A Simple Vacation

This is my view as I sat here just about at the end of a week’s vacation. My work has become increasingly demanding to the point where taking a half day off still feels like work. Even a day off gets lost in the business of the rest of the week.

Las fall I realized the need to take an entire week off to rest, reset, and just get away. So for every quarter of this year, I planned a week off. My original intent for this week off was to fly to Phoenix to visit my brother and see the Grand Canyon. My husband wanted to see Hoover Dam since we didn’t get there on our last trip to Vegas, and then drive back to Phoenix to fly home. All in a week’s time. All crammed in between two weeks of work. Flight delays due to bad weather, car rentals, finding hotels, the cost of hotels and meals, all seemed like an insurmountable amount of energy and stress added to my daily work.

Instead, I chose to spend a week outdoors at our hunting land. Well, almost a week - Monday to Friday. Thus, there I was looking at these beautiful blue skies, listening to the birds chirp, and breathing the crisp fresh air. We did have to delay the start to Tuesday due to heavy rains, but then just extended the trip to Saturday. So easy to do. No flights to change, no other plans to readjust. Granted, our children are older, and we did leave the 20 year old home alone for five days for the first time ever. He himself enjoyed peace and quiet in the house, and the whole garage to himself to work on his cars.

This was a truly peaceful week. Being outside is such a refreshing change for me after working in an office all week. I hiked, ate healthy food, sat outside and read three books, and went to bed early (fresh air will do that to you.) A day was spent hauling branches as we cleared fallen trees, and one day we took a road trip (the long way around) to a quilt store in a nearby town to buy a few pieces of fabric I needed. I tried to take a few nature pictures, was lazy, and went out to eat a couple of times - it is a vacation right?

We have an approximately 700 foot pole barn with part of it for garage-type storage, and part to “camp” in. I use that term lightly because while we do have to haul in water from an outside well, and get up at night to feed the wood stove, we also have a generator for electricity that powers a microwave and satellite TV. Limited internet through my phone helps me unplug, though I know I can still access it so I’m not completely able to let it go. I did promise my boss and myself to not check work email all week and I did stick to that promise. Because it is a small place, we get outside more than if we were at home. I can guarantee you that I would not sit outside in my jacket, in 40 degree weather, eating my breakfast if I were at home, but I do there.

Back to occupying my time - I just love to be outside. The fresh air of any temperature is such a welcome experience. Hauling branches all day under clouds and cool temperatures is a great workout. Hiking up to the top of our hills to see the rock outcroppings is a definite challenge. It is a pretty steep climb, but I was determined.

Our hike in the evening was the perfect way to end the day. As we climbed the hill, a dog bark echoed in the valley. In answer, coyotes howled in the distance as the sky started turning its ombre colors of grey blue to purple to pink. The resulting sunset set the woods on fire.

The feeling of freedom settled over me as I walked along. A feeling that lasted the whole week. This simple vacation was just what I needed and one I hope to repeat again in July.