All Summer ’16

My summer was fabulous.

It started with this new job and how they function. Typically ten-month employees are only paid until May, but not this one. This institution gives you no choice; they spread your salary over 12 months. Initially, I was bothered because 12-month pay meant fewer dollars in my check. And my salary was already at an all-time low.

But then something happened.

My director asked me if I wanted to teach summer classes. During past years, at former universities, my answer would’ve been a healthy, “Yes.” In fact, I was always the one begging higher-ups for summer classes to teach or busting my butt to write grants to supplement three months of income.

But not this year.

Nope. This year, I was getting paid my regular salary during the entire summer! This might sound like a small thing to some of you who work and get paid annually, but trust me. This is HUGE (in my Donald Trump voice).

So my answer was, “No.” And that’s where my summer planning began. I was going to do nothing and anything.

1470948563407Summer vacay began as it always does, with my birthday shenanigans. This time, Dwight planned a fun party on a casino boat that left from Port Canaveral. Twenty-two people came out to celebrate with me. It was pretty amazing because none of the guests lived in the area. Everyone either flew or drove in. I was surrounded by love and water.

Once that was over, my youngest daughter, Desi finished the eighth grade. Now she’s headed to her high school’s IB program.

All along, I kept taking cool photos of people, and you know what happened? Two people purchased the one called, “Chillin.’” I could’ve never imagined that someone thought my photography was good enough to buy.

1470948854382Because I was off this summer with free time, I vowed to visit a different beach every week. Sometimes I just walked on the shore. A few times, the girls and I set up chairs and hung out. I even convinced a few other people to join me. This summer, I visited Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Hanna Park, St. Augustine Beach, Flagler Beach, Ormond Beach, and Smathers Beach!

Around June, my best friend made her bi-annual visit from overseas. Traditionally, we tube down the Itchetucknee River when she comes. But this time was a little different. In addition to my family and I, Kesi brought a friend; my goddaughter came; and another friend and her family arrived. We tied those blue rafts together, and floated down the cool river for 45 relaxing minutes.

Because I didn’t have any teaching duties, I created a schedule to self-publish and market The Unhappy Wife, which I’ve deemed successful. When I wasn’t publishing the book, my bestie and I drove eight hours to Key West. We hung out at Margaritaville’s, the Butterfly Museum and Ernest Hemingway’s house. Visitor’s tip for you all, Key West is not the best place for beaches.

1470949099634A couple of unexpected events occurred. Around July, I learned I was finalist for a creative nonfiction piece I’d submitted. Dwight and I will be driving to Orlando in October to see if I won. Send me some positive energy please! The second thing that happened is a friend of mine nominated me for an award. I was one of 30 women named as a Leading Lady of Jacksonville. So I ended the summer the same way I began it: celebrating!

Well, that was summer 2016! To say that I lived every moment would be an understatement. Now, I’m back at work, sitting in a meeting as you read this. But I can truly say that I’m refreshed and ready to teach.

What about you? You might not have had as much time off as I did, but what did you do during these summer months? Have you been to any of the places I’ve named?

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49 thoughts on “All Summer ’16

  1. Maybe you should facilitate a workshop called “How To Really Make The Most of Your Summer” and do it around April or May 2017! I love that you had great quality time with family and friends, top-shelf relaxation, some personal goals met, some surprise successes, and bragging rights for having visited 7 beaches! Fist bump!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a wonderful summer, and good for you for taking it off and enjoying it! My dream is to have a 10 month position. The problem is I don’t want to teach! Congratulations on your awards, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought I’d commented on this post before, but I must have started and then got distracted. Anyway, I’m glad you had the chance to enjoy a proper summer break. It sounds like you had an amazing time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your summer sounds fabulous! having fun on the beach, talking to people, taking pictures… what fun! My summer was busy going to India and back to spend time with parents – twice.. But I did enjoy the summer solstice mediitation and yoga camp at New Mexico – two weeks in all… it felt awesome… Aren’t we lucky??

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely delightful post! You’ve working hard and also playing hard 🙂 Congrats on all your recent achievements. I feel guilty, I’m behind on blogging – juggling too many things at the moment, I still have to listen to your video about your writing journey and self-publishing (I still have that post on my inbox). Even when you don’t hear or see me around, know that I’m reading and cheering…keep shining! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! You really did have a fabulous summer didn’t you? Congratulations Sweetie! I love the pictures! You are so beautiful! Fierce in red lipstick might I add! I just went on line to try to purchase a few of the paperbacks but it’s just offering the kindle edition. Don’t forget to remind me when the paperback is out! Hugs Sweet Thang!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omgosh! I absolutely did. Thanks! And thanks Lennon! It takes a beauty to know a beauty 😉 Thanks for trying to get the paperback, but it won’t be available until Oct 20th. I’ll DM you when you can buy. luv!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks kelley! It was the absolute best! Just realized today that the like button isn’t showing…My favorite beach is Daytona Beach, although I didn’t get there this year. You can drive on that beach and it’s usually popping because of all the tourist. Next summer, I’ll check out the beaches on the west coast side. I hear they’re beautiful!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, you’ve had an amazing summer! I can definitely relate to not having to teach over the summer and truly being to have a vacation. You are able to really start the fall recharged. I’m glad you had such a great time. Best of luck in October.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. K E, this is amazing! Congrats on your awards and on publishing your book … and for really having lots of fun. It’s important to do this.

    I poured my heart into two projects that mean a lot to me – a forgiveness project & also a part-time job with a spiritual org I study with. And I saw friends on many weekends. And I learned how to be gentle, fun and creative with myself too. A work in progress.

    Thanks for asking. And happy belated birthday, K E 🙂
    Loving,
    Debbie

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      1. Girl I was wrong! It was in My Jams 1990:
        I mentioned you here:

        Whatever you want by Tony Toni Tone

        I just can’t!

        Ok, I’ll try…

        Do you remember this one K.E.? Yes, I’m talking to you girl!

        Chile, I simply cannot with Tony Toni Tone on this jam!

        I won’t!

        NOPE!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great summer! Well done on saying ‘No!’, releasing your book, being shortlisted, the woman of the year award (😉) and the well received photos. Well done to Desi – best of luck in the 9th grade and nice one Dwight for kicking off the summer with a fun party. I feel like Kesi needs a mention- well done for surviving summer with your mum 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Double congratulations – both for being the leading lady and for the final placement -good luck in October. A great summer for you – yeah! Mine full of travels and off to the US tomorrow!!!! (Super excited in case you hadn’t noticed) Already spent three wonderful relaxing weeks in Sweden with a week at home to regroup and repack.As to the places you name, funnily enough staying just south of St. Augustine…a small world! Can’t wait to walk on those beaches.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Your summer sounds awesome and congrats on the award and good luck in October! I just went to Miami, headed to Tennessee for Labor Day and Niagara Falls next month. I miss the beach though. I’ve never been to those beaches you described.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It…was…fabulous! Thanks! I’ll keep you posted. I remember the Miami post. Have fun in Tennessee. I remember going to Niagara Falls when I was a kid. I’m sure I’d appreciate them more now. Look forward to seeing you and Munch’s road trip. You have to come back and go to the beaches on the East coast 😉

      Like

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