Weekend Coffee Share 6/10/17

If we were having coffee, we’d be meeting at my local coffee shop once again.  Because summer is finally here, I’d be sipping an iced vanilla latte on the back deck, basking in the morning sun.  What would you be having?

It is so good to be back with you all again!  I just returned from a vacation out west and, while hiking in the mountains was a great adventure, I missed these weekly chats.  What have you all been up to?

It’s crazy that summer is finally here!  Spring is slow to come here in Minnesota, but summer appears in the blink of an eye.  One day, you’re wearing light sweaters complaining about too much rain and, the next, it’s eighty degrees.

With the sunny weather and kids being out of school, the library is busy this time of year.  Our annual Summer Reading Program is up and running.  We had a kids musician come for our opening program this week, which was really fun.  Next week, I’m launching Lego Club, summer preschool story time, and having the local princess candidates in to read to the kids.  I’ve been in post-vacation catch-up mode all week, running around like a crazy person, but it’s good to be back. Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share 5/20/17

If we were having coffee, we’d be bundled up in sweaters with our mugs clutched closely to our chests.  It’s been rainy and cold this week–good for reading and sleeping, bad for all the farmers who have work to be done.  I had picked out a colorful spring outfit to wear to work this morning, but the moment I stepped out of bed my body was like, “NOPE.”  So it’s back to cozy sweaters.

I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me.

This afternoon, I’ll be getting coffee with a dear friend who recently returned from three months in England.  She stayed at the same ministry, L’Abri, that I did a year ago.  I’m excited to hear about her experience and gush about how much we miss it. Continue reading

Up North

We Minnesotans have a vague term to refer to any vacation at takes place north of the Twin Cities. (Another vague term to refer to St. Paul and Minneapolis.) My mom has meetings and events for work this week that spans much of the northern half of my beautiful state. She let me tag along and I am now enjoying my one vacation of the summer. So here I am… Up North.

This morning, we drove to a little town called Grand Marais on the shore of Lake Superior. Due to meetings taking up her time, I had the chance to wander on my own most of the afternoon.

Guided by my instincts, I found myself perched on a rock along the shore of the vast lake. Waves pounded below my feet. Children laughed and splashed in puddles under the watchful gaze of their parents. Groups of tourists trundle by, heading to the nearby lighthouse.

It has been a hectic few months. I graduated college and plunged myself into a full-time job. Hanging over my head are nagging questions about where the future will lead.

Sitting by the lake, the huge life decisions faded away for the first time in months. For a brief half hour, there was only my bare feet, an encouraging book, and endless water.

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Tomorrow, we plan to hike small mountains, discover waterfalls, and drive five hours to our next stop: International Falls.

Parentless for the Week

If I were living in a high school movie, I’d be throwing some kind of rager this week.  You know, the kind in movies… loud music, drunk people stumbling over each other, teenagers making out in corners, beer cans everywhere, etc.

Why, you might wonder, would I be throwing the party of the century?

Because my parents are on vacation for the whole week.  And that’s what they do in teen movies.

Thankfully, I do not live in a movie.  I don’t like beer and don’t think I know enough people to fill up my house.  And although I’m 22 and can legally purchase alcohol, I’ve got student loans to pay.  Actually, I don’t know if parties like the ones in teen films actually exist.  (If you’re reading this and have ever been to one, LET ME KNOW.  I’ve been wondering about this for a while.)

Anyways… yesterday afternoon left for a week exploring the scenery and breweries of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, leaving my brother and I to a week of peace and quiet.  Freedom from parents is a beautiful thing, especially when you’re used to being on your own.  I love not being told to do the dishes, sweep the floor, or water the flowers.

Of course, I still have to do dishes, sweep, and take care of the flowers.  I also have to feed the animals, mow the lawn, and actually put meals together.  But it’s wonderful to not to have a mother hovering around telling me to do these things for a change.

Also, my dad is my boss… which means we (the orchard work crew) are on our own this week.  We’ve got a LONG list of tasks that are impossible to finish.  But it will be nice to make our own schedule.

I’ve been soaking in my first couple parentless days on the couch watching Netflix, playing the Sims 2, and reading Harry Potter fan fiction (the good kind–not the unfiltered crap published on Fanfiction.net).  My free time is usually spent more productively–reading actual novels, spending time with friends, etc.  But every once in a while, you need to kick back, relax, and take advantage of the fact that no one else is around.

I haven’t been a total slob, though.  I went to a musical with a friend on Friday, biked 20 miles yesterday, and saw Paper Towns this evening.  (Don’t bother seeing it.  The book was better.)

So, here’s to a parent-free week, unsupervised work days, and many afternoons of Netflix to come!  Any suggestions for how to spend my time productively?

Ski-Cation

This week’s goal: Avoid a broken leg.

I honor of my final Spring Break, my mom is taking me on a three-day skiing vacation in Northern Minnesota.  You see, she’s got connections with the higher-ups in the local skiing industry and was able to score a free lift pass and free gear rental.  (The Career-Service people are right… Networking really is everything.)

I love being up north, but can’t help feel a bit nervous.  You see, I haven’t gone downhill skiing in nearly ten years.

People keep telling me that it comes back to you, just like riding a bike.

I hope they’re right.

A blissful pause

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m incredibly thankful for the past few days of peace, rest, and family.  I’m also thankful to finally be able to listen to Christmas music.  (Yes, I’m one of those snobs.)

It really has been a perfect break.

The extended family was here on Thursday and I handled the “So Amelia, what’s next?”question as well as I could.  I ate lots of turkey and mashed potatoes.

On Friday, I finally got the Mother/Daughter shopping day that was supposed to come in October.  We shopped from ten in the morning till four in the afternoon, taking advantage of Black Friday deals.  I also got lunch at Chipotle, which in and of itself is always an answer to prayer.

Our family tradition is to attend the Taylor’s Falls Lighting festival the day after Thanksgiving.  There’s a small parade down the six blocks that make up main street of the small historic town.  At the end of the parade, there is a countdown and all the Christmas lights in town are lit at once.  We also popped in the old one room schoolhouse (the oldest in Minnesota!) to see all the arts and crafts that the local third graders have been working on for the past couple weeks.  My aunt and uncle came to the event with us and, so night ended with soup and cider at our house.

Yesterday, Mom and I took advantage of Support Local Saturday and made the rounds in all the cute little shops in the area.  We found some good Christmas presents for family and friends, as well as delicious homemade fudge.  The afternoon passed curled up on the couch pretending to watch the Gopher/Badger football game.  I say pretending because, while the rest of my family attentively cheered for the Gophers, I sat and read Dracula.

Today marks the end of break.  I’m not looking forward to going back.

Over the past year, I have not been home for more than a week at a time.  It’s always a transition spot, somewhere I go to jump from here to there.  As a result, my room has become a dreadful dumping grounds.  I long to settle for a while, to clean the mess, to organize the stacks of books that don’t fit on the shelves, and lie low for a while.

Two and a half weeks, friends.  Only an Early Modern English recitation, final portfolio, two ten page essays, and two finals standing between me and a month of Christmas bliss at home.  It’s the final stretch.

I’ll survive by overdosing on holiday cheer and covers of Taylor Swift songs…