Feeling the Burn

An article by Catherine Zuckerman in The New York Times got it right. “Raise your hand if you’re completely burned out,” it began. “Your inbox is an overflowing bucket of urgent requests. You are consistently asked to do more with less. Your mind is constantly reshuffling priorities, perpetually calculating the number of minutes left in the day and whether you will have enough time to finish all of your work.” We admit it: the pandemic has left us fried from trying to juggle work and other responsibilities without enough support. That’s why our weekend getaways are such an important aspect of our resilience. We’ve both experienced a number of personnel transitions at our places of work, resulting in an accumulation of responsibilities that has left us exhausted. We’ve begun offloading some regular tasks from our work lives that really don’t require us to perform, but it’s not enough. Cedar Hill State Park may only be 20 minutes from our house, but it’s a million miles from Monday.

We arrived on Friday in plenty of time to settle in and get the grill going before rain moved in. The wet night offered a perfect excuse for watching another episode of our new favorite binge, “The Restaurant: Our Time is Now,” on Amazon Prime, the Swedish period drama that follows the Löwander family and their restaurant operation over the course of 30 years.

Saturday brought typical pursuits, and also found us interacting with our neighboring campers as well as some fellow Airstreamers. Chef Cliff paired grilled turkey loin with Italian pole green beans for a delightful supper. But more rain drove us inside, where we started watching a cooking show featuring the food writer Simon Hopkinson. Originally broadcast a decade ago on the BBC, The Good Cook is just six episodes long, but we definitely look forward to watching the remaining five.

Sunday’s clear skies, warm temperatures, and gentle breezes made for an ideal spring day. We enjoyed long walks along the lake, a generous afternoon nap, and a a delightful televisit with Jon’s mom, before Chef Cliff produced a wonderous grilled salmon with cob corn and coleslaw. We ended our evening with a long late-night walk under star-filled skies.

Although Jon has Monday mornings off, giving us time to hitch up and head out, he had two meetings to attend, providing a very narrow window for escaping our weekend retreat. As we prepare to travel to the St. Louis area next week, we’ll have only a few days of work before hitting the road.