Wednesday, November 30, 2011


We all look forward to vacations--the break, the change of pace, the new, the adventure, the exotic, the quiet time, or whatever it is that this year’s vacation entails.

In Europe they even call this a holiday: holy day. This is a set apart time, a time to savor, a time to restore and refresh.
I always jokingly say that work interrupts my husband’s life, and vacations interrupt mine. I like work. I do work I like. 
But, every year, I am in charge of scheduling, ticket buying, and all of the general planning that go into vacations.
Once, we took a 21-day trip through Texas, following James Michener’s book, Texas. It was one of the most wonderful trips we have ever taken. As we explored Ft. Davis, where the University of Texas observatory is, the director said: “You should stop on your way back home, because we are having a star party.” At the time, our son was really into astronomy, so we responded. “I will have to see where we will be then,” I said. 
“Oh, you’re probably like my wife,” he continued. “You probably have envelopes in your purse with the itinerary and budget for every day. My wife plans like that.”
I reached down into my purse, and said, “You mean these?” as I retrieved my 21 envelopes with the event and cash for each day of our trip. I had to chuckle that I wasn’t the only one over-planning such things.
Twenty-one days was a very long trip for me. I like being away four or five days at a time, and then getting back to work--even though my work can actually be done anywhere. It’s just that the fam doesn’t like to see me working when I am supposed to be relaxing or playing. I find both of those things very difficult.
So when I planned our recent eleven day holiday, including Thanksgiving, to California, with a few days in Las Vegas, I wasn’t concerned about the time, because I had work to do in between the fun. We would have a lovely Thanksgiving with our children and grandchildren, the first in almost 20 years, and that would be so wonderful--and was.
And, we would have a couple of days with our Los Angeles daughter and her husband, before the dreaded Black Friday and the surrounding days of preparation she needed as a retail manager. That meant the Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t going to be on Thursday. but on the Sunday prior to the real day. Retailers’ families accommodate. 
Knowing everybody else would probably be having their normal Thanksgiving plans, and that the youngest would be at her store, the rest of the week, we worked in a few days in Las Vegas, where, someday, are planning to retire.
Well, not really retire, since I don’t believe in that, but where we will start our second or third careers. Namely, Jay will do motorcycle restoration and continue building his adventure bikes and other cool bikes, and he will enjoy the diverse terrain of the desert for rides he has always wanted to do. His journey is being chronicled at blogspot also:

I will continue writing and doing my networking, and my smaller businesses, and my business coaching and resumes. And, like I said, I can do that anywhere. And, since I hate hot, humid, and Jay hates cold, the desert is a good compromise. I will miss trees,  but, we will be less than five hours from the kids, so that will help.
Our days in Las Vegas were charmed. Our word for it is really that we had “favor.” God seemed to be putting people in our pathway who would guide us to the Real estate we wanted to see, and we already were quite pleased with the church we had found in Northwest Las Vegas. Thanks to Groupon, we also had scheduled other events, like U-Drift for Jay (see attached video), and a pedicure for me, and then we also had the whole four days of meals scheduled and paid for. (I told you I plan ahead!)

It was a wonderful week. We felt more sure that this would be a destination for us in a decade or so.
We returned to California Sunday night, and even though it took us eight hours instead of four (we forgot it was still Thanksgiving weekend for the non-retailers), we had a wonderful time just talking and praying, and dreaming of our new life--someday.
But, that eight hours, and the long transcontinental plane trip back, via Dulles to Bradley, and we were very, very glad to be home.
No matter how much fun a vacation is, there really is, as Dorothy said, “no place like home.”
What I find rather curious though, is how much our bodies seem to relax, recover the day after we return home--a place that only two years ago, wasn’t any more than another vacation place. Home is where your food is, your shower, your towels, your products, your tea pot, your bed, your pillows--your comforts. Even though the time share and hotel pillows were better than ours, and the beds, remarkably were firmer and more rest-producing, they still aren’t the ones we’re used to.

Maybe it’s jet lag, but I don’t think that is all there is to it. Home is safe; home is the place you can get back to normal. Good as vacations are, home is home.