Summer Vacation: Perimeter Check

14 Jun

The kids wrapped their first week of summer vacation and it’s a war zone at our house. The battle line? Mommy wants a schedule. But, according to my kids, a bedtime in summer strikes at the core of democracy. A daily schedule  besmirches our founders’ very intent for both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. (Yes, I blame my geeky self. They know way too much about governance). My oldest will be home from college soon. Then, the opposing force gains a new weapon; she’s ROTC.

I’ll be outgunned and outmaneuvered. Siblings may fight with each other but they’ll join forces to overthrow parental tyranny in a nanosecond.

This morning I released the hounds (really – they bark every morning at 6:04a, even adjust for daylight savings, until I give in), and trudged upstairs to my office. Coffee in hand (tier one in my daily caffeine protocol), I negotiated the stacks of wannabe creative genius on the floor, plopped in my chair and swiveled to look out the window. Where to start? WIP? Blog? Email? Spider solitaire?

I tapped the nearest stack with my foot to spin and it hit me. (No, not the mess on the floor, another epiphany). Deep down in my freudian soul, my id (you know … base instinct from Freud’s psychic apparatus … another blog, another time) established a defensible perimeter. Take a look:

Desk – internet computer, ancient computer, tiers of caffeine (sorry, meant to clean up yesterday’s tiers first) and desk doo-daws.

Interior perimeter – a circle of half-empty brief cases and book bags, calendars, reference books and plotting folders.

Primary/exterior perimeter – a ginormous (son’s descriptor) bean bag and its offspring and my reference table (this is the technical term for where I stack things that are not of carpet priority).

Friends, writers, parents.

We have no choice. Protect your writing time. RWA national is twelve days away (less if you count packing time and the days of travel to fly from west to east in our transportation system, but I digress). My only hope is to fall back and secure my perimeter until I can surrender in Manhattan . . . to a $20 glass of slightly fermented grape juice.

Advice? Barrier ideas? War stories?


Posted by on June 14, 2011 in Family, Idaho, RWA Nationals


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14 responses to “Summer Vacation: Perimeter Check

  1. Carley Ash

    June 14, 2011 at 7:10 AM

    Thanks for the laugh – it was a good way to start the day. Have fun at nationals.

  2. Janis McCurry

    June 14, 2011 at 7:34 AM

    I hear you. Even if there are no children at home, summer is different. Summer nibbles at your discipline and says, “Stop working. Come out and play with me.” I’m starting a new project and there is so much to do, but I look at the sun (finally!) and just daydream. SIGH.

  3. Peggy Staggs

    June 14, 2011 at 7:56 AM

    I had a very nice barrier in the form of a three paneled screen. That went away when we put the house up for sale. Now everyone roams in and out as they please. Kids you can yell at and they generally go away, but a cat who has decided the best place in the whole universe to sleep is right in front of you, on your desk,and on top of what you’re working on is another matter. He won’t go away and he liked to bat at the keys. Cats!

    • Liz Fredericks

      June 14, 2011 at 8:04 AM

      I’ve found that it’s not yelling that works with kids so much as chores. Lately, all I have to say is . . . ‘who’s turn is it for doody duty’ and they disappear. They may love the dogs, but doggy output? Not so much. You’re on your own with cats. 😉

  4. Meredith Conner

    June 14, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    I love the carpet priority! That tends to be my preferred spot as well 🙂 I decided I need to compromise this summer both with the kids and my guilt. The girls and I will have meals together and a bike ride/ trampoline bounce/ hike, etc . . . my computer will the get the rest of me during the week. Weekends will be mostly family – including the four legged ones 🙂

    • Liz Fredericks

      June 14, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      I’m glad that the computer will get your time during the week. I’m certainly looking forward to reading more about your newest heroine and her Chihuahua.

  5. Paty Jager

    June 14, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    I don’t have kids at home any more but your description of your writing area was so similar to mine…

    Have fun at Nationals!

    • Liz Fredericks

      June 14, 2011 at 1:48 PM

      Nationals will be great! Thanks for checking in on the post.

  6. lynn mapp

    June 14, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    A bedtime during summer vacation? What? What? What? Deep breath. What?

    • Liz Fredericks

      June 14, 2011 at 8:26 PM

      Oh c’mon, Lynn. Don’t tell me you’re siding with the anarchists in my family! 😉

  7. Mary Vine

    June 16, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Hey, at least you made it to your office! Good blog.

  8. Steph Bochenek

    June 17, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    At least you have an office. My darling husband is working on mine now. He thinks it is going to be a studio apartment that we can rent to college students. Silly man.


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