Thursday, July 7, 2011

It Only Happens Every Seven Years

Today is interview day. An interview with . . . me.

Conducted by . . . me.

That's all about . . . yeah, you guessed it.

Because I have some news to share with you. Nothing too earth shattering, but you may want to sit down for this one.

So Shelly, what are your summer plans?
Well, Shelly, this summer is a big summer for us. One we've been thinking about for, oh, about seven years. My husband gets to take a sabbatical from his job this summer.

A sabbatical? Is he a pastor or something?
Nope. He's not a pastor or a teacher or anything like that. He's just a businessman who works for a great company with a sabbatical policy.

How long is his sabbatical?
Four weeks. In addition to his regular vacation.

And what will you be doing on this sabbatical?
Me? Working, most likely. I've got a lot of writing to do. And then there's this matter of classes I'm teaching this fall. I need to work on my syllabus, get to know a new textbook or two, and make up some assignments. But the good thing is, I can do most of this from a chair on a dock.

Source: via Shelly on Pinterest

Him? Fishing. Canoeing. Reading. Relaxing. And definitely NOT working--he's not allowed.

Where will you be?
All I can say is that we'll be someplace where the internet is not. Cell phone service too. For a four-computer (six or seven depending on how you count it) family, this is going to be a challenge.

How will your husband manage?
I've been asking myself the same question.

Do you have a stack of books to take with you? If so, what are they?
What a silly question! You of all people should know that I will bring a stack of books, and an eclectic stack at that. I've already mentioned the textbook (it's called They Say, I Say just in case you're interested), but aside from that, here are a few titles on my list.

The entire Chronicles of Narnia series (because, I am so embarrassed to admit this, I've never read them all).

The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley (sequel to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - lovely book)

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

In the Woods by Tana French (recommended by Amy . . . a bunch of times!)

Give them Grace by Elise Fitzpatrick

Will your family come with you?
Oh yes, for part of the time. Various family members, including our parents, will be in and out for the first two weeks. One of our kids is at camp for the summer, so she won't be there--so sad.

For the second half, though, we're sending them all home or back to work or to camp, so B and I will have two weeks to ourselves. That hasn't happened in almost 20 years!

I'm a little afraid.

Will you be able to blog?
Be able to? I guess so. That's kind of like asking your 4th grade teacher "Can I go to the bathroom?" and she looks at you over the top of her glasses and says, "I don't know, can you?" Of course I could write blog posts till the fish jump in the boat, but will I? I think not.

Why not?
Lots of reasons, some intensely personal that have a lot to do with questioning why I do this day in and day out with so little feedback and results. If I were a stronger person, I probably wouldn't care about all that, but I'm weak, very weak, and I do wish for more. I'm tormented. Seriously.

But I also think it will do me some good to step away for a while. And write, quietly. Over on the dock. Without putting it "out there." Maybe I'll write some stuff I want to share with you. Maybe not. I have no idea what I'm doing other than following my husband on his sabbatical with a canoe on top of my car and some bikes hanging off the back.

That said, I will miss you, my friends. And I wish you a very, very happy summer.

See you in August!

I'm linking this post with Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Reading. If you'd like to follow my posts (when they resume in August) just head over there -------> to sign up!



  1. That sounds like it'll be a well-needed break, Shelly. But please know that I will REALLY miss your posts. They pop up on my Favourites part of my Google Feed so I see EVERY post you write - and I devour every word. I absolutely love your posts - your warmth, your wisdom and your wit. Love, love, love. I learn so much about parenting from you.

    How's that for feedback?


  2. Oo - envious! Sounds like an amazing opportunity!!

    And I will pray specifically that your 2 weeks with your husband will be the best ever and you will wonder why you were nervous. :)

  3. Aw, thanks Weavermom and Sarah! I do love my readers! (Which is why I could never give this up.)

  4. Enjoy your break! Take in the sunsets over the dock for me! I would love a 4 weeek getaway!

  5. Enjoy your break. I'm going to miss you - I go to your blog as part of my morning ritual. Just a little ocd in my corner of the woods here. Have a wonderful rest and refresh time! Blessings, Cindy

  6. Jealous... but happy for you. My husband IS a pastor and he got a sabbatical once... in 1995... your husband's company is incredible... lots of clapping for them.

    Have the best time EVER!

  7. "Lots of reasons, some intensely personal that have a lot to do with questioning why I do this day in and day out with so little feedback and results. If I were a stronger person, I probably wouldn't care about all that, but I'm weak, very weak, and I do wish for more. I'm tormented. Seriously."

    My thoughts, exactly. My blog break has given me so much time to really contemplate and pray about all of that. It's been good. I don't know where my blog break is leading, but I do know it's opened up a lot of space in my brain to hear from God about my writing, my impact and my readers (or lack thereof).

    4 weeks without computers or cell phones. I would LOVE that!!!!!!!!!!! I'm half-tempted to just call a computer/cell phone fast for the heck of it. No one would listen to me, though. You know...lack of impact.

    And two weeks alone with my husband. I wouldn't even know what to do with that. The last time we were alone for longer than two DAYS is before we had kids...1997. Sounds absolutely heavenly.

    I'm sure you will miss your kids...but still. I would miss mine like crazy. But to get to know my husband all over again. Wow.

    And just to let you know, I, too, read every single one of your posts and look forward to them when they show up in my in-box. I'm a fan. Totally.

    Can't wait to hear all about it in August when you return.

    LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. What a lovely idea! I cannot imagine having a four week required break with a lake, dock, canoe and two weeks with your husband. Sounds quite wonderful and peaceful. Enjoy your time, but please do come back.

  9. I hope you have a WONDERFUL vacation!! I will miss you, of course, but I'll be excited to hear all about the sabbatical when you return. I can see how it WOULD be interesting to write without putting it out there. I haven't done that in...well, forever, I guess. (Not forever. But a very long time.) Enjoy!!!

  10. Hope you have a wonderful blessed time. I'm doing a little bit of a sabbatical type thing myself, but it includes being more diligent about my work, not less. I wish it could be the other way around, but this is what the Lord has ordained for now. Have a great summer!

  11. I will sorely miss your posts - especially the humor and sarcasm that comes from "down the block" that is so, so refreshing and real! (was that a run-on sentence? I'm very concious of my grammar when I comment to you). Have fun, get icecream at the country store for me, and feel free to cheat with internet 'across from the dock' if you must. I won't judge. :)

    The last time I had 2 weeks alone with my hubby was our honeymoon - 7 years ago! I pray I don't have to wait another 7 years for that opportunity. I'm guessing I would need lots of childcare help (involving your girls) if we were to get away for 2 weeks again. Call it your second honeymoon. Have a great sabbatical!

  12. Okay. You have to come back with some really good stories, though!

    You know I love your blog and mostly I love how it connects me back to you!

  13. Enjoy every single second! Wow, 4 weeks away. I can't even imagine. Just soak up the quiet, and the relaxation. We ALL need a break now and then. And, as to feedback, can I just say that I always read your blog, but many times I don't leave a comment, but you encouraged me, or made me smile, or taught me something or blessed me in some way. And it was appreciated. So I hope you'll be back. I will miss you, and I too will pray for God to speak to your heart during this time. ENJOY!!!

  14. 1. I'm envious. My
    businessman hubby could
    use the desperately, but
    it's not in his co's policy.
    He can barely get away for
    a week this summer.
    2. I dream of retiring on
    a lake some day, so four weeks
    trying it out
    3. I am thinking of taking
    a blog sabbatical in September
    to work on a project I've promised
    someone and not followed through
    on yet, so I'd love to hear how
    yours goes....
    4. I'll miss your posts!

    xx Suzanne

  15. I will miss you. Enjoy your special time.
    Everyday I think about where my kids are and what they are doing.
    Sometimes I can put myself in their homes with them. Now I will also put myself on your dock and read my book.
    Tell your Mom to take pictures for us. Lena

  16. Does your hubby work for a European company? A four week break sounds like what every business person should get but never do. Enjoy every second of your computer/cell phone free time together.

    I'm visiting from Amanda's party.

  17. What an amazing opportunity for you, for your husband, your marriage and your family. This is just phenomenal.

    Enjoy your time off and savor all that freedom, it sounds amazing.

    See you in August.

  18. I just typed and long and thoughtful comment and it disappeared. I have to let you know I love your blog, love you and will be praying your time on the dock will be life-changing. Soak in the joy and peace.

  19. Enjoy your trip! May you enjoy a time of refreshment and rejuvenation!

  20. I agree with Linda - that connection thing is something else. So glad that you and I reconnected. I'll miss seeing you on the 23rd though. Can't wait for the August installment of Life on the Wild Side.

  21. Glad to see you've found the Alan Bradley books! I'm hooked on Flavia de Luce!!! One of the greatest characters of all time. :-)

    ENJOY the rest of your vacation. Can't wait to hear all about it.