Sunday, May 29, 2016

We Were on Vacation

or You Can Go Home Again

I just got back from visiting my mother in a long term care facility in my hometown. I went with Aunt Martha and we played the vacation game during the trip. That meant that since we were on vacation, it was okay to splurge. For example, when we were looking for something sweet to eat and couldn't decide whether to get cookies or ice cream, we got both. Because we were on vacation.

I got a chuckle seeing the hummingbird feeder at my mother's
place hanging on an IV pole. Notice the walking path
in the background.
We stayed in the house we grew up in and watched TV, played games, and stayed up late. That was okay. Because we were on vacation. And when we were visiting our mother and needed a little break or just wanted to have some fun, we took a walk around the track there--multiple times per day. Because we were on vacation. Sometimes we even convinced our mother to go with us.

And when you're on vacation in your home town, you definitely do things you might not do other places when you're not on vacation. Here is an example.

My mother asked us to take her watch into the local jewelry store to get a couple more links put in the band because it was too tight. The next morning,  Kevin, the jeweler, fixed the band and put in a new battery for no charge. He asked about my mother and also told me that he had worked summers with my father. As we were talking, he asked if he could look at the prongs on my ring. He said that three were broken and if one more broke I would lose the stone. So I left it with him to be fixed.

Later that day, I decided that I wanted both my wedding band and engagement ring to be resized, so I left both rings with Kevin.  Aunt Martha and I got silly and picked out a new wedding band for me to wear while I wait for the originals to be fixed. Because we were on vacation.

But the story doesn't stop here. I stopped in one more time to ask about the engraving on my band and met someone who went to school with my older sister, Mary Ellen. I found out that he is a master craftsman who makes knives. He offered that the next time Ward comes to town, he'd teach Ward to make a knife. I took down his name and number and promised to call next time we were in town. On vacation.

Going home again is often hard because things change. My father is gone and my mother can no longer live at home. Sometimes that makes me sad. But those are things I can't change. So, I try to not think of these visits as going home again, I try to think of them as a vacation. A fun vacation to a familiar, comfortable place where everybody knows my name. And when I think of them that way, I can go home again.