Monday, August 22, 2011

What I Did On My Summer Staycation

One might remember that the first writing assignment upon return to school was an essay describing, "what I did on my summer vacation." Back when I was in school, I could describe riding in a car with my family going cross-country, and over a six-year period, we stopped in every state in the contiguous United States. It was mandatory to stop in the state's capital, but we also would see whatever sights there were to see while in that state (for example, we spent three weeks in California alone.)

These days, I do not travel for vacation any more. My partner is unable to sit in an airplane for any length of time due to his disability (not the brain surgery, but his chronic hip condition which is inoperable). I can't stand being cooped up in a car for more than a few hours. I just go crazy. And regretfully, I have a chronic health condition that makes it difficult for me to ride my Harley more than a few hundred miles each day. Altogether, I have found that it's easier to stay home. (It's cheaper that way, too.)

I had the last week off from work -- my first time off since I started the new job. I began my "staycation" on Friday the 12th on a high note, by going on a motorcycle ride with some friends on a lovely day. We had a great time, and didn't get lost.

Frankly, I forgot what I did on the weekend... usual activities in caring for my senior pals, repairing or installing things for them in their homes, taking them grocery shopping, and spending time with my partner and my brother (and his wife) who are visiting.

I got busy on Monday the 15th with work in our yard, repairing a garden wall that had been damaged by the freeze-thaw cycle over some harsh winters. I got very tired of being stung by yellow jackets (bees/wasps) that had built a nest in the soil of that garden.

Tuesday was my birthday. It began brightly with a warm snuggle with my partner who had taken the day off. I was "kidnapped" by five senior pals and taken to breakfast. That was fun. Then my brother, his wife, and I went to visit a niece who had delivered twin boys three weeks earlier. It was great to meet our Great Nephews.

Late that afternoon, my partner bought a bushel of Maryland steamed crabs fresh from the Chesapeake Bay. We picked crabs for hours. This is my favorite meal, and is easy for my partner to "prepare." My brother and his wife enjoyed it, as well, though I think my sister-in-law grew tired of crab-picking after the first two. It does take patience -- and we kept telling her that it's really not the crabs, but the social experience of crab-picking that makes it so much fun.

Wednesday, I brought my partner to a world-class hospital where he had his non-cancerous brain tumor "resolved." He was released later that evening. I spent Thursday and Friday by his side as he recovered. He recovered very quickly and well.

Saturday was promising to be a gorgeous day, so I brought my brother to a Harley dealership up north of us to rent a Harley for a day. He rented one like the one that I have, and we rode together for about 150 miles, stopping for lunch and gas and stretch breaks. We didn't know where we were going, but we had a great time riding together. His wife, by the way, was picked up by one of our sisters to go do girly things (like shopping.) I had a senior pal who my partner likes very much stay the day with him, just in case he needed anything and to make me feel less guilty leaving him alone so soon after surgery while going to ride motorcycles with my brother.

Sunday, yesterday, was sort of a wash-out. We awoke to the sounds of a thunderstorm and heavy rain. I was dismayed, because my brother and I were supposed to return that rental motorcycle before 10am to avoid another day's rental fee. Fortunately, the rain stopped and the pavement dried, so my brother and I could return the rental Harley, and then I could take him back home. And yes, he rode as my passenger on my Harley -- two guys on a Harley. (Though some nutcase at the Harley rental shop had to make a homophobic wisecrack. My brother said something to him and shut him up. I detest narrow-minded ding-dongs who think that they always have to say something... stupid.)

As soon as my brother and I got home, my sister-in-law had prepared lunch for all of us. I parked my Harley in the garage and then the storm warnings began to sound again on my alert systems at home, and soon enough, it was raining hard again.

After lunch, my brother and sister-in-law took my truck and left to visit more family, while my partner and I sat in our basement and watched a movie together.

Back to work today (Monday).

Kinda boring, rather bland, but this is what I did on my Staycation. No more time off again until Christmas. It's great that I love my job, though, because it makes work something that I look forward to doing (and using my Harley to get there.)

Life is short: keep busy, share joy, and show those you love that you love them.

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