and winding and involves crawling over large boulders.  Hubby lent me his arm to assist, but there were several points where I gave up my pride and crawled like a dog on all fours.  My heart beat so fast that every two minutes or so, I had to rest to catch my breath.  We persevered and were rewarded with a beautiful view from the cave . . . which slopes rather dramatically toward the cave opening. My fear of heights threatened to take over, but in my head I shouted in a stern voice, GO AWAY!!!  And it worked.  This unreasonable fear is as palpable as a leg cramp, a feeling of nausea, or a headache and can come on just as quickly—and causes me embarrassment and anxiety.

Our next hike was at Spur Cross Trail.  I’d been there two years ago with girlfriends when water was running in the creek.  We’d found the area so charming!  There are clearly two different landscapes situated side by side in this area:  the west side of the conservation area is dense desert with some of the largest saguaros and jumping cholla I’d ever seen, but the eastern trails run by a babbling brook and are rich with ironwood trees shading the paths, green grasses, and here and there you can see melancholy brick foundations of a dude ranch which had its hay day from 1925-1955.  Yesterday Hubby and I found only hot dry trails and no babbling brook.  It was still fun to explore a new place together, however, with no water running in Cave Creek, it wasn’t worth our one-hour drive each way.

To finish up our time off, we have tickets to luminaria night at the botanical gardens for New Year’s Eve (my very favorite holiday event).  New Year’s Day will find us experimenting with our new electric meat smoker and the drone the kids gifted to Hubby for Christmas. Life is good.

Happy New Year!

Mary