Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night Deuteronomy 11:18-19 (The Message)
A blogging pal recently posted under the title of An Embarrassment of Vacation Riches. http://mizsilverthorn.typepad.com/miz_s/2011/08/an-embarrassment-of-vacation-riches.html
There, she confessed some guilt over having recently returned from a wonderful 30th anniversary trip to turn around in a few weeks and take another vacation with family. Perhaps she and I are twins separated at birth because I have been pondering the exact same dilemma. After all my posting about cutting back, being more careful with money, choosing wisely, supporting others in their time of need, I am also embarrassed to say that today, we leave on vacation once again. Least you think me a hypocrite or worse, a bureaucrat, I will start by saying that because I have been in my job for a hundred years, I get a ton of vacation time. Yes, yes, those government employees sucking the taxpayers dry. I also get paid a lot less year round than I would if I were in private industry, but let’s not go there. And besides, I haven’t even touched my vacation time this year. Guatemala, Alabama and now, North Carolina are all on comp time for all the evenings and weekends I’ve worked. And before you say, okay, we’ll cut you some slack on the time, but not the expense of another trip, let me say that this is our “last family vacation.” I put that in quotes because this trip is at youngest son’s request. That’s what he calls it. Upon returning home, he is going to “become an adult” (his words again) and enter the workforce full time. His life will be over. Or at least you would think so. To commemorate that momentous occasion (or celebrate if you happen to be his parents), we are going to the outdoor fun center of the world, Lake Lure, North Carolina. This will not be an old person’s vacation where we sit on the deck drinking tea and photographing hummingbirds for hours on end. This will be a young person’s vacation complete with whitewater rafting, ziplining, rock climbing, jumping off of waterfalls and so much hiking our feet will be blistered. Just kill me now. You already know my fear of heights and now, I will also confess I am afraid of drowning. Somewhere, sometime, someone told me about getting swept out of the whitewater raft and getting their foot wedged in some rocks. They thought they were going to die. And I am afraid I will too. No need for the helmet and lifejacket. I would rather hit my head and get it over with sooner. We are taking youngest son’s fiancé, M., with us on the trip so there will be a whole other dimension involved with traveling with a girl. She is excited about shopping and touring historic sites. Hooray! At least I will not spend the whole trip hanging from a rope. And at night, instead of husband watching television while I read, they like to play card games. So, I am traveling lighter this trip. Last time, I took two computers, this time only one. No car full of books and electronics. No Kindle or IPod. This trip is all about relationships and building a lifetime of memories. Because after all, this is youngest son’s last family vacation.