Sunday, August 29, 2010
I haven't taken a going-away vacation,
or, in fact, ANY declared,I'm-not-working-for-two-weeks time in 5 years. Freelancers! What about you? Who else hasn't?
So I declare from now until the Tuesday after Labor Day TIME OFF. Time out. If you (like me) can't go anyplace, make a vacation at home -- do things you don't normally do. Me, I baked a peach pie yesterday (gluten free) which the guests declared the best they'd ever eaten.
Today I'm going to the beach.
And every day from now until the Tuesday after Labor Day, I'll do something really fun -- probably, by the water. Noel Streatfeild writes in both her autobiography and her Bell family books about a holiday by the sea, "a mountain top of a holiday; one by which all the others could be measured. Afterwards the family all knew what was meant by 'nearly as good as St.Anne's.' " (Most of their holidays were rather horrible for the children: their father lived in a dreamland where everyone loved swimming in cold English water under grey skies, lips blue all day (the picture below is me and my siblings at an English beach -- but our parents didn't make us swim! Neither did anyone else's! Most kids didn't even wear bathingsuits!),
as much as he did, and relished staying in out of the way cottages with no books, no games, nothing at all for the children to do. The children's real feelings would slip out afterwards in casual comments:
"Isn't it glorious to be home after that awful Poppy-land!" or, when drinking some new medicine:
"It's nearly as nasty as Derbyshire.") But this was a real, true, happy family vacation.
Of all the places my family went -- and as anyone who's read Blow Out the Moon knows, we travelled a lot -- OUR best vacation was when we drove to Okracoke Island, in those days only accessible by four-car ferry (just visible in the small picture, very clear if you look at it full-size)
and inhabited by not very many people and a herd of wild ponies. One of the many highlights of the vacation -- to us, at least -- was when one
stuck his head through our (closed) car window, smashing it and not hurting himself one bit. Grace is on Okracoke as I write this: Grace, I hope your time there is as happy as ours was!
As for my vacation: no babysitting, no client work, and if, or as they say in math, IFF ("if and only if") I want to, my own writing. I bet this will bring something new to it, whether I write or not over the vacation.
"One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach, waiting for a gift from the sea." --Anne Morrow Lindbergh (probably mis-spelling her name, but the vacation starts now, with not worrying about things like that!)