Man, I need a vacation. Truth is, as I write this, I am leaving tomorrow for an eight-day beach trip with my wife, youngest son, and his significant other, but the vacation preparation has absolutely worn me out — and we ain’t left yet. It also brings home to me the realization that we all make our own life choices and, perhaps unsurprisingly, many of my choices seem to bring big challenges. (I am not, in my advancing years, always up for that on a daily basis.) And one of my big challenges is that I have too much going on — again. My own damn fault.
Even though we’ve not yet hit the road, it seems that with the pre-trip preparation, I already have managed to spend enough money that I could have paid my son’s college tuition this year. The thing is, this is no fancy vacation. Many of you travel to the same area for sun, sand, and seafood. Please allow me to share a few miscellaneous observations gained from the past several days:
Of course, you can’t go on vacation without getting your late-model car serviced. The summary service report said what?! And really, $135 for the front and back wiper blades alone? I guess that “absolutely” needs to be done prior to driving 10 hours each way, along with everything else imaginable. After all, the report says so. And I thought I was just getting an oil change and inspection. Ouch!
Is it fair to wonder why a pricey vacation rental space would lack most of life’s basic necessities? Amazon and I have now filled enough boxes with paper products, laundry detergent, and new towels (bath and beach) to keep the cardboard box industry busy for a week. (Since I wrote this, my Ring doorbell has just shown another delivery.) I feel like I am supplying all the campers at Camp Carson for a week.
Beach chairs? Had to have four new ones. Of course, my eldest son in Indianapolis just moved into a new apartment with a terrace and no chairs. Take these, I said in another moment of incoherent thought. Why not go ahead and buy four new ones this year? They will likely end up at a University of Louisville frat house by year’s end anyway.
Last and not least is the “War and Peace”-style document my wife wrote for the three (!) separate neighbors who will be looking after our house. There are newspapers and mail to collect, exterior lighting to turn off and on, alarms to set, and pets to feed and let outside. And certainly, in this heat — even with my irrigation system, which has paid for a good portion of the new water treatment facility on Waterworks Road — there are planters, urns, and pots to be watered and fountains filled. I could go on, but neither you nor I want me to. Again … my own damn fault. And how dare my next door neighbor be out of town while I am traveling. Talk about selfish!
I do know just who has created this life filled with logistical challenges, both home and away. A good (and much wiser) friend of mine who recently decided to sell his house has had “enough” of the upkeep. Moving into a condo will allow someone else to do the work, and he can just shut the door behind him. That doesn’t sound bad sometimes, like right now.
In the meantime, sometime tomorrow, after loading the car and making sure everything is all buttoned up at least two hours after our goal time, we will set off down the road. Getting out of town is difficult at best. Getting out of town to go to the beach? Priceless.
Now, let me tell you what it takes to leave our business for vacation … Another time, perhaps.
As always, I look forward to hearing from most of you.
Todd A. Tucker