Today is my daughter’s first day of eighth grade. At this very moment, I’m picturing her sitting in a classroom, writing an essay entitled “What I Did This Summer”. Actually, now I’m picturing kids all over the country, all over the world, bent over their desks, hard at work on their “What I Did This Summer” essays, lamenting the fact that they have to write this same essay every year, as every kid has since the beginning of time – or writing/ drawing tools – there are probably caves out there covered in “What I Did This Summer” drawings. Can you imagine? “What I Did This Summer by Cave Kid: Hunted, fished, took a bath, got a new loin cloth, moved to a new cave, tried not to get eaten by dinosaurs.” (I’m terrible at drawing; use your imagination.)
Are we still doing this? If so, here’s what I did this summer, in honor of the first day of school:
Spent the night at Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, KY, one of the top-ten most haunted places in America. (Note that I said I “spent the night”, not that I slept. I do not recommend sleeping at Waverly Hills. Or eating. Or being. Sleep, eat, be somewhere else – that’s what I recommend. I recommend somewhere with fewer spiders and bats, and more lighting and air-conditioning – or just some – any at all would be good really.)
Needle-pointed this belt for my daughter, who outgrew the belt at some point during the process. (Note to self: Do not needlepoint belts for people who are still growing. DUH.)
Visited Natural Bridge, Natural Bridge, KY.
Drove through famous Nada Tunnel, in Powell County, Kentucky. (This tunnel was largely hand-carved in the early 1900’s.) Because Nada is too narrow to accommodate two-way-traffic, drivers must stop; turn on their headlights, and honk, before entering the tunnel.)
Visited Red River Gorge (part of the Daniel Boone National Forest) Red River Gorge, KY.
Turned 38 in style, thanks to stylish gifts like these sunglasses! (Left to my own devices, my “style” is probably best described as “dirt-poor college student…minus cuteness, plus wrinkles”.)
Toured Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system in the world, in Cave City, KY – and received warming hugs from my hubby throughout – the interior of Mammoth Cave is 54 degrees year round.
Planted raspberry bushes in honor of my Mimi (pictured below) who grew the sweet raspberries of my childhood.
Visited and toured My Old Kentucky Home, a former plantation, built by Senator John Rowan in 1795, in Bardstown, KY.
Saw “The Stephen Foster Story” (an outdoor musical that’s been a tradition in Bardstown, KY since 1958, and a tradition in my family ever since my mother played Stephen’s love interest in the show, when I was three years old).
Read and read and read – I’m pretty sure I could live on books alone – well… books and ice cream cake for sure!
Was signed by literary agent, Emily van Beek (http://foliolit.com/s-emily.php) who is brave, brilliant, and beautiful – and she possesses dual citizenship – how cool is that? (You know how sometimes you meet a person who’s so much better than you – smarter, prettier, more stylish, more interesting and worldly – and then that person seems to actually like you, and you just can’t understand it? Me, too.)
Fed the hummingbirds and butterflies. Here’s the view from my office just this morning!
Took long walks to admire the fields of “summer snowflakes” surrounding my house. (Yes, I know that these are actually weeds, but I still think they’re pretty!)
Became the proud owner of my own boat – with oars! (http://wherethebluegrassgrows.blogspot.com/2010/07-i-highly-recommend-oars.html) – and I’m off in it!
Happy first day of school, friends!