Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer Vacation

Alice Valdal here, posting for Cathy West, who is still enjoying her summer vacation, dabbling her toes in a lake and inaccessible by Internet.
I'm just back from my own summer trip. I went home, to the place where I was born, walked the lane ways of my childhood, swam in clear, deep water and, one magical night, watched falling stars streak through the heavens. Ah, thought I, summertime!

Then we went visiting, reconnecting with my family, meeting the newest babies and greeting a bridegroom. We lived in a car, navigated strange cities, desperately seeking rest stops, and wondered loudly why "they" can't post signs for the blinking freeways. Ah, thought I, a visit is not a vacation!

Two nights in a stuffy hotel room, too much food, too much noise, too little sleep and I had a cold. With a determined smile, we waved farewell to family, boarded the subway and headed for the airport. On the way, the express bus broke down. We got caught in a cloudburst. We trundled through miles of airport hallways -- desperately seeking a rest stop -- printed our own boarding passes, tagged our own luggage and finally made it to the departure gate, only to encounter a long wait. The incoming plane was late. Finally on board, forty minutes behind schedule, we taxied down the runway. My head ached, my eyes burned but, I figured out the flying time and the time zone changes, and took heart. I'd be home before dark. Then the plane stopped. We waited again, while a brake cooled down. Ah, thought I, I hate holidays!

Landed at last on Vancouver Island. The temperature had dropped and a wind blew hard across the parking lot. At least the cool air felt good on my fevered skin. A short taxi ride and we were home. I dumpedthe suitcase of dirty clothes into the washer, waded through the drifts of cat hair that now covered the pristine floors I'd left behind, popped a cold tablet and fell into bed. Ah, thought I, my own pillow!

Next morning I turned on my computer and found 1000 items in my inbox. I opened the fridge and found it bare. I wandered out to the garden and beheld a jungle. Pumpkins grew through the roses, squash vines strangled the peas, bean plants bent under the weight of their crop. The grass was long, the weeds in full array and tucked into my freezer were buckets of plums my neighbour had plucked from my tree and saved for me. Ah, thought I, what a friend!

Today the laundry is done, I've fruit for jam, simmering on the stove. The cats have forgiven our absence. One is curled on my lap right now. The sun is shining. The lawn is mown, my inbox is empty and this morning's devotional is Matt. 11: 28. Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Ah, think I, rest in the Lord. Now that's a vacation!
Anyone care to share a vacation memory?

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry that your holiday wasn't much of a rest, Alice!

    Who was it who said, "East, West, home's best"?
    There's nothing like seeing the fruits of your labours bubbling on your stove and filling your pantry – and the cat of your heart snuggling in to keep you warm.