Not many vacations…

Last August, Tom and I went to Hollywood, Florida for a work-related convention for six days. He was to be in meetings all day. My plan was to relax by the pool, read books on my Kindle, and soak up the warmth of the sun, none of which occurred. It was either windy, rainy, or cold.  

I spent each of the six days, going back inside, going up the elevator to our room on the 34th floor to get out of my bathing suit and into warm clothes. An hour later, I did the reverse, the sky would clear to a sunny 80 degrees.  

I worked out twice a day in the well-equipped hotel health club, reading four books and at times, wandered aimlessly around the hotel, hoping to strike up a conversation with another bored soul, such as myself.

The sound of the plastic card in the slot of the hotel room door made me squeal with delight as Tom opened the door at the end of each day, a wide grin on his face, his blue eyes twinkling. I couldn’t have been happier to see him.  

Our evenings were spent talking and people watching at various convention festivities, gabbing over candlelight in cozy local restaurants, or walking along the well-lit boardwalk on the inter-coastal waterway, conveniently located outside of our plush hotel.

This trip was a vacation for me, but unfortunately, work for Tom. We seldom went on vacation these past 21 years together, so content at our lakeside home, enjoying our vacation days as “staycation days” mulling around the house, moseying in our yard, fixing this and that, preparing for the upcoming season, entertaining our family and friends and providing a safe haven for our little dogs, who never once saw the inside of “doggy daycare” (Willie, the last of our little dogs, went to “doggie heaven” four months before this trip).

When we returned from Hollywood, Florida we both sighed, relieved to be back home, immediately nestling back into our familiar routines, our comfy chairs, our favorite TV shows, and our homemade meals, always prepared with the utmost of love. We were quite content to be back and to be together.  

No need to wander around the house looking for someone to entertain me. He came home each night after a hard day’s work. No need to change back and forth from bathing suit to clothes. I just leave the suit on.  No need to ride an elevator to the 34th floor, although I do walk down a flight of stairs and back up again while doing laundry or, up a flight and back down to prepare a guest room for company. Cozy candlelight dinners are had right in our own well-appointed kitchen.

I unpacked our overly stuffed suitcases, observing that over half the items we had packed were never worn; the extra shoes, the snacks we never ate, the toiletries we never opened. A day later, the dirty clothes were clean and back in the closet, the suitcases back up in the attic, the snacks back in the kitchen drawers. We were at home. We were happy.

How in the world, how on this planet, how in heaven’s name will we get rid of all of our “stuff,” pack all of our clothes in a maximum of 44 pounds each, be gone for 946 days (so far), have no permanent home, no TV shows in English, no comfy stuffed chair. Are we crazy or what?