Duff McKagan’s column runs every Thursday on Reverb. He writes about what

Duff McKagan’s column runs every Thursday on Reverb. He writes about what music is circulating through his space every Monday.In my line of work, it is either feast or famine, it seems. Either I have too much going the hell on, or scant little. No matter which, not since my early 20s have I had a 9-to-5 job with clear-cut free weekends and two weeks of paid vacation.With kids in school now, I am very cognizant of when I have time off from touring, writing songs, or making records. It always happens that MY downtime is when THEY are in damn school! When summertime rolls around–almost without fail–my work schedule just gets fucking slammed. A joke around my house is “Your kids’ schooling gets in the way of MY vacation!” I would never dream of doing a solo one. I’d rather stick by and just kind of wait for the girls to come home from school every day. I try to act all cool and nonchalant, but truth be told, I dig being around and with my family all the time. Not very rock-and-roll, some may say? Yeah, well . . . whatever!I have been going to eastern Washington in the summer ever since I was a kid. My wife Susan and I bought a little piece of property over there in the late ’90s. Ever since our girls have been alive, I have tried every ploy to get them as excited about that high desert locale as I am. I have failed miserably, for the most part . . . until this last weekend, it seems.In the little neighborhood that our property is in the middle of, we have become friends with the other families and their kids. In a situation like ours, when we are not around a whole ton, it can be awkward for preteens to sort of mesh and become good buddies. My daughters are very nice girls, but kids this age are just shy, I guess.This past weekend, though, as I scurried back from L.A. and quickly loaded the truck to get my family over to eastern Washington for our last time all together for a while, my daughters asked if they could bring a couple of their Seattle girlfriends with us. These arrangements always seem to be better. When the girls have friends along, my wife Susan and I get less flak about not having enough activities laid out (kids get REALLY bored REALLY quick!). Perhaps, I quietly thought to myself, the buffer of having their friends with them would help my girls be bolder with our neighbors’ kids over there. Does that make any sense?On Saturday, our first night there, we were invited by our neighbors to go see some car racing at our local racetrack. They do kick-ass stuff up there, like chain up boats and trailers to the back of crash-derby cars and make them run in figure-eights until there is only one car and, uh, boat left (Yep, that’s how we do it over in the 509!). Car races aside, a funny thing happened up there at that race . . . and all at once. BOYS! Oh, shit . . . here we go.I don’t want to embarrass anyone here in the writing of this column, especially my older daughter (she is almost 13). Suffice it to say that, at about this exact age, the opposite gender has suddenly gained some merit. I actually don’t mind it at all. I like having little dudes around to talk sports and other muddy things with. I am sure this won’t last long–the me-liking-it part–but I will take it for now.On Sunday, Susan wanted to learn to ride a dirt bike, and so again our neighbors came to our aid. Sunday just happens to be the day a local orchardist opens up a part of his acreage to all the locals to ride their dirt bikes. As you might imagine, most of these riders are boys. Did someone say “boys”?! Suddenly my daughters and their two friends were VERY interested in tagging along with us to the track to, uh . . . watch Mom. It suddenly dawned on me that maybe I was getting what I wished for. Those childhood trips to Sun Lakes east of the mountains contained a lot of my first experiences with having a momentary crush on some girl from Yakima who was also there with her parents. It’s all so very innocent and sweet at this point. I have made the decision to sort of sit back and let it all happen. Well, except for writing this column about it.As we drove back Monday over the mountain pass, we all talked excitedly about what our favorite things about our quick vacation were. We all seemed to agree that there was not a bad part. The candy at the racetrack was great, the jet-ski rides were awesome, the water temperature was warm….and the company was perfect.