What we’ll do for summer “vacation”

Most people go off for summer vacation, but for me it’s the busiest time of the year.  In the winter there’s not a lot of Airstream activity going on, except on the west coast and in Florida, and we usually have large periods of time during which neither business or social obligation intrudes.  That’s when we stretch out and have time to ourselves, but in the summer it’s usually go-go-go with rallies and travel.

Not only that, but we have persisted in the habit of getting some of the routine annual jobs done here in Vermont.  Our cars are registered here, since we aren’t actually legal residents of any other state yet, and so that means state inspections must be obtained every summer.  Our dentist is here, a guy that is so likable and reasonable that we can’t seem to fathom the thought of finding someone in Arizona to replace him.  Emma takes two weeks of swim classes here every summer.  We still have a PO Box here, which still fills with mail despite two years of attempts to get people to stop using it. My table saw and some parts of our Caravel are here, so there are projects to be completed as well.

This all makes summer in Vermont a little less idyllic than it would seem.  “We spend our summers in Vermont” suggests a scene from On Golden Pond (filmed in New Hampshire, but most people don’t know the difference) with a rustic camp and boathouse on a still water lake.  We would rise at 6 a.m. to watch the fog burn off the shallow water and listen to the early morning birds, while cupping a hot chocolate or coffee and wearing camp clothes.  Then we’d retrieve the water melon from its icy cold spot in the fresh water spring, pack a picnic basket, and tromp off into the woods to spot deer, or perhaps putter around the lake in our 1930s wood boat.

Reality is quite different.  We are near a lake, yes, but parked in a 2005 Airstream in the gravel driveway.  I do often rise early, but yesterday it was to get some work done before I went to the dentist to get an old crown replaced.  My picnic for the day was a protein shake in the car on the way to do errands, carefully slurped to avoid drooling while the novocaine wore off.   Our antique motor vehicle is not a romantic 1930s boat but rather the 1983 Honda Accord that we keep up here as our cheap runabout.  My brother does have a Glastron GT150 painted in gold glitter, which qualifies as an antique boat, but somehow I can’t picture it puttering around anywhere without a vision of Roger Moore driving it (in Live and Let Die).  I suppose “summer in Vermont” has changed in the 21st century.

The other reason I am not relaxing much is because we have the Vintage Trailer Jam coming up in just a few weeks.  We were finally able to post the preliminary schedule online today, and it looks good, but many details remain to be nailed down.  If you are considering coming, better book your spot soon.  We’re almost out of electric spaces. In about a week we’ll need to estimate the final headcount for the caterer and registration will probably close by Aug 7 (after that you can come as a walk-in but you’ll get a non-electric site).

Perhaps later in August things will quiet down, but by then it will be time to start thinking about our departure.  I am planning to head out in September.  It remains to be seen if the rest of my crew is onboard with that plan.  After a summer full of rallies, classes, appointments, errands, and county fairs, I hope they will be sated and ready for a change of scene.   Maybe we’ll go somewhere where we have absolutely nothing to do.  That sounds pretty good to me.

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Editor & Publisher of Airstream Life magazine