Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No More Vacations for Russ and Toni

Definitions of "vacation" on the Web:

Leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure; "we get two weeks of vacation every summer"; "we took a short vacation in Puerto Rico" ~ wordnet.princeton.edu

We just returned from a CBGT (C-Brat Get Togther) at Friday Harbor Marina with about 40 of our closest friends. Barry and Patti put the event together, and just as last year, it came off without a hitch. It was a wonderful Friday afternoon through Sunday morning escape on Daydream, with the highlight being the traditional Saturday night potluck. I will probably have some more to say about CBGTs I'm sure, but that is really not my subject today. It is vacations.

This CBGT was a mini-vacation for us. I worked on Thursday, took Friday off, had the weekend, and then Monday morning I was back at work. It was, I think, the fact that I had to go back to work on Monday that was the essence of the long weekend being, you know, a "vacation." In July we are going to take a week's vacation for two CBGTs, one in Bellingham and another in Nanaimo, BC, a week later, with a few days at Birch Bay and a few days cruising in-between. In September we are going to take a two week vacation for a CBGT at Lake Powell, Utah. Vacations. Time away from work.

Russ and Toni came up from their home in Longview, Washington, for the Friday Harbor CBGT. They have a good-looking C-Dory 25 Cruiser named Traveler. We enjoy the heck out of their company. After Friday Harbor, they say they are going on a "vacation." This is impossible for Russ and Toni. Russ and Toni, you see, are recently retired. Now, I readily admit that they are busy and have lots of "projects," like building their 40' x 70' pole building or whatever. They may be busier now than they were when they were working. A lot of retired folks say that. But since they don't go to work, tomorrow, next week or ever, the concept of a vacation as time away from work just doesn't apply to them. They can be on a "trip" or on a "cruise" or "away." But the one thing they can't be on is "vacation."

You don't have to feel sorry for Russ and Toni because they (and lots of other of our Brat friends) can never take another "vacation." They are retired. They can go where they want to, when they want to, and stay as long as they want to. They can go to the Sea of Cortes or cruise the Great Loop for a year. We would choose being retired over being able to take vacations any day. We need one of those backward countdown widgets to December 31, 2013 (or maybe 2012, if we can figure it out). But we aren't retired, and so for now, we have to be content to look forward to our real, authentic vacations. I will not miss being able to take vacations! But vacations are reserved for those of us who are still slogging off to the salt mines!

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