Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 17, 2012

As you read this, Mr. Ashbury and our daughter are lounging on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Ah, the sand, the surf, the sun.

The joy of having the house to myself, more or less, for an entire week!

Now, I don’t want you to think for one moment that I don’t miss the old dear. Of course, I do. However we have been married an awfully long time. Not as long as some, but much longer than others. And a little time apart is not a bad thing at all.

We’ve never lived in each other’s pockets. And as a matter of fact, our first experiment with the concept of “separate vacations” happened many years ago, when we were still butt-deep in the raising of our three kids.

Mind you, that first “mini” solo vacation was in the form of separate weekends enjoyed at a downtown Toronto hotel.

As I recall, mine was spent swimming in the pool, indulging in a solo restaurant meal or two, and sleeping. I did a lot of sleeping. The weekend was memorable for me, because it was an entire weekend of not taking care of others.

This is the second time my beloved has taken our daughter on a vacation to the tropics. As you can imagine, it’s not easy for a single mother to manage to afford something like a one week resort stay—although they’re not as expensive as they used to be. In this instance, however, our motivation was different than just giving her a break.

Since May, Jennifer has taken her daddy to work nearly every single morning. I no longer routinely have to awaken at 5 am to drive a 50 mile round trip.

I didn’t mind the driving, per se. It was the part that had me rolling out of bed so early that was beating me up. After taking my beloved to work, I’d then have to come home and go back to bed for at least an hour and a half. On mornings when I had the children to get up and get ready for school, that return to bed often didn’t happen until after 9 am.

This, of course, meant I wasn’t out of bed and at work until 11 or later. Then I’d have to leave the house again at 3:30 in the afternoon to pick him up from work—usually just as I was really getting into my story.

A lot of days, Jenny also makes that return trip in the afternoon to bring her daddy home. That’s 100 miles a day all told—and more than 2 hours of my time each day—that I’ve gotten back.

Jenny and her father really are two peas in a pod. She has just as much redneck in her as he does. They spend a lot of time together, and I’m very grateful their relationship is so strong. We’ve not been in communication since they left, but I know they’re having a very good time together, and I don’t have to worry as they will, very likely, keep each other out of trouble.

Or, conversely, they’ll share whatever trouble they tumble into.

I’m just as happy to stay home and get some writing done—interspersed with just enough housework to keep the place functioning. Yes, I know I sound boring to those of you who aren’t writers. You’re likely thinking, “but don’t you do that anyway?”

The answer of course is yes, I do. Vacation for me isn’t the same as vacation for the non-writer. Vacation for me is writing, as always, only in a different locale.

My favorite for this year of 2012 took place in February when we were in Freeport, in the Bahamas. I had a cabana all to myself, the ocean breezes cooling my brow, the view of the pool and the ocean before me, and my very favorite thing: the sensation of the keyboard at the end of my finger tips. The words flowed and I very happily kept up.

My beloved enjoys the ocean, and the sun, and the possibility, however remote, that he might encounter the hint of a hurricane—since it is still the season.

Two very different definitions of heaven—which is what vacation, by anyone’s measure, is supposed to be all about.

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