Dear Reader, I hope you will appreciate that although I did write a rather heated thousand word essay (diatribe!) with a decidedly political theme, I chose to offer you a “vacation” from the turmoil of the dissension of these last weeks. They have been harrowing and upsetting to so many on “both sides of the aisle,” and you don’t need another would-be pundit to tell you how to think or feel. So, I leave you with love and hope for our future, and ask that you pray daily along with me for our great country and her leaders. Amen.
Bill is in the breakfast room, head bent low over the colorful array of odd shapes belonging to a 1,500 piece jigsaw puzzle. The temperature in Senoia is 46 degrees. The cold rain continues for the third day. I am in the den leafing through the latest edition of Coastal Living magazine whose cover promises the Best Beach Vacations (in the world, I presume). Too late; we have already made our beach reservations, so Cannes in the south of France is out this year and so is Brighton Beach in England, both places I have dreamed of going but probably never will.
No, it’s Gulf Shores, Alabama once again for us. There is something quite comforting in going back to the same inn, hotel, or cottage year after year, isn’t there? Although I often whined that we should buy a little place at the beach or better yet, closer to home, a cabin in the North Georgia Mountains, which never happened either. Of course, I am exceedingly grateful for our lovely home, and Bill was probably right that we did not need the worry and expense of maintenance nor the fear of burglary or vandalism of a second home. He rightfully stated that we had our hands full with one residence and could enjoy different locales come vacation time, and not be “tied to the same old tired spot every year.”
Well, he has always been the pragmatist in the family (or spoil-sport in my estimation), but he won out and the little cabin in the wild-woods never materialized for me. Which will explain my open jealousy of my friend’s Sheridan and James’ delightful new retreat beside a rushing stream just outside of Cleveland, Georgia. I, too, love to fry up a mess of river trout over an open fire in a big black skillet, sit under the stars roasting marshmallows and toasting my toes in front of the dying embers. I, too, adore a clear night sky with thousands of twinkling stars and bright planets and the Milky Way spread across the heavens.
The last time we went camping under the stars was twelve years ago. I have the pictures to remind me of that sweet, sweet October night we scrunched up together with my two grandchildren and their parents in a pop-up tent. My grandson Carter, sleeping on the big queenside bed with Bill and I, woke me in the middle of the night with his little frightened voice in my ear. “Grandmother. I hear a BEAR! Is that a bear, Grandmother?” His little body was shaking. I tuned my practiced ear to the growling sound and comforted the precious little boy. “Don’t be afraid. That’s your Granddaddy snoring…try to go back to sleep.” Right. Like I had been trying to do for forty years!
Now I got the bug several years ago for us to buy one of those cute little teardrop campers. The desire was whetted by a show over in Tyrone of a dozen or so “glampers,” I think they are called. Cute. Cute. Cute! Or maybe it is the people who own and decorate these mini campers who are the “glampers.” Whatever. Oooo. I wanted one so bad I could taste it. I even went on line searching for a good buy; then I would convince Bill of all the advantages of having a vacation cottage we could pull around to different locales, thus avoiding the “same old tired spot” he wanted to avoid.
WoW! Those little gems are expensive! I did find one for two thousand dollars, but it had been gutted and we would have to replace the entire interior. That one didn’t last any longer than a snowflake. Snapped right up. Everything else was over ten thousand dollars! Yep. A little tin can (that’s what they are really called) camper costs as much as one hundred nights in a hotel. Did I do the math right? It’s hard to argue with Bill’s reasoning that we can enjoy an extended ten night vacation for the next ten years without the struggle of hooking up a camper and all the other work associated with owning your own little travel trailer.
So anyway, we will be spending seven nights in our timeshare in Gulf Shores this October. We both agree that we actually do like going to the same place every year. We have learned the best places to eat (with a view of the sea and sky), to shop, go to the movies, and even to play Bingo (just kidding, although we did that in Vero Beach one year…another story!). Even seeing some of the same folks year after year is a treat. And with the years becoming increasingly shorter (Mama was right; time does fly the older you get), it seems more like weeks instead of months before we are there again!
But since I gave up my “glamping” dream, Bill will have to splurge on a 5-day cruise, or perhaps an eight-day coach trip out West this year would be exciting. Those starry skies are calling!