This weekend I went up to Marin with my mom, who was attending a conference up there. Theoretically I went to do some networking myself, but in reality I went to get away from the every day reality of my house, how much there is to do there, and how little time there is to do it in. I wanted to be in a small, clean space, where the only belongings I had fit in one small bag, and where it was someone else’s responsibility to fix walls and paint things and clean cupboards. (Even so, our suite was old but newly redone, so I couldn’t help but noticing the paint job in their bathroom, and the fixtures they had, and…!)

At the same time, my husband invited an influx of people into our home, hosting our dear friend’s bachelor party at our house as a base for their various, sometimes nefarious, activities. My mother in law completed the party, coming down Sunday to help paint what my mom hadn’t done already. When I talked to my husband on Sunday evening, he, his mother, and three of the remaining bachelors party attendees were busy painting, sheetrocking, and trying to keep the cat from escaping — who had obviously recovered from the shock of having that many noisy people in the house.

For both of us then, this weekend was a break before the true madness sets in. True to form, we each took a break in the ways typical to our personalities: I retreated and got away, curled up with a book, my mother (who always knows how to take care of me), and a good friend. My husband welcomed people into our home, fed and entertained them, laughed, talked, tried various extreme sports, and worked on the house with the people he loves.

Both of us, in our separate ways, were able to use this weekend as a coda, a break in the craziness that this summer has become. And now it’s Monday, and back to work. Of many kinds.

This week: packing begins. Stay tuned for more tales of peril and adventure from deep inside a sea of boxes.