Tag Archives: summer

Summer adventures

imagesW and I are headed to New York state next weekend.

We’ll be visiting Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is another bucket list item for me.

First, an Olivia cruise to Alaska. Now, Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame.

I’m wondering if I should be worried. My bucket list isn’t very deep.

“Just add more things,” people tell me.

Um, that’s not how it work. I prefer a carefully culled bucket list.

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Say cheeze!

After Cooperstown, we’re headed to Animal Adventure Park outside of Binghamton, which is home to Internet sensations April the Giraffe and baby Taj. W is a huge fan.

Usually, I’d be stressed out about leaving town and heading to a new place (or vacation, as some call it). But our Alaskan adventure has me feeling like I can do a short road trip no problem.

So, we’re looking for things to do in the Cooperstown and Binghamton areas. Send your tips and suggestions my way.

Where are you headed these last few weeks of summer? Crossing anything off your bucket list?

 

More better butch blues

So, yeah, summer.  Bummer.

I wrote about my summertime slump a post or two ago.  You can read about it here.

Or just skip to the recap: Kids are home from school in the summer, which wreaks havoc on my weekly routine and daily domination of home and hearth.  So, I get grumpy.  And don’t get me started on the fact that it’s hot, which means people generally wear less clothing.  This is not good for butches with body issues.  Isn’t this all of us?

But is something else going on?

I looked back at my posts from June 2013 and saw some depressing posts about baggage.

Could there be something more, something cyclical that rears its sunburnt head when summer rolls around?

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I heart you, Olivia.

As a kid, I certainly welcomed summer vacation.  It’s all a blur of Brady Bunch reruns, baseball cards and whiffle ball games that lasted double-digit innings and ran from one day into the next.  Grease is a fine summer memory (even though I didn’t realize that my obsession with the film was really about my crush on Olivia Newton-John).

As I got older, I spent most of the summer working closing shift at the local McDonalds.  We blasted Madonna and Prince on our boom boxes after hours as we got the place ready for breakfast the next morning.  The bulk of my paycheck went toward sneakers (I specifically remember a pair of gray Converse high tops) and cassette tapes (Joan Jett, you will always rock my world).

After I left for college, I never really wanted to go home for the summer.  I was glad for the break from classes, but didn’t want to leave my friends.  The school had become my home, and my friends had become my family.  We had our roles and our routine.  Looking back, I think I felt safe living in an all-female space, even though I didn’t identify as a lesbian at the time.

There’s something about belonging to a group of women that I find comforting.  Maybe it’s all of the estrogen in the air or the hairspray fumes.  I don’t know.

If we are attending some kind of event that is to be attended by people from my past, W always asks if any of my women will be there.  “Now which one is that?” she’ll ask.  “There’s so many of them,” she’ll exclaim.

I like that I have women.  My grade-school women.  The women, the college years.  My support group women.

I wonder if my summer blues are not about the start of something new but about ending something old, comfortable, familiar.  I wonder if it’s not about the kids ending the school year but me ending school … 30 years ago.

Triggers are weird.  Life is weird.

The best we can do is be aware and carry on.

And wait for fall.

 

Summertime butch blues

I.  Hate.  Summer.

I’m not really sure if this is true or not.

But once school starts wrapping up with class trips and end of the year ceremonies, I start getting a funny feeling in my stomach.

At first, I’m certain that it’s food poisoning.  Or appendicitis.  Or consumption.

I've fainted and I can't get up.

I’ve fainted and I can’t get up.

I quickly write up a food diary, jump up and down on my right leg and then my left just to be sure, and read several Victorian novels in which fainting spells are prominently featured.

I eliminate food poisoning, appendicitis, consumption.

And then I realize that it’s June.

There are a few things that I like about summer: Farm stands.  BLTs made with the season’s first local tomatoes.  Ice cream cones.  Sno cones.  The All-Star Game.  The church carnival down the street.

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This Grinch doesn’t dig the summer.

But what I detest, said the Grinch in her Grinchy-Grinch voice, is the fact that my schedule gets turned upside down.

For nine months out of twelve, everyone leaves in the morning and comes home later in the day.  But for those other three months, the young ones just stay.  They sit in their PJs.  They play on their games.  They want food for lunch.  They want to be entertained.

At least they are older and can fend for themselves.  But when you are rigid like this butch and thrive on routine, any little abnormality feels like it’s times three.

And don’t get me started about the beach and the pool.  They don’t make swim clothes for this old butch fool.

Girl suits are too girly.  And boy suits don’t cover up enough.

One day, I’ll deal with my body dysphoria but right now it all feels like too much.

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What about you? Do you like summer? What are your favorite summer things?

Ah, summer, we hardly knew ye

Wow, summer is almost over.  I was in the grocery store yesterday and overheard a group of rabid moms chanting, “One more day, one more day!”  Kids here go back to school on Monday.  Nothing like overworked, overtired mothers throwing their kids under the school bus.

It’s been a weird and wacky  summer.  Our oldest was away at camp for six weeks.  The middle one was home for about half the summer but is now back living at his dad’s house.  The youngest spends long stretches of time in his room.  So, Middle-age butch had lots of time to herself.

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I had planned on being this version of Wonder Woman.  Nothing beats a classic.

I had planned on being super productive this summer: Cooking healthy and tasteful meals using fresh produce purchased from our local farm stand, writing ten chapters for my memoir, cleaning up the yard, building a brick “pad” for under my bird feeder, organizing the house, romancing W, saving the world and blogging about everything in my downtime.

Turns out that I did the opposite of that, which pretty much means that I did nothing.  I have learned that I am irresponsible when it comes to idle time and work much better under the pressure of a deadline.  Must be the writer in me.

The summer wasn’t a total loss, though.  Here are some highlights:

  • Finished a few memoir chapters.  Perhaps, more importantly, I got back to getting down and dirty and writing about the things that really matter, even though they are the hardest to write about.
    • This was us ... well, if we were dogs instead of lesbians.
    • This was us … well, if we were dogs instead of lesbians.

    Strengthened my relationship with W.  We had a lot of alone time this summer.  We even had a romantic dinner at a nice Italian place that had live music.  It was just like Lady and the Tramp, except that we’re lesbians and not dogs.  Although I have been called a dog more than once.  We’ve been putting a lot of time and effort into improving our relationship and our communication, and it’s been paying off.

  • Went to P-Town, just me and W.  Saw a whale, a drag show (I will never look at Katy Perry the same way) and a whole lot of gay boys in very short shorts.
  • Fed and pet a pair of giraffes.  I love giraffes.  So gentle, so graceful, so beautiful.  We have a small zoo near us that currently has two males on loan from other zoos.  W got pictures of me feeding them.  I’m even smiling.
  • Went to the Jersey Shore.  Found shells on the beach.  Ate pizza and french fries and drank lemonade.
  • Discovered a writer named Ivan Coyote, who has blown my butch mind wide open.  Ivan, I hope to grow up to be just like you.
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    • If I could, I would eat everything in miniature plastic batting helmets.

    Went to a ball game.  Not a major league game but a minor league game.  Drank beer.  Ate ice cream out of a plastic baseball helmet.  Note: This is the all-time best way to eat ice cream.  Kept score.  Admired the green, green grass.  Loved every single minute of it.

  • Made multiple batches of rustic tomato sauce with farm-fresh tomatoes and homegrown basil.  And, BLTs with beautiful, ripe, red tomatoes.
  • Saw a lot of movies.  Favorite: The Way, Way Back.
  • Celebrated my one-year anniversary with WordPress.

So, with summer wrapping up, I’m looking forward to getting back to normal, to daily to-do lists and kids at school, to cooler days and a more industrious frame of mind.

Some goals:

  • Work on my memoir and other creative writing.
  • Blog, focusing on quality and not quantity.
  • Romance the socks off of W (even though she rarely wears socks).
  • Organize, fix up, clean up the house.
  • Live healthier.
  • Spend more quality time with the kids.
  • Continue to move forward and reveal more of who I am.

It’s interesting.  My life has been filled with so many transitions.  I came out later in life, identified as a lesbian, then called myself a “soft” butch because it seemed less offensive.  Now, it’s just “butch.”  It’s all been an evolution, and I find that I’m not done changing, growing, learning.

A writer friend of mine said that when all that we want to do is lounge around in our elastic-waisted sweatpants and watch TV, there’s a reason for it.  We should allow ourselves to do so, taking note of what we’re watching and how that might be exactly what we need at the moment.

I think it’s good advice to not be so hard on ourselves and to feel deserving of our down time.

So, folks, your favorite butch is rested, relaxed and ready for just about anything.  Bring it on, world.

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What about you?  How was your summer?  Any highlights?