contest Entry, "the" ideal vacation. Fiction, has never happened, probably never will.
When my eyes opened this morning, sunlight was flooding the room. I lay there enjoying the comfort of the bed, knowing I had no where I had to go, no one coming over. I struggled up with no dread of having overslept, and hung my feet over the side of the bed. I loved the way the room looked, nicely decorated, no clutter, spacious. I stood on the plush carpet and turned to make the bed. No sense in being a slob, even if I am on vacation.
As I walked about the room in bare feet, I couldn’t help but muse that I don’t have this much space at home. The closet at home is one step away from the bed; the chest is a step away on the other side, just room enough to open the drawers if I sit on the bed or step to one side. I waltzed across the room to the dresser where I had set out my wrinkle creams and prescription drugs. I always keep a bottle of water near the medicine. I took my blood pressure medicine and Vitamin D, which can’t be had before or after food.
I appreciate every detail. This vacation house is larger and nicer than my home. But it should be. One week here costs more than a month at home, utilities and taxes included.
I have a master bedroom and bath. Since I’m not sharing with anyone, I get the best place in the house. I’ve never had the best anything, so this is a treat. Whether as a kid, or a college girl with buddies, I never got the very best room. And with my husband, every vacation was a disaster. Vacations helped me learn to hate him, so they don’t even count in my vacation history. This one is a treat for me!
Having dressed in lightweight clothes and fancy flip flops, I ventured into the great room. The first night I stocked up on eggs, coffee, bread, deli meats, cheese, and a small mayo. I would have simple food, with minimal clean-up, or go to restaurants all week.
Being here alone, I won’t have to vacuum all week or sweep up the kitchen twice a day. Imagine, no appointments or meetings of any kind all week! No company. I looked out the window at the beautiful yard. No grass cutting, or weeds to pull, leaves to rake. I refused to think about the yard I’d have to face next week.
I don’t mind being alone most of the time. My own company is not bad. I have my laptop and plans to write. I’m going to see at least one movie this week, just to get out. The house comes with cable and Wi-Fi, but I refuse to check email or Facebook until I go home. As long as I have the means to get out, I don’t get cabin fever staying at home. I won’t miss anyone until I see one too many beautiful sunsets alone. Some beauty can be borne alone; but when it abounds, it needs to be shared.
Sometimes at work, I get sick of hearing my name called so frequently. I smile when I realize no one will utter my name all week. I will have to call home, just to make sure Mom is okay. I have people staying with her. I let them know I got here okay, but I worry that something may happen while I’m not overseeing things. However, they have my number, so they can call me if she falls or gets sick. One of them is an RN, so she’s probably safer than when I’m there. She just won’t be as comfortable asking them for help or complaining about things. I repeat the Serenity Prayer to myself, and remember there are many things beyond my control. I really need this vacation. I haven’t been on one in five years. I went 12 years without one prior to that last one. This is my time.
I appreciated an hour and a half of writing without interruption, then took a walk in the yard for exercise. The flower beds are well tended. Too bad I am alone. There is a built-in grill and outdoor refrigerator on the patio, that blends with the wall on one side. There’s a wonderful outdoor entertainment area. I walk down the street and admire the creative homes in the area. When I get back to the house, I grab some cold water, my charged up Kindle and prop my feet up for over an hour. I feel hungry and realize I haven’t eaten in a while. Should I go out early? I can suit myself.
I freshen up and change. I go for a ride to see what’s in the vicinity. I find some shops that look like a way to pass time. When my stomach growls in the store, I start a conversation with a lady browsing there. She’s very nice and recommends a locally owned seafood restaurant. Since I’m at the shore, that seems a good choice.
The restaurant has a family atmosphere, and it takes no time to get in a conversation with some year round residents. They tell me the best places to get a bargain, where to service the car, where to go fishing. I learn all about their children and a grandbaby on the way. They moved here after the kids all went off to college. They were still working, but wanted a change. So now they own a medical practice here. People get sick on vacation, too, or accidents. The year round residents had been going further inland for medical care, and still do for specialists, but now can tend to their routine checkups and head colds here at home. By the time they retire, the grandbabies will want to be near the beach.
It’s actually a half hour drive to the beach, more to some of the more popular spots. But I burn easily and attract mosquitoes. I’m content not to worship the sun or broil in oil. At some point this week I will dip my toes in the ocean and listen to the roar of the waves.
At home, I turn on some music and read for a few hours. Then I turn on the TV and discover a wonderful old movie. I’m in heaven. I sip a diet soda. I go to bed late. There are no messes to clean up. No alarm to set. I know this is going to be a great week. I wash my face and apply my special serum. I admire my freshly flossed teeth in the magnifying mirror, and apply lip cream. I have no excuse to skip any beauty routine. This week is all about me. Am I selfish? Maybe. It’s a first time experience. I’ll find out if I like it.