How I Spent my Summer (Non) Vacation

geez, I'm boring...

I’m back from my self-imposed hiatus. Did you miss me?

I missed you! Specifically, I missed writing this weekly letter to you. I almost returned last week, but wanted to stick to my pledge of taking August off.

So, here we are, in September of 2021, and I wish I could say that the reason time is flying is because I’ve been having so much fun.

I’m not really having much fun these days.

That’s my fault. I’m not much of a fun-seeker. Or, apparently, a sun-seeker. I like the sunshine for the light it brings; I just can’t handle the heat of summer.

And speaking of summer, who are all these summer creatures? The oblivious-to-the-humidity humans who get on the top-chopped beach bus at 9am and return at 7pm—umbrellas, coolers, friends, and tans in tow—chirpily chatting away as if melting in the sun all day wasn’t a draining activity.

Melting in the sun all day is a draining activity.

With each passing summer season, I’m convinced that I need a getaway spot. I thought that place might be Porto, but I think I’d like a place that’s a little less city and a little less gritty (I already have city-gritty in a smaller version in Setúbal).

I don’t want rural; the locale would need to be accessible by rail/bus and have some vibrance: cafés, good grocery options, green spaces, roomy sidewalks, and bike-able, too. But until I find that place (I’m taking suggestions), ideally in Portugal, but Europe for sure, I spend the hottest summer days mostly inside.

Hibernating From The Heat

Do I feel bad about hibernating in the summer? No, not too much.

Sometimes I feel like I should be taking advantage of the beautiful blue flag beaches just a mere 15 minutes away, but then I remember the heat and the hassle of it all. It’s probably not as bad as I imagine, but I just can’t be bothered to do things when hordes of other humans are doing them, too. So maybe in the fall I’ll go. That might be better beach season for me.

To be clear, I don’t stay in ALL day. Just mid-day when the heat is at its peak.

I take Milo out first thing in the morning, and if I have errands, I try to do them directly after our morning walk (but not before coffee!) or in the early evening once the breeze picks up and the temperature has dropped.

Sometimes I’ll curse the heat and venture out mid-day to have coffee or lunch and a chat with a friend. It’s almost always worth braving the heat to connect with another human, especially when a nap is waiting on the other side of the coffee date upon my return home.

Pro-Level Napper

I love a good nap. I excel at this pursuit and consider myself to be an Olympics-caliber nap-taker. Plus, the heat makes me sleepy, so I think napping should be an official summer sport.

I don’t nap daily, maybe a few times a week, and rarely for more than 25 minutes at a time. Often I’ll flop down on my comfy bed and float there for a few moments in-between tasks. It helps me transition from work/writing to lunch or other activities.

What Else?

I read, wrote, rambled, ruminated, and rested. And tried to stay on top of my Portuguese language study (aff.).

I wandered all over town as much as my feet and legs could handle. I saw old buildings being renovated, new buildings going up. New shops opening, and others closing down. And, I found my dream bookstore location, but for now that will be all it is, a dream. Oh, and I’m taking a poetry class that combines my love of writing poetry with collage, two of my favorite pursuits.

So, I did things, just not the typical vacation things in August like the rest of the world (seemingly).

I’d like to do some nearby travel in the fall, and go back to San Diego to see my family, but planning anything these days is a moving target. And with the chaos of fires, drought, and science as a weapon of politics plus ignorance and conspiracies in the States, I’m not super excited to go—to see my people, yes, but not so much the the U.S. in general.

Of course I’ll keep you posted if and when I travel, and will take you along with me through this life: examined newsletter. Thanks for being a reader and subscriber!

Audio Vignettes

Here’s something new for you. I’m experimenting with sharing short voice recordings that I call Audio Vignettes. It’s not pro, there’s no fancy equipment, just me and my phone’s voice recorder sharing a slice of the moment.

No theme, either, but hopefully some good background sounds and guaranteed random commentary from yours truly. Here’s the first one, let me know what you think:

life: examined
Audio Vignette | 28 Aug 2021
Listen now (1 min) | Here’s my first Audio Vignette featuring cicadas, growling dog, dancing teens, and humidity…
Read more


Thank you, Ken, Bill, Carol, Bryan, Bitsy, rodriguezthefirst, Jeanne, Venomator, Wim, and the anonymous someones for your support. 

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