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Ruby slippers


We happen to be blessed living in the Upper Delaware Valley; just the scenery alone can take your breath away. Each summer, our population practically triples when the visitors come to our majestic hills. Meanwhile, many of us are busy planning our summer vacations. We recently returned from ours in South Carolina. It’s beautiful down there, with new sights and sounds; the beaches are great, and there are plenty of activities.

So, we pack for about two weeks, making sure we have everything we will need for our home away from home. This year we packed two beach umbrellas—just in case one didn’t work, which it didn’t—but it was too windy to use the functional one anyway. All the comforts of home, we spared nothing; the car was packed to the gills with barely room for the two of us. Upon arrival at our rental, it took three trips to get everything in the unit. Beach vacations are supposed to be light and breezy—not for this sojourn.

Then there is the preparation to leave home. Besides the packing there are other chores that need to be tended too. Simple things become major tasks when all is considered in the scheme of things. The lawn will need to be mowed, the weeds need to be wacked, mail needs to be stopped, dogs will need to be boarded—a lot of little things pile up and just need to be done. Then there is the car. You’ve got to have the tires checked, maybe the oil changed, and the brakes had to be changed since we’d put that off too. Just getting ready for the vacation is exhausting and we haven’t even left yet!

The day finally comes, and we are up early to pack the car, including the usual argument about where things go. Once the car is finally packed, off we go. Gee whiz, I need a nap. We never leave on time, which begets the inevitable traffic jams that seem to be the bane of our existence once we leave the mountains. Interstate 95 was a parking lot at times, and it was mostly because of the rubber necking. The usual 12-hour trip always stretches to 16, and includes a lot of time to reflect and say, “just what am I doing?”

I mean, I love our home, it is quite comfortable, and we are on 10 acres, with the dogs running free—well, in the confines of our electric fence. We love to garden and the property shows it. I love hot days in the hammock under the shade of our maples, especially after I have cut the lawn and the air holds that wonderful aroma. After about four days of vacation, I am ready to go home because the novelty has worn off. I start to miss the simple things of home like my recliner, my own bed and staring mindlessly into my own fridge.

I am sure Dorothy had it right as she clicked her ruby slippers together. There is no place like home.

vacation, packing


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