Of all the things I had planned for my vacation, I have done none of them. Zero. Zippo. Nada.
I had a big list of things I was going to do now that I had more than two hours in the evening. I was going to do all kinds of projects. There were some projects I had been putting off for months, if not years. There were some projects I had thought of just recently. I can tell you with absolute certainty that absolutely none of the projects will be completed. We did have one big thing planned for the vacation, but that was a family thing and I don’t count that in the list of things I haven’t gotten done. You see, my wife handled the planning for that one and that went off without a hitch.
We spent a couple of days with our daughter and son-in-law in Virginia. We like the fact they live closer now and a trip to see them does not require an entire day in the car. We could do it in a day if we wanted. It helps that it’s basically a straight shot on one road for a couple of hours. Up and back without a problem. As mentioned, my wife — who is much more organized than I — planned that trip. I rode shotgun in the minivan doing navigation duties.
I had made a mental list of things I wanted to accomplish on my vacation. I am in the process of restoring a shotgun and I thought I could work on that. After using all the vinegar in the kitchen to remove the bluing from the gun in the kitchen sink while my wife was in Charlotte, I am banned from working on it inside the house. My wife still has not calmed down after that incident. A side note for those coming to the house this weekend for our younger daughter’s birthday: I am sorry the house smells weird. No, I am not making pickles. It just smells that way. I don’t know how to make pickles and besides, I really don’t like them anyway.
I was going to do yard work. Well, I said I was going to do yard work. I don’t like yard work, but the lawn needs mowing and weeds need pulling and the never-ending onslaught of pine straw needs to be raked to the tree line. I don’t know if it was a blessing that is has rained every evening, making the yard a soggy mess, or a curse. I know the lawn needs mowing because I saw a Bengal tiger near the mailbox. I think the yard will dry out by late October and by that time I might have grown to enjoy six-foot-tall grass.
My wife asked me if I wanted to go through the house and clear out some of the clutter. We could clean out the front closet, hall closet and the bedroom closet. She said something about a yard sale, but I told her we couldn’t do that because I wrote my first column about that and it was only a year ago and might still be fresh in the minds of readers. She said that was no excuse. I explained to her we did not have clutter and she explained that no one she could think of kept every magazine they ever got for six years.
I was supposed to take my daughter driving. She has her permit and needs to get her hours so she can get her actual license. I made the mistake of giving her a new television for her birthday and now she doesn’t ever want to go outside. Ever. I didn’t think there could be a 16-year-old old hermit, but apparently there is.
I have been spending most of my time watching Netflix and eating. I eat out of boredom and I am really bored. I don’t know if it’s because I miss work or I just don’t have anything to do. I said to my wife this morning that I wanted to go back to work. She said I had been complaining for a year that I needed a vacation and now I have one, I want to go back to work. She said I was weird and she didn’t understand me. I told her to go away and not interrupt me while I was binge watching “Hee Haw” on YouTube.
I am halfway through my vacation and have not done a single thing of consequence. My wife keeps telling me this is the purpose of a vacation. I feel like I should be doing something productive. I went to the library this morning and got a couple of books to read while I am on vacation. I can’t remember what I got, but it doesn’t matter. They will get back to the library unread. I have all this free time and can’t find time to read.
Monday, I go back to work. Back to the grind. Back to the hustle and bustle and the hour-long commute. Back to what I know and what keeps me going. I’ll be back to the 12-hour days and the headaches, back to the quick meals and back to being on the go.
Pretty soon, though, I’ll need a vacation.
Contributing columnist and Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.