Not all who wander are lost

To soothe your mind


The last time I had a vacation and actually went anywhere was in 1985. I had only been married for a little over a year by then, so we had the bright idea of going to Texas so that I could meet my in-laws. It was a memorable trip.

Here are some of my memories, in no particular order:

  • I got my very first speeding ticket, which I did not pay — desperate lawbreaker that I am and all.
  • I tried to pass some clown on a two-lane highway but he sped up and I ended up off the road due to an oncoming car. The truckers who saw the whole thing harassed that other driver for miles and miles, while others of them gently herded me the rest of the way to my destination. They were real gentlemen.
  • I spent about one hour in Mexico. Matamoros, to be specific. I was rendered acutely uncomfortable by the powerful resentment I felt all around me and that none of the other gringos seemed at all aware of.
  • I got pregnant during that trip, which resulted in a (repeatedly misdiagnosed) ectopic pregnancy that almost killed me (because of those repeat misdiagnoses). Further consequences ensued.
  • I met my father-in-law and his wife, my brother-in-law and his wife, and my spouse’s nieces and nephew. I never saw any of them again.
  • My new and beautiful white pumps tore the skin off my heel when I was trying to keep up with my panic-stricken husband as he attempted to get all the way from one side of O’Hare Airport to the other in seven minutes or so. I then watched him discover that missing one’s connecting flight did not condemn one to spend an eternity in some Twilight Zone in airports far from home — especially when it was the fault of the originating airline.

Next week, I will be on vacation from my job and it’ll be the first time since that memorable trip that I am actually going somewhere other than home. I’m hoping that this vacation will be memorable for different reasons.

Normally, I can think of nothing I would like better than to go home for the standard stay-cation, where I can be the recluse/hermit that I am.

This time, I decided to go away for a few days with my stud muffin to Natural Bridge, VA. This trip will be lots of walking and hiking — there are trails and there are caverns and there is the very amazing bridge itself, as you can see above (go ahead, click on the picture and take a good look). There are attractions, in which I am less interested than the natural stuff. I’m not really a touristy kind of person but I will very much enjoy the hiking and the scenery.

I am expecting to totally spam my Instagram.

In addition to being my first real vacation in 30 years, this will also be my first vacation with my current honey Derek. I’m trying not to think too hard about it because I’ll get all hot and bothered … and I’m at work, dammit! We’ve spent a lot of time together in seriously unromantic circumstances, so there is no fear of disillusionment if I drool in my sleep or anything like that, which takes the pressure off nicely. At the same time, it’ll be grand to be really, truly alone — without the kids nearby.

You would think, with my youngest being an elderly 18 years old, that I wouldn’t have to deal with anybody fighting anybody for anybody’s attention when it comes to Mom’s boyfriend. But nooooooo. It was only a few months ago that Ricky told me that he wished I wouldn’t hog Derek when he comes over. I was unkind enough to remind the boy that Derek doesn’t come over to see him.

Yes, I am totally looking forward to having the stud muffin all to myself.

And, as if all that is not enough, the day after we get back, Kimmie will turn 21 years old. That’s a real biggie. I don’t get to take her out and buy her a drink because she’s going to do that with her buddy. But I do get to participate in the part that she is most jazzed about — taking the car and going out to buy a bottle of rum if we’re out and Mom doesn’t feel like getting dressed. I guess it’s the little things, right?

So, today is Wednesday and today is almost over. Tomorrow is an early day for me because the Board meeting starts at 8am and I have to be there. Friday, the furniture arrives — and it is my hope that I’ll be able to leave shortly after they’re done. I am through most of my list of things-I-need-to-get-done-before-I-leave-for-vacation and I’m fighting off the adult employment version of senioritis.

In light of everything that’s going on in the office these days, I need this vacation. And I am going to do whatever I need to do to make sure I rest and relaxate as much as I can.

I can’t wait to get started!

1 Comment

  1. Gina

    When I’m back in Phoenix, you *have* to come out and visit. Not just because of the various hiking trails throughout Greater Phoenix, but I know you will absolutely *love* Sedona. Lots of hiking there and the scenery is gorgeous!