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Summertime in New York

July 2005

Hi, readers! I haven’t been a student for many years, but I can still remember how exciting it is to hear the bell ring on the last day of school. After a long year of waking up early and working hard until bedtime, I looked forward to the summer months of warm weather, sleeping past six a.m., and relaxing, unscheduled days. I’m grown up now, but I still think of summer in much the same way as I did when I was younger. I try to use this time to slow down, take it easy, and catch up on those fun projects that always get put aside the rest of the year. It works for me, because by the time September rolls around, I’m ready and eager to get back to my regular work routine.

I’ve recently traveled to San Antonio, Texas, for the International Reading Association conference, Ann Arbor, Michigan, for meetings on my new book, and back to New York City for the annual Book Expo America, so I’m hoping to stick close to home this summer. However, one trip I won’t mind making is to Princeton this July for my father’s 80th birthday party! Dad is hosting a mini-Martin family reunion, and I’m very excited about seeing everyone. The weekend after the party, we’re heading into New York City to see a show. And I’ve already made a date with my seven-year-old nephew to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that weekend. I’m a big Roald Dahl fan, so I’m as excited to see the movie as my nephew is.

In August, I’ll be turning fifty. I wanted to do something special to celebrate this milestone, so I’m going to Disney World! It should be a blast because my sister, brother-in-law and nephew are coming with me. I hope I have the courage to go on some of the scarier rides! Because Florida is very hot this time of year, we’re planning the trip over a long weekend in the fall. (I’ll be sure to bring my camera so I’ll have some pictures to post when I get back.)

I’m going to spend a lot of time working in my vegetable garden this summer. Everything looks great so far and I’m hoping for a good harvest. This year I’ve planted watermelons for the first time. After the garden is watered and weeded, I’ll either work on my many sewing projects or get started on one of the selections for my book club. I like the pace of summer, and I appreciate not having to watch the clock or worry about deadlines for a little while. These past couple of weeks, I lingered on my walk so I could watch a beaver at work in a nearby pond. It was fascinating to observe him as he stripped the bark off the trees and efficiently built his dam.

Whatever your summer plans, I hope they include some “down” time. School work, sports and clubs keep everyone so busy that sometimes it’s fun just to be bored for a couple of hours. Many of our most ingenious childhood summer adventures were conjured up as my friends and I flopped out on the grass and brainstormed about possibilities. Have fun exploring your own possibilities, and have a wonderful summer vacation!

Happy Reading!