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When is a vacation not a vacation?

Posted: October 12, 2012 5:09 p.m.
Updated: October 15, 2012 5:00 a.m.

I don’t know exactly when it happened -- sometime after I got married, I suspect -- but I can’t remember the last time I took a vacation that was, actually a vacation.

Today, right now, I am not in my office at the C-I. I’m taking the week off, one of several vacations I’m granted at this stage in my career.

I’m not on some long trip -- at least not yet (more in a moment) -- but at home, catching up on some home projects. Most notably, according to my wife, we should be painting our office/laundry room. Never heard of such a thing? Neither had I until we moved into our humble abode a little more than seven years ago.

Anyway, we’ve wanted to paint it for a long time, even splashing some samples up on a couple of wall -- and then never got around to going through with it. Apparently, vacation time is time to paint.

Vacation: a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday.

That definition, supplied by, doesn’t seem to fit this scenario I’m going through.

Of course, the boys are in school now, so it’s not like I can just yank them out of class and head for, say New York before the weather turns any cooler. My wife is getting some vacation time, but not enough to whirl away even if the boys were available.

So what’s a vacationing guy stuck at home to do? Well, what I would like to do is rest and relax. I’m in the middle of rereading Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series; the last book comes out in January. I could spend more time doing that.

There’s a few TV shows I downloaded earlier this summer that I’d like to play back. I’m a little bit of a gamer, so I could get back to whacking some trolls or building up my latest civilization. I haven’t gotten to see The Amazing Spider-Man yet and there’s a few other movies I’d like to see. Choices, choices.

Back in July, I started earmarking blog entries by Jack Limpert, former editor of The Washingtonian, called About Editing and Writing. I have yet to read a single one; I could finally get in to those and maybe comment on a few.

But, alas, the office/laundry room awaits for us to cover its blue-and-white striped wallpaper with a yellow we hope will brighten up the place.

I’m not really upset with the idea of painting the room, and perhaps our sons’ room, too. They could really use it, and I do enjoy the satisfaction that comes from completing things like that. It’s the actual work I’m not looking forward to.

Dammit, Jim, this is a vacation, not a home improvement project.

LOL all you want, but I’ve been wanting a real vacation for years. For a long time now, we’ve either gone places because we have to or stayed home to work on something.

The boys and I will be going out of town later this week, heading up north to visit one of my sisters for the weekend. There’s a particular reason we’re heading up there, but I’ll leave that to next week’s column.

One of these days, though, I plan to take the entire family somewhere just because we durn well feel like it. Or, if we need to stay home, just lounge around doing nothing but whatever we feel like.

My wife has said that day won’t come until both boys have graduated and are out of the house. She’s probably right.

When that day comes, though, watch out! I might just have to ask for all three weeks of my vacation time all at once so I can spend one week puttering around the house, the second week traveling to a few cool places, and then spending the last week resting up from the traveling.

In reading some of my National Geographics, I’ve had a hankering to head out west and see some places I’ve either never seen or haven’t visited since I was a kid. Traveling a little further north than usual might be fun. I’ve only been in Canada once. I was about 5 years old and barely remember any of it. I’d love to visit Toronto and Quebec.

In the meantime, it’s time to buckle down and get to work. There’s more to do and the boys get out of school at 2:30 p.m. That is one advantage to being on vacation this week: I get to spend a little extra time with my sons. Now, that’s a vacation... right?


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