Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Woman Needs A Vacation

Emerald Lake in the Canadian Rockies
A rutting bull elk held us captive in our cabin at Patricia Lake in western Canada.

Our family never took vacations when I was a kid. Daddy could not leave the farm, or so he thought. Mother seldom left our neighborhood except to visit relatives. My father didn’t care for planes or car travel. Traffic made him nervous. Too many people and much too close quarters.
My sister and I, while still in high school, planned to travel and see the world once we finished college. She traveled, but without me. I chose to marry the year she graduated. She moved to San Francisco, worked with Western Airlines and flew to places like Hawaii and Mexico City, as well as to most of the interesting sites of the western U.S.A.
Each summer I planned a vacation even though we had little money to spend on such things. Folly Beach, South Carolina, and Boone, North Carolina were two of our favorite spots. I had fallen in love with the western NC mountains even then.
Once we were invited to go skiing at Snowmass, Colorado. We ended up driving through a blizzard for many miles after our flight was cancelled in Denver due to bad weather. Only dumb luck kept us from driving off the road and disappearing in a drift where we might not have been found until spring.
In the days before the airlines charged for even a glass of water, we enjoyed a champagne flight across the country. A couple of glasses of the free champage, and I was soaring on my own with my eyes closed listening to classical music loud enough to drown the sound of the plane.

We toured the coast of California for a couple of days before boarding The Love Boat in San Francisco for an Alaskan Cruise. We were likely the youngest people on board, but we enjoyed every minute.
Now that we are retired, we plan at least two trips each year – one in the fall and one in the spring. In winter or very early spring, I like to escape the cold gray days at home and head for Florida. That’s the time of year I enjoy the beach; when I need a jacket, but the sun is shining and warm enough to dissipate the clouds cob-webbing my mind.

Every few years we take, what we call, a BIG vacation. These vacations involve airports, lots of hassle and fatigue, to go someplace we have never been. One of my favorites was our trip to the Canadian Rockies a few years ago. We were awed by the glorious mountains, lakes like painted glass, and we saw every kind of wild animal you can imagine, from mountain goats grazing along the road, eagles over head and several black bear. A rutting bull elk kept us captive in our lakeside cabin for a couple of hours until a ranger came and frightened him off.

My husband takes no hand in planning a vacation. He says we live in vacation land, and he doesn’t see any reason to leave. But he fails to understand the difference between a vacation for a woman, and a vacation for a man. His life has been one continuous vacation since he retired. He sits on our deck high up in the dogwoods, gazing at the blue waters of Lake Chatuge and beyond at Brasstown Bald. He smokes his pipe, content and happy.

Most women know why I need a vacation. Besides the chance to visit and learn about a place I’ve never been, while I’m there I don’t worry about cooking, laundry, paying bills, cleaning or taking care of pets. Why worry? I’m miles away.
Instead of cleaning the kitchen right now, I think I’ll get busy planning my next trip. Now what did I do with those brochures?


Tipper said...

Vacations are nice-and so is this post!

Gay said...

Even though I'm tired of the traveling for this year with our trip to Scandanavia and to Chicago, and the hassle of flying is an all too recent memory, your post made me look forward to our next trip with you and Barry. Hopefully all will go well and you will both be well and eager for a river cruise come next Sept/Oct.