Between Two Destinations


For the first time in 24 years or so, I have not started the second half of May on Summer Break.  But even though this is the first year I am not in classes or teaching at a University, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I should be on vacation.  Maybe because there is a long line of Jewell educators who also feel this way and so it’s in my genes.  Reading how my dad feels similarly, or hearing my mom and brother tick down the calendar on their school years, makes me just a little bit lonely for the end of school rituals like a night on the patio at Upland Brewery in Bloomington, or a glass of perfectly chilled Dortmunder at Ray’s, or riding through the valley to Szalay’s for fresh, sweet corn.  Luckily I’ll be home in about eight weeks, though I probably won’t leave the Swenson’s parking lot for at least two or three days!


The weather has gotten warmer and I’ve been going down more to the river to where the last remaining dock-anchors are unused.  You should see the boats now lined around Parliament.  It’s a circus.  In two weeks or so, even the unused anchors will be roped with cruising ships, floating restaurants, and commercial boats.  It’s a little bit weird to live in a place where people want to go–a destination.  Akron, Ohio and the Cuyahoga Valley were never such places.  In fact, growing up and in my early adulthood, mostly I heard about how people wanted to get away.  Until you get away and realize how quaint it really is.


But I am looking forward, with cautious hesitation of course, to Budapest’s summer high season.  The city is really so alive with open air vendors, folk artists, concerts.  So I’ve been soaking up my few quiet mornings running the rakpart when it’s almost empty, or walking with Barnabás to the river where only a few old fisherman are disturbing the water.  Maybe the incoming storm has given me the contemplative mood, but now as the much-needed rain starts to fall on my balcony, I can’t help think that break or no break, what’s better than a European summer?


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