Saturday, August 13, 2011


Vacation means respite, but what an omen filled word. Vacation is supposed to be a time to distress, relax, and get away from the usually daily grind. Most children get a summer respite from their studies where upon they forget a large portion of what they've learned. To vacate means to leave, and many families take the one or two weeks of vacation they've earned at work to leave the comforts of home for another unpredictable location. A chance for the average Jill and Joe to hit the road and go exploring, or to find a place to sit in sun, sand, and water. Vacations are so fraught with peril there is even a famous movie comedy about one. Things happen on vacation. Cars break down, 'you-can't-get-lost' paths can lead to going totally astray, and cottages advertised as clean and on the water are often vermin filled shacks with a sliver of water front that is more like a wet land than open water. Yes, vacationing for most people can be perilous, but for writers they provide opportunities to collect characters, settings, and situations. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

I'm going on a four day vacation to the same cottage my family has gone to for fifty years. It was a time share before the concept of time share became common. Sandy beach, beautiful lakefront, and at this time in the year, the water should actually be warm. The cottage has everything but privacy and Wi-Fi connection (I'm suffering withdrawal symptoms already). It really is a place of respite. But have you ever noticed your family can carry unsettling drama with them? There has been that, too. By the time this posts, I'll probably be home  recovering from my respite.

It's 5:00 AM, and I'm up, gathering, packing, and trying to get ready, and writing this to post before I leave -- please excuse the mechanical errors and disorganization. Yes, I know, I should have been better prepared and done all this yesterday or the day before yesterday, but I had better,more interesting, things to do. All vacations, even safe ones like mine, seem to need loads of planning and packing. I tell myself I really enjoy this, and I will, and at least I'm not camping. (Those of you who love camping - enjoy, I just don't.) I love and enjoy my sister and her family and we will talk about everything while sharing chores and cooking, talking walks and spur-of-the-moment treks to stores and places of interest.

Have you ever noticed that good, even great, vacations fade into memory, but bad vacations are pulled out again and again, getting richer and funnier with each retelling? Oh, the stories I could tell you... Vacations -- good or bad -- you win either way, don't you?

From Champagne Press
Rhobin Lee Courtright


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Our vacations have been memorable. In 1978 we took our first and in 2008 we took our last. Luggage is our buggaboo. I worry all the way to the airport, but feel much better after I remember what one thing I forgot. Then I decide how to compensate, and relax. Who needs slippers? Pajamas? Bathing suits! Just take your own snorkel.

Anonymous said...

Hard to fit life into writing, isn't it (g).


Rhobin said...

Thanks Julie and Mike, for the comments. Things have changed at the cottage. Cell phone access means computer access, so lap tops were working. Three people had their noses in Kindles between all physical activities.