Sunday, June 12, 2011

day 23
Vacation Rules 
Happy beach day
By nature, I am not a “vacation” person. I never got that blueprint. I grew up in a household where my parents poured all their income and savings into our educations, first parochial schools and then college. So, my siblings and I had summers at base camp DC. Part of those months entailed library trips, riding our bikes and at night—downing popsicles and catching fireflies in mayo jars.
River Girls Beach Whisperer Soap
Occasionally, my brothers would head off for a camping trip with other boy scouts, their gaits made wobbly from knapsacks overstuffed with sleeping bags, rain ponchos, and canteens. My sisters and I would take swim lessons at the neighborhood recreation center, play boards games there and plow through the assigned arts and craft projects. Most notorious of these was the ratty, multi-colored, terry looped pot holders, given ceremoniously every August to unsuspecting mothers who'd feign thrill and gratitude.
ETSY Beach Pillow Cover
When my family did take “vacations” it was usually daylong trips to historic sites like George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, Monticello or Harper’s Ferry.  Later, when I graduated from college I developed a systematic wanderlust. After months of research, each summer I would book a trip solo to a foreign city. I would comb the art galleries and museums always meeting other young people who were eager to hear about America in exchange for late night takeout, clove cigarettes and Scrabble. I met translators, and yacht tour guides, and the son of a prince.
This week I am at the shore in Ocean City and by all accounts, embarking upon the longest vacation I have taken in years. For the first time in eons, today I awoke late-- at 8 am- peered out the window toward the fog laden ocean and hunkered back down. I am attempting to soak up and put to memory the sensation of not being on the clock. Of not making meals conforming to the healthy food groups. And after an hour of walking on the beach last evening, my new rules for vacations are simple. I still have no blueprint. Pretend it’s your last vacation. Do what you want, and after you get all the sand out of your hair, do it some more.

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Make the special moments last...vacation time goes 'way too fast"! Any "down time" for a busy mom should be tailor to her needs. And besides, "let's not even mention" how soon you'll be hearing that TV ad that harkens ---"It's back to school time" ...make it fun!

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