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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Staycation - Kayaking off the Evanston Shore

Due to some scheduling issues, kid activities and work commitments, I was unable to to escape for a summer vacation this year. Now that the season is coming to a close, I decided to stay home for a couple of days and try to capture a little bit of vacation attitude without leaving town. I took the girls to the Morton Arboretum yesterday - I am ashamed to say that I have never been there over my 31-year residency in the Chicago area. We enjoyed the massive garden, and barely scratched the surface of the place during our 4-hour visit.

Today, I am planning on renting a kayak at the beach office in Evanston and paddling around the lake for a bit. It is a cool morning - the coolest we have had in several weeks, with temperatures in the 60's. The sun is out, however, and the air is calm. So I am going. I have invited the missus and the kids.

But I have to say that Staycations are challenging. The household chores still nag at me. I am still in my everyday environment, even though I am avoiding the office. I feel my everyday stress - things undone, lawns to mow, bills to pay. Changing my headset with no change in scenary is hard for me.

And there are significant family changes in progress. My 18-year old overcame her various set-backs and graduated from high school last Friday - an emotional experience because she had more than her share of struggles to reach that milestone. Now the high school graduate is facing her future, which currently includes employment and planning a gap year before heading to college. My youngest is gearing up to start Evanston Township High School on Monday. ETHS is a big urban school with lots of excellent features and some difficult issues. So we worry about out 5-foot tall, 14-year old girl.

But on this day, I want to float on Lake Michigan. With luck, this tightness in my stomach and in my mind will release as I paddle offshore, my chores left on the land.

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