Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday: Summer Part Two begins...

One advantage of teaching in the public schools is summer vacation. (This is only true if you budget for them, and you don't have to work. Otherwise it's a disadvantage.)

Summer vacation for me runs from June 18th to August 30th... some kind of sweet retreat.

Part 1 of  "My Summer Vacation"  was playing host to my oldest daughter, Joanna, and her family. They left last Saturday after a five week stay.

On a day hike!

"Five weeks!" you say. "Ouch."

I say, "Five weeks! Awesome!"

My wife and I went to lunch today, and I was asked by a waitress we know how my summer was going. I said, "Great!" and then told this story to illustrate it...

Joanna and her husband John planned a short (4 hour or so) day trip to a local park and small zoo. Irvine Park is the oldest regional park in California. It boasts among other things a small kiddie train, a small lake with paddle boats, ancient oaks and elms, plus the zoo.

I was invited to tag along, so I did. After the 30 minute drive, we arrived. The twins were sleeping so I volunteered to stay in the mini-van while Joanna, John, Abby (7), and Rachel (4) rode the train. They left the van running, the A/C on, and Grand-pa Don in charge of the sleeping twin boys (7 months).

The boys soon awakened, and I spent the next hour entertaining them with smiles, noises, songs, and empty water bottles. You might say, "How boring!" But I say, "Golden moments to treasure."

New sun glasses for the girls!

The rest of our visit to the park included the zoo and a picnic. Both events contained many golden moments. Some men may have been bored to tears. I was almost moved to tears as I recounted to the waitress one small part of the day.


Because I'm that guy.

Fun on the Slip 'n Slide!

I enjoyed raising my own kids, and now to have the opportunity to get to know them again as grown-ups with their own spouses and families is indeed.... priceless.

That was Part 1 of my summer. Now I'm making to-do lists and getting things to-done. I'm enjoying that too, but I do miss the Haan family bustle.

I mowed the backyard yesterday, and I missed my two helpers who would rake the grass into haystacks and play in the piles.  Abby and Rachel are enroute to their new home in Maryland, but the memories of their visit linger...

Good times. Good times.

The Trip to Maryland Begins!


  1. It was nice to see them face to face.

  2. aww, sounds sweet, glad your enjoying your summer Don! I remember coming across a small pillow once that said "Grandchildren; God's gift for not killing your own children" I thought it was funny, but it's true! Have a good Part 2 of your summer!

  3. @Rae: Thanks.

    @Dennis: It was for me too!

    @It's All Good: Hope your summer is sweet too, and that your dad doesn't kill you. He may want grand-kids one day too! ;-)

  4. Have a great summer vacation, Don!
    Glad that you're having a great time! Loved your post!
    B :)

  5. Don-

    Your family is so lucky that you are "that guy." It takes a special person to recognize the golden moments as they are happening and then to savor them. I can't help but get a little misty for you. Golden moments rock! (and so do summer vacations!)

    P.S. Loved the disclaimer about teachers' summer break! :) It's oh, so true!

  6. @Betty: Thanks for the comments and well wishes.

    @Miss_H: She's alive! (and well I'm sure.) Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm guessing that real life is keeping you busy... not much posting going on for you: I miss that, but understand. Hope your summer is a good mix of fun, travel, friends, and being productive! ;-)

  7. Don-
    I'm slowly going to work back into it. I just got married to "The New Chapter" last week and the school year ended up being a crazy one. I'm just grateful you are still alive and well in the blogging well. It's always a comfort to come back to friendly blogger friends! :) Happy Summer!

  8. You know how to live it up with the family!!! Fun, fun, fun...

    Lovely pictures as always. Keep enjoying this summer Don!

  9. Proof once again that you are my kinda guy, Don.
    I hope that someday I am blessed with grandchildren. I can't think of anything more wonderful than having little ones to love. Enjoy them and enjoy the rest of your summer!

  10. @Former Miss_H: I as so happy for you. Many congrats! I agree about finding your blogger friends alive and well. It's reassuring (and fun).

    @September: It was great family fun. I have many new and renewed perspectives, including the daily hype/activity levels that surround raising a family. Seeing first hand, especially with twins, was eye-opening.

    @Dawn: It sounds good and was good. Thanks.

    @Deedee: It's a great thing about blogging, that we can find a few kindred hearts whose values, outlooks, and personalities overlap so nicely with our own... Hmmm... I think that's called friendship. (Hope your grand-baby blessings come one day in due course.)

  11. In my opinion, we need more "that guys" like you in the world!

  12. @Saphron: Ah, shucks. (That's also part of what this blog is about: it's okay to be that guy. And how does that guy think about life?)