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I guess the big trend since we all found out we are poor (you did get the memo didn’t you?) is for folks to give up their dreams of travel to exotic climes and just stay put. Everyone is acting like this is a new phenomenon, so it’s my guess they didn’t grow up in Indiana.
Sure, there was always some blonde, blue-eyed teacher’s favorite who would eventually become either a cheerleader or prom queen, who came back to school every September and proceeded to wow all the cute boys during Show and Tell with her tales of Disneyland, or the beach, or because of our geographic location – even a trip to Kentucky.
This certainly stole my thunder, because what boy in his right mind was going to think my grandfather’s false teeth or my collection of rocks could hold a candle to that sort of nonsense?
Heck, we spent every summer vacation at home when I was a kid. Dad usually worked his regular job and then took freelance work painting signs for the Indiana State Fair to bring in a little extra money. We thought we’d really arrived (or I suppose gone someplace) if we got to visit him at the fairgrounds.
I would make up stories about vacations because I was a kid, and kids want to fit in. I caused quite a stir when I told the next-door neighbor I’d gone with my mom and dad on their honeymoon to Alaska. (I chose Alaska because I figured since Mrs. Bayless had probably never been there, she couldn’t ask me questions about it.) My mother still gives me grief about how the neighbors raised their eyebrows and shook their heads for months afterwards whenever she and daddy ran into them.
One summer my brother Ted did manage to get a sort of mini-vacation when mom took us to the local Kroger’s and somehow forgot him when we left. I don’t even think he noticed we were gone because when we finally got back he was still looking at the cheap toys they routinely carried in supermarkets back then. Although they usually broke the first time you played with them, there’s hardly a kid alive who didn’t throw some kind of conniption fit over a cellophane bag full of poorly made plastic soldiers, noise makers, Chinese finger traps, or rings that not only turned your finger green but pinched the bejesus out of you when you tried to size them. Boy oh boy, those were the days!
While I was going through chemo and radiation, I took some staycations in my mind. I would always let my thoughts float away to a place that was more enjoyable (which admittedly would be just about any place else)! So I guess a staycation can actually be a form of meditation or guided imagery. I wonder if spending two weeks with George Clooney is out of the question?
I’ve decided this year I want to take a Stay-Away-Cation. Although this hasn’t made it into Wikipedia yet, to my way of thinking a Stay-Away-Cation means you get to spend a week or two where absolutely no one can bother you. No politics. No commercials. No emails. No voicemails. No conflicts. No good news. No bad news. No promises. No excuses. Just simple peace and quiet, and time to think whatever you want – or nothing at all.
Since most of us are already carrying a lot of baggage, I think all we have to do is shut down the computer, turn off the phone and lock the door…. Are we there yet?