Here and Gone

Image from Flickr by Mrs eNil

Sunday was the end of a too-short spring break that left us on the verge of summer. When I woke my son on Monday morning light was already streaming through the window. On our walk to school, the sun was hot on the back of my neck. I wore a T-shirt and left my jacket at home.

I joke about having no tolerance for the cold, but around this time of year I’m always a little sad about the fading winter. I like dark cold mornings and long cool evenings. I love wearing sweaters and boots. I love burning candles, the kind that smell like autumn.

We started the break with a Lord of the Rings marathon, spent a day at our favorite outdoor mall, spent another day at an arcade, tested out my son’s homemade grill (which meant choking down a lukewarm hot dog), went out for pancakes, and spent lazy afternoons on the porch reading.

One of my favorite moments from spring break

Yep, that’s a chocolate-covered Twinkie

Swinging into spring (or summer?) at the ice cream shop

We ended the break with a trip to the Renaissance Festival, where it’s always hot and dusty and exhausting—like summer, but in a good way. Sitting around the jousting arena, drinking lemonade and fanning ourselves with festival maps while knights duel with lances on horseback against the backdrop of the Superstition Mountains has become something of a spring tradition.

Anything goes at the Renaissance Festival

I finished a new story, submitted a few old ones, and received two gorgeous contributor copies of Hunger Mountain’s spring issue, where my short story “Windows” was published. I even managed to squeeze in over 20 hours of work, dashing in and out of the bedroom to clock in hours on the computer while my son roller-bladed around the neighborhood and my daughter sketched manga.

Hunger Mountain’s spring 2017 issue

It was a wonderful week, and now the kids are in their final quarter of the school year and I’m going to try and not flinch at the Easter supplies crowding the shelves at the grocery store. Because what comes next are those big Styrofoam pool noodles and water guns and bubble blowers. And although summer brings with it one good thing—my kids are home with me—I’d still rather see Halloween displays and wake up to the dark quiet mornings of fall.