So, by the wanton threads of fate, it is another (sadly, another) in a long interminable string of vacation-less summers. There are worse problems to have, of course, and I am pleased that so few of these are plaguing my existence (though if the total could be zero I would be the greater pleased). Nevertheless, I can seem to find nothing—literally nothing, my dear Internets—to assuage the desire to be Anywhere Else.
And so, because my mind is wandering in spite of the bound and restricted body, I present Some of the Places I Would Rather Be (also known as “Some of the Places My Head Is While the Rest of Me Is Most Emphatically and Grudgingly Not”):
1. New Orleans: Because I know what it means to miss New Orleans…
2. The Beach: A Beach. Approximately any Beach will do.
3. Yellowstone National Park: Because I once spent a summer working there pumping gas and it’s beautiful and amazing and seriously, you should go if you haven’t yet.
Digression on Yellowstone National Park and what it is to pump gas when you’re also female and an incomplete list of why that’s a spectacular way to spend one’s summer: (a.) because it’s beautiful and amazing. (b.) because at the very tippy-top of Mt. Washburn, if you time it right, you can watch the sun slide its way down below the horizon in a way it just doesn’t do in the flatness of Indiana. Also, if you time it right, the guy in the observatory tower will invite you in to look at his house/observatory where you will covet his solitude, his view, and his peace for the rest of your born days. (c.) because if you are female and you’re pumping gas because, by law, consumers cannot pump their own (or at least, couldn’t, back in the day) you will invariably get the better end of the argument that ensues when Mr. Women-Should-Be-Barefoot-and-Pregnant pulls up to the pump and throws a right old hellfit because a girl shouldn’t and couldn’t be doing that sort of thing. And when you pop the rebellious sod’s hood and check the oil, the ensuing purple-faced apoplexy is highly enjoyable to watch. (d.) because you haven’t lived until someone’s asked you “When do they feed the animals?” or “Where are the cages for the bears?” or “What time do they let the animals out for the day?” or “How come Old Faithful is late?”/”What’s the schedule for Old Faithful?”/”Do they turn Old Faithful off at night?” and (e.) because walking the geyser boardwalks in the moonlight will restore your faith in Something (even an amorphous something) in a way that little else could ever do. And (f.) you don’t know how big the sky is until you’ve looked at it from the mountains.
4. The Lake House: (Yes, she’s still on about that.) Because there’s simply nothing for it; the soul wants what the soul wants and what it wants most of all is still—always—to sit on the dock for weeks on end and stare at the water until the world rights itself. Best of all, to have friends and family, with infinite amounts of time in quiet and lake-scented air on the sun porch with laptop and books and space…You’ve got to hand it to lake houses—they haven’t the space for anything that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, or at least the good ones don’t, and the good one is the only one I need.