Back home from Florida, everyone seems to be making the adjustment pretty well.
Milo was happy to see my truck pull up the drive. He had been spending his vacation with two female black labs who live on a farm. On the first day he was there he chased the free-range chickens with sufficient skill to extract a mouthful of tail feathers, but he behaved himself after that. He was a little afraid of the cats at first (these were farm cats after all). But by the time I came to pick him up he had grown accustomed to the cats, ignored the hens, and was best buddies with the two labs. When he jumped into my truck, the younger of the two labs tried to leap in and come home with him.
Lucy was also glad to see me, although her reasons had less to do with me than with her diet. My good friend Judy had visited Lucy regularly so she was not lacking for companionship. But I had failed to make clear that there were two large buckets of pet food and one of them was not cat food. Lucy ran to her bowl, looked at me and wailed. When I protested that the bowl was full, she wailed louder. When I left the room, she followed me and wailed. Only when I picked up the bowl to examine it closely did I discover the cause of her displeasure. Of all the indignities Lucy has suffered, she seemed to feel that eating dog food ranked near the top.
The thing about a vacation is that, like Lucy’s change of diet and Milo’s new friends, being away allows me to see my old home in a new way and both appreciate the things I have, and resolve to make some changes that make the rest of my life more like vacation life.
On vacation, meals take on more importance. The day is often centered around a new thing I want to cook for my family or fresh vegetables my brother-in-law found at the market. If we go out to eat, the decision takes on more weight; going to one restaurant means we cannot go to another. Celebrating meals is a wonderful thing— and I don’t find myself eating any more than I otherwise would.
On vacation, it seems easier to try new things and do things just for fun. I have a nice bicycle and I never ride it. It has been sitting in the barn so long that the tires are flat. On vacation, I borrowed my mother’s old three-speed bike and remembered how much I liked to ride.
On vacation, I take more time to really talk to people. I take the time to visit my aunt and my former in-laws. I sit with my dad and talk for no particular reason and with nothing else I feel I should be doing. On vacation it seems easier to give myself permission to say, “I’d like to talk to you. Can I come over?”
As soon as I got home, I prepared myself a nice dinner— just for me— and ate it in the late afternoon sun. I called up my parents for no reason other than to let them know that Milo and Lucy had survived and tell them again how much I’d enjoyed the time.
Then, just before I went to bed, I filled up the tires on my bike, dusted it off, and took it for a spin around the neighborhood, ringing the bell occasionally, just for fun.
Till next time,