Remember that elementary school assignment?
I’m sure we’ve all written at length about our summer vacations once back in the classroom after Labor Day.
As youngsters our summer essays focused upon…us. Where we went and with whom. What fun things we did. Who our playmates were. What new purchases we made. And so on.
Young adults with money in their pockets would more than likely write with the same focus. Where they went for spring break. Florida or Mexico? How many shots of tequila did they down at one sitting? With whom did they spend the night?
Successful professionals continue the trend, promising themselves to go bigger…or go home.
It’s when we start footing the bills for those summer vacations that the focus is off our wants. The constant cha-ching of the cash register has a sobering effect. We find ourselves settling for Residence Inns with their all-you-can-eat buffet breakfasts. Sharing a crowded beach or an overflowing pool is just fine. We make do with cheap souvenirs that eventually get tossed to the back of a drawer.
Having experienced most of these stages…spring breaks were never on my radar…I must admit to liking my most recent summer vacation best of all.
What I did during this my 65th summer vacation
Wanting to spend as much of my vacation outdoors as possible, I convinced family members to gather at a beach near where my husband, daughter, and I were staying. Because we live away from the rest of my husband’s siblings and their families, they very generously acquiesced to my wish.
The Sunday we arrived, eight of my husband’s brothers and sisters as well as nieces, nephews and their children gathered for a huge family potluck. The adults sat around talking as the children frolicked in the ocean nearby. The older ones looking after the youngest. Laughter hung in the air as soft island breezes deflected the heat from the afternoon sun.
As has always been the tradition, the women set about arranging the bountiful assortment of food…salads, meats, breads, fruits, desserts, and beverages. No one went hungry. Just the opposite. Bellies bulged and pant waists had somehow shrunk a few inches.
Lanterns lit the darkness as conversations dwindled. Appetites had been satisfied. Youthful energies expended.
After bidding ALOHA, everyone took their leave making plans to meet again. Same time. Same place.
And so it was that we sat about on two other occasions, enjoying each other’s company long after the sun set.
For the price of a few hearty meals, my life is richer for the memories of this…
…one of my best summer vacations…ever.