this summer’s story
So, yeah, it’s almost November, and the weather has turned brisk and windy and rainy… tonight, at least. And I had planned to post this back on the final day of summer. But right at the end of summer I got swamped with several work projects all at once. Which is hilarious since I’m, technically, still mostly unemployed. Yet, during the final summer weeks my minimally-paid part-time job blew up, as I was responsible for two student contests that required (a) coding an online photo gallery of nearly 300 entries and (b) an essay contest for a scholarship prize. On top of that were my usual web content management duties for the company, plus a series of updates to existing forms and documents. But that wasn’t the big project. Out of nowhere I was tasked with creating 12 large-format posters built around photos that were not print-ready nor high-resolution. I had to pull out every Photoshop trick I knew (and learn a few new tricks I’d never heard before!), and the project seemed to go on and on and on. In addition to that, I also took on a few, shall we say, pro bono projects creating flyers and brochures and website elements and even a DVD cover. But the really remarkable thing about it all was that I loved every minute. Yes, I was busy every moment of every day except when I forced myself to step away and get out of the flat, but I was happy as could be working in Photoshop and using my creativity and (ever-growing) design skills. God has been faithful to cover all of my expenses and carry me through these times when I’m receiving no responses on full-time job applications, and I have been happy to offer my skills to friends and ministries because I know that I will find reward in the end. If nothing else, my reward has been the pure joy of the work and the development of my skills. Still, I’m happy that these projects are completed and I have downtime again.
I had a somewhat busy summer before the work avalanche arrived, and I was really good about capturing the days in photos. My parents have stayed in our area since the spring, so my family all made a lot of effort to get together more frequently. That was made a lot easier by the fact that my folks were housed lakeside for months at a time! We had an impromptu lake party in June, and I visited on my own for another week in July, then we all made various arrangements throughout the summer to spend time in small and large groups for one event or another. There was the last boy’s 9th birthday party, a movie outing with the first boy’s family, plus a sleepover at my place to watch MLB All-Star festivities and even an 80s hair band concert that Kiwi attended with her other aunt (my sister). Sprinkled in the midst of those were simple days of swimming – my first time in a pool in at least 20 years! – and watching movies and just hanging out together (with both family and my friend Mere). And that is the greatest blessing of not being employed full-time: there has been plenty of time for fun and family and friends.
I’m still in the midst of completing my physical scrapbook for the Summer Story, but you can click here to view the photos online. Just take a little walk through the summer with me. And don’t go far. There are a few more stories to tell.