Thursday, August 5, 2010

Nineteen Days

(I'm going to take a photography class or at least read a book about it one of these days, I promise. Anyway, these are the blocks of the quilt I'm working on and have some hope of finishing before summer ends. Hmmm ...)

Dulce has asked how long our summer vacation is (or, as she put it, being British, our holidays). The short answer is: too long. The precise answer: eleven weeks. Another answer is: all we need of Hell.

When formal education became mandatory in the States, in the late 1800s, we were still an agrarian nation, and a long summer break was necessary because a child's labor was needed on the farm. Nowadays most American children don't labor in the summer. They stew. Or they go to camp. Or watch too much TV and spend hours on the DS. And/Or drive their caregivers to distraction.

It's a stupid system. Some break is needed, of course. Six weeks sounds about right to me, maybe seven, just so everyone is chomping at the bit for school to start again.

Anyway, I'm thinking that if I get rich, I'm going to buy a farm and turn my children into farmers. I've found 13 acres and a falling down farm house up in Hurdle Mills for $125,000. We wouldn't move there, just head up on summer mornings to tend the alfafa or turnip greens or what have you. There's a pond on the property. I thinking about getting my friends to pay me to take their children, too. I'd make a mint.


I have finally, finally, FINALLY finished the first draft of a book I've been working on since spring. It is possible that it's insanely bad. I think it's good, but sometimes I'm wrong. It's very easy to be blind to the flaws in your own work (and sometimes easy to be blind to its beauties).

Of course, as soon as I finished I got a tremendous headache, and I still don't feel so hot. This always happens to me when I make big plans that will come into play as soon as I finish something else. My big plans of making quilts and putting my house in order and some paint on the walls and generally making my life wonderful and perfect have gotten me through many months of writing. Now that I'm done I feel blah. I think it's my body's way of telling me to take a holiday. Stew. Play on the DS and drive my caregivers crazy.

I'll give it a shot.


Pom Pom said...

I like that quilt and I don't think the summer break is long enough. I feel blah because the crazy chain of work days is looming and paralyzing me. Yikes!
I like your idea of buying the farm and recruiting child labor.
Frances, I can't wait to read the book. How long until it's available?
You need a little me time. Do nothing. Feel no guilt.

Dulce Domum said...

11 WEEKS!!!

Note to self - must teach in USA. Is it easy to get a work visa? I understand you actively encourage the tired, poor and huddled masses. I am tired, poor and can magic up a huddled mass as and when.

Heather said...

My girl starts back next week. As you can imagine, this will be the longest week of my life!

Exciting news about the draft!Creative crash is completely normal and you do deserve a break.
Mourn a bit, worry some, then let it go. What comes back to you will be even better.

magsmcc said...

The quilt is amazing. I'm sure the book is amazing. I'm realising quickly that you are amazing! And your holidays are far too long! We have 8 weeks here, and are half-way through. My suns' bottoms have not touched a seat so far, although I have only one week of impeccable organisation left. I think somewhere in the depths of my guilt that I should let them have the last two weeks to run wild in the street! What did you say before about Valium...

Tracy said...

Frances....did you read the 'no bathrooms' bit on that property description? Are you OK?! LOL

I know what you mean about feeling blah after putting all your effort into something. I fall apart just a little bit at the end of every term! I hope you see the bright sparky bits in your writing and recognise them as good! You're good at what you do!

victoria said...

Eleven weeks sounds insane. The longest we have is about six or seven, usually, and that is bad enough.
I really enjoyed the mention of fist fights breaking out in Target.

Gumbo Lily said...

Oh! You make me laugh! I clicked on the link to the falling down farmhouse, but it must be sold -- nothing there. Better get looking again. Make sure there's lots of work to do on the next falling down farmhouse so the kids can pull nails and pile rubbish and burn it all for a weenie roast.

Terrific quilt, by the way!