Jun 20, 2013

Vacation! I Need A Vacation!!

As of Friday, I am off for a week's vacation.

Our vacation, like most of my vacations growing up, will consist of going to Southern Missouri and visiting with family & friends.  We didn't go last year and it's just about to kill us all!

This whole upcoming week will be spent drinking tea, floating down rivers, doing Silver Dollar City one day, cook-outs, and............there are a couple of important birthday celebrations we are going to celebrate.

The Beautiful Redhead recently turned 21, so we have some straight up partying to do on that score!  Plus the twins will turn 16 this summer.  That is a very important birthday, perhaps the best EVER, as The Beautiful Redhead has sadly learned.  We have had many conversations about how life is never as good as when you can finally DRIVE.  Nothing really compares to that, we have found.  What do you think?

Stay tuned for what I can capture on my camera and get blogged, because we are going to be at the mercy of free wi-fi for my laptop, as we are going to the country.  The real country, where wi-fi is not pervasive as of yet.  
One thing I want to do for sure is get pictures of all the barns we pass on the way.  The same barns I have passed and re passed all my whole long life, making this (at least) annual trip.  Slowly the barns are disappearing and being replaced with metal ones, when they are replaced at all.  So sad, to see barns falling down.  On the other hand, it's a fitting description of America and our culture.  Pay attention, people, it's happening all around us, all the time.

Anyway, we are off.  I myself am even going to try to avoid the news for a whole week.  I doubt I will make it, but I'm going to do my very best.  You can go ahead and watch and worry about it for me.  Just for a week.  Deal?  I promise not to turn into a zombie during my time off.

As for now, I have to make my lists.  Pack.  Make arrangements for the dogs.  They are going to get their own vacation this year, because I couldn't deal with imagining them thinking we had died, or worse, just left them, for a week.  I know that is probably pathetic.  However, I considered it, and I would rather be considered pathetic than have my dogs think we would ever just leave them.  Even though we are, indeed going to do just that.  I guess I could also be considered a hypocrite.  What parent can't???  It made me crazy wondering what they would think if some just showed up to feed them twice a day and they didn't know where we were or if we would come back.  It is entirely possible that they wouldn't think anything, I tell myself.  But in this case my heart handily beat my head, hands down.  So the dogs will spend vacation with their own mom and brother.

Are you taking a vacation this summer?  Will it involve running water and good music?  We can't live without it.  Years ago I during a conversation about how pretty the rivers and creeks were in south Missouri, as compared to north Missouri, because of all the rocks, the twins dubbed the river there The Rock Bottom River.  We thought that was hysterically funny.  It is rock bottomed, as is every body of running water in that area, and I'm sure it has seen a few "rock bottom" moments, mostly to do with float trips, so we just call it that now. Many is the relationship that has hit the rocks during a float trip. True story!  In fact, a float trip is a good way to judge your suitability for each other in tense situations, not to mention how well you work together as a team.   It may say Elk River on the map, but my kids know it as The Rock Bottom River.  Oh, and if you are a people watcher, you can be happy on the river ALL. DAY. LONG.

Soon we will be off, and taking time off.  Time off from the news in order to sit and discuss things that matter on more personal levels.  Spending time with family, floating, looking at rocks, sitting with our feet in running water while we drink sweet tea and laugh helplessly, mostly at ourselves.  Old memories will be aired and new ones will be made.

Visiting the cemetery, where I almost always find a sad new surprise, then down to 43 bridge, where I always feel bad if I drive by without stopping.  We will drive under the bluffs of Noel, something that always freaks people who've never been there OUT!  I can't even tell you how many times I've tried to prepare people for this, only to be told that they have seen "bluffs" before. Like it's no big deal.  By the time the bluffs are over us the same people are scrunching down in their seat asking if this is really safe.  I just shrug.  I would not have ever sworn it is "safe", mostly because that would depend on some lawyers interpretation or definition of "safe".  What, in this life, is really safe?  *shrugs*  Good question!  Or the times I've been assured by first-timers that they have seen "chicken houses" before and then if we arrive at night they thing the chicken houses are an airport because of the lights and the "chicken houses" being as long as a football field.  Good times!  Good times!!  They thought they had seen bluffs and chicken houses before, but they hadn't REALLY see bluffs and chicken houses before until they came to the southwest corner of Missouri, where it meets Oklahoma and Arkansas.  Red dirt roads and seed ticks, we will take it all in.   I can already feel the tension lessening in my shoulders.

I need a vacation.  I will report as I am able, but plan to take a lot of pictures.  It's getting hard to get us all together at the same time anymore.  My children are in the process of making their own lives.  The nerve of them!! ;)  It's a process we are growing into.  Priorities are a very important part of life, make sure yours bring you only joy.

Spend your time only on what is truly important to you, and you will have a happy life, always.