Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back to normal

By Karen

Sort of, anyway.

The kids are back in school, and things are returning to their normal rhythm, which involves disgustingly early hours, lots of lunch-making, and a lot of personal one-on-one time with Microsoft Word.

Alaska was fabulous, although I did gain 3 (yes, 3) pounds in 8 days. Something about the breakfast, second breakfast, lunch (with homemade bread and dessert), cocktails with appetizers, dinner (with homemade bread and dessert), and finally, chocolates and liqueur. Daily. Fortunately, with all the laundry I had to do when I got home, it's all just about gone now. And it's good not to have to wear fishermen's sweatpants anymore (that's all they had at the Trading Union, Petersburg's grocery store/department store, which I visited I discovered I had overestimated the average daily temps by about 20 degrees. I also dropped 100 bucks in a book store, because I just can't help myself).

Oh, and the primary activity? Climbing in and out of the hot tub.

But the extra tonnage was worth it. We saw whales -- millions of them -- incredibly close, a field of icebergs, hot springs, a mother bear catching salmon to feed her cub, glaciers... and I spent a week with no e-mail or cell phone for the first time in years. I also remembered that part of me that used to be an aspiring biologist -- we had a fabulous naturalist (and photographer) on board, and it was like spending time with a friendly, talking field guide.

So I'm back now, and trying to get my life into some semblance of balance. Writing is an obsessive profession, and it's hard to keep things in perspective. Of course, with three deadlines looming over the next ten months, it may be a challenge, but I'm going to work on retaining some of my sanity.

(I downloaded my photos and will e-mail them to myself in the next few days so I can post them. And if Mike the wonder-photographer/naturalist okays it, I'll post a few of his fab photos on the blog. He was so darned good I put my camera away on day two (for the most part, anyway).

All in all, though, it's good to be back, even if I do hate getting up at 6:30 a.m.

How was your summer?
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