Over time, writer recovers from vacation blues

Over time, writer recovers from vacation blues
"Why would we do that?" I wondered aloud, when my husband first suggested that we take a summer vacation not long after we were married 35 years ago.

"Because it's fun?" his words strained into a question.

Having grown up pretty much vacationless, I glazed over at the thought of it.


"It's good to get away?" my husband continued, hopeful that taking a vacation would resonate with me.

"Well, I suppose," I replied, dragging my feet as we planned our first vacation together.

In the years that followed, I tried to understand my opposition. Was there something in my childhood that shaped such resistance to vacationing?

My parents owned and operated a paint and hardware business with the help of the six of us kids. The business was like an insatiable child that demanded constant attention. At the end of the day, there was precious little time for anything else but running the business.

Or come to think of it, maybe the idea of going away on vacation seemed unnatural because of the geographic regions where I grew up: the Allegheny Mountains, PA; Lake Erie, PA; Chautauqua Lake, NY; and Niagara Falls.

Essentially, I had "vacation" at my disposal with beaches, parks, and tennis courts all within walking distance. The mountains, the Falls, and Lake Erie were short roadtrips.

Although no matter the cause of my disdain for vacations, time has cured me. Today, I greet vacation as a dear old friend who takes me out of my element and offers me new wisdom.

Now, every glimmering thought of vacation, with its rituals of leaving and returning, has power over me.

A resident of Southeast South Dakota for more than 30 years, Paula Damon is a popular columnist, keynote speaker, and freelance writer. Her columns have won first-place national and state awards in The Federation of Press Women competitions. Most recently, Damon's writing took second place statewide in the South Dakota Press Women 2007 Competition. For more information, e-mail pauladamon@iw.net.

� 2007 Paula Damon

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