This week has been an inexplicable period of things breaking.
First the key fob for our car stopped working to unlock the car. It was locking just fine until I decided to change the battery. Now it won't work either way. It is worth noting that the car and remote, are 13 years old. But I digress...
Then the automatic garage door broke. Well, it didn't break entirely. The remote my father finally found to override our ancient garage door opener was working, but the key we originally used to operate the door now only closes the door and doesn't open it. That wasn't such a big deal until I misplaced the remote for a day (it was in the sand toy bucket of course) and couldn't get back into the garage, unless I climbed through the window, and displaced the crabby neighbor's plants, which got me yelled at, but again, I digress...
Finally our camera broke. Suddenly, after months of working without complaint, suddenly the camera won't turn on. Not when I change the battery, not when I clean the connections. The only advice the Canon website gives beyond this is "Go to an authorized dealer." Like I have time for that.
Because, you see, it is the MOST BEAUTIFUL week of the year. I am sure of it. 75 degrees every day, clear skies, no humidity, a slight breeze and, according to NPR "The longest day of light in Chicago this year." John is out of camp, and we have THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO BE, and SUMMER TO ENJOY. And a broken camera will not be allowed to slow us down.
There is, of course, only one problem with our plan. All these lovely things that we are doing - they aren't going to be photographed.
The trip to the Field Museum on Monday? Not recorded. The day on the trail-a-bike (a kind of adult/kid tandem) to the beach? Unregistered. Afternoon at the Botanic Garden with friends today? No shots. When we go to the Taste of Chicago tomorrow or the Lincoln Park Zoo on Friday no one will be able to see proof.
And maybe that's okay.
I've experience summer with tourists for quite some time now. Any trip into San Francisco from Berkeley puts one in contact with no end of shivering tourists, unaware that San Francisco is not LA and in the summer you're better off with a sweater than a swimsuit. And Chicago's summers bring in the hoards from the lesser cities and small towns of the Midwest, usually sunburned and sweaty and in no need of sweaters. But, outside of the weather, the two groups have one important thing in common:
The have cameras glued to their faces.
Cameras at the Golden Gate Bridge, cameras at the Sears (now Willis) Tower, cameras at the Japanese Tea garden, cameras at Millennium Park, cameras at the Cal Academy of Sciences, cameras at the Shedd Aquarium. And all these people, on vacation, so intent on recording everything that they are doing, that they almost seem to forget they are doing it at all.
So many times I have watched someone video taping a museum utterly ignoring their spouse or, more often, children. Once I saw a dad with two video cameras taped together (making a homemade 3D film, I suppose) shooing his children out of his shots at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I wonder if he will ever even look at his film after his vacation is over...
There is something to be said for living in the moment. An old adage goes, "The past is history, the future a mystery, but now is a gift, that's why they call it the present."
So John and I are enjoying this week, right here, right now, in the present. And while there won't be pictures, there will be laughter, fun, relaxation, relationship, and memories. Our Kodak moments will be the rarest kind, the lived ones.
Happy Summer Vacation!