A Donut Vacation

mountain, valley, Pixabay, vacation, VermontI remember the trip to the mountain more than the mountain itself. 

Once a year, my brother and I are awakened at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. We stumble in the back seat of the 4-door Pontiac with pillows and blanket and sleep off and on for the next two and a half hours. But I only doze. The excitement of what is ahead is too stimulating for sleep. Continue reading


alarm, alarming, PixabayWho turns on their alarm during vacation? That was my cranky question as my guy began to set his phone alarm for a 6:00 a.m. wake up call.

“Sunrise is at 7:07,” he reminds me. So I accede. We’re vacationing at a spot where the sun rises with insistence in bold sherbet colors above the ocean. We have vowed to ooh and ahh at the sun’s wake-up majesty every morning we’re there.
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Let It BE!

let it be, Hawaii vacation, relaxationDo you remember those middle school essays: “What I Did on My Vacation” ?

Back then, I proudly wrote: “I read, I swam, I sunbathed by the pool, I caught fireflies.”

Back then, we didn’t have computers and cell phones, I-Pads and I-Pods, Twitter and Facebook.

Back then, we didn’t have a hundred choices of things to DO, like skydive or zipline, paraglide or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, river raft or whale watch.

Back then, vacation was a time to just BE.

Now, most of us are always doing, especially on vacation.

So I’m kind of embarrassed to answer the question about what I did on my vacation this month:reading, vacation, Ann Patchett,

(1)  I read six books: The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, Time and Again by Jack Finny, Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming, Marry Me, by Kristin Walker, The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett.

(2)  I walked hand and hand with my man, with no destination in mind.

Kauai, Hawaii, walking, vacation

A path to nowhere.

(3)  I watched giant turtles teach me the power of floating to wherever I am taken.

turtle, Kauai

I could do this all day.

(4)  I shopped at the U.S.’s western-most bookstore in the little town of Hanapepe, Kauai.

Talk Story Booksore, bookstores

(5)  I dozed in the sun after an hour of a yoga tai chi class along the ocean.

yoga, tai chi, vacation, meditation

(6)  I admired the sunrise…and the sunset.

Kauai, sunset, relaxation,

(7)  I caught waves of memories, splashes of insight, whispered tradewind words of wisdom, sand drifts of dreams, and a beach load of joy.

Many say I didn’t DO anything…

I say I explored the world of BE.

“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.” Robert Orben

“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.” Robert Orben

Are Your Ears Ringing?

flying, ears poppingA week before we’re to leave for our winter vacation this month, the ENT peers into my ear canal and says, “You can’t fly with this ear!”

“Okay, I’ll take my other ear,” I crack.

The doctor doesn’t crack even a glimmer of a smile. “Your eardrum will rupture. You can’t fly.”

“I am NOT missing my vacation, or my flight,” I respond, rising from my reclined position in the doctor’s chair.

“I suppose I could rupture it for you,” she says calmly.ear anatomy, ENT

I sit back in the chair, beginning to sweat. I’ve had ear “troubles” since I was a kid. My mom tells me that when I was a toddler, the doctors wrapped me up like a mummy to pierce my eardrum. I don’t remember this incredible horrible form of childhood torture, but have wondered if those repressed memories are the reason that I suffer from claustrophobia.

And a fear of ear doctors.

ears, flying, ear popping

I like my ears
just fine.

Is there a phobia for that? Upon looking it up, I found that (1) there is an ENT doctor whose name is Dr. Fear. I promise, you won’t catch me dead or alive in his chair, and (2) there’s a fear of ears, called  Kaciraffphobia. But I like my ears fine. No, I just have ENTphobia.

“I can’t let you near me,” I whisper to the doctor now in what I had hoped would be a threatening growl.

“Let’s try steroids first,” she suggests. “We have six days before your flight. If prednisone doesn’t reduce your inflammation and allow you to pop your ears, come back the day before your flight. We’ll make a small incision in the eardrum to drain the fluid.”



Back in six days?

Notre Dame bells, ringingI back out of the room, prescription in hand, ears chiming like the Notre Dame bells, knowing that this ENT specialist won’t see the front of me, or my ears, again for a long, long time.

Sorry, doc. Are your ears ringing now, too?

Family Reunion

family, reunion, airportI race to the baggage area for the usual “hurry up and wait” routine, but the carousel begins its screeching circular belch of bags almost immediately. My cell phone rings when the ‘beep beep beep’ begins and 150 newly arrived passengers swoop in to retrieve their bags before anyone else.

“Hello,” I chirp cheerily on my cell while scanning each bag on the merry-go-round.

“We’re here to pick you up,” daughter welcomes me, in a stressed tone with a capital S. “Come out the doors as quickly as you can. Security guys are watching.”

“Bag’s just about here!” I trill. “Can’t wait to see you!”

But she’s already shut off her phone.baggage claim, airport, stress

As the suitcases circle I wonder about daughter’s use of the word “we.” Our plan had been for her to leave the two kids at home with her husband so we could have some blessed “just mom/daughter” time before the madhouse of a family reunion. We rarely have time to finish a sentence these days – a one-hour car ride with just the two of us sounded like heaven.

Just as my large once-forest green, now cooked-artichoke brown bag sails by, my cell rings.

I pick up the duffel with a yank as I answer.

“Where are you?” sweet daughter shouts.

“Got it!” I reply.

“We’re right at the doors!!”

I begin to run to the right side of the baggage area but stop in confusion. A similar set of doors are also located on the left side. And they each display a sign that says, “Pick-Up: Taxi, Bus, Car.”

directions, which way to go?Which doors should I go through?

I stand in the middle of the large noisy room, vacillating. My cell rings again. Damn.

I shove my hand into my cavernous purse, the one that reminds me of Hermione’s magic bag in Harry Potter, where she pulls out books, clothes, a tent, and a shovel. My fingers search for my phone with no luck. My ring tone blares to the Beatles tune of ‘HELP!,” but I can’t find it anywhere.

So, I bend down in the middle of 100 bustling people and pull out my wallet, make-up bag, roll of Mentos, pack of red licorice sticks, favorite pink pen, hairbrush, and then finally, my phone.

A voice mail awaits me:


I hit Reply back and scream, “Which set of doors?”

Daughter shouts back, “What? THE doors. We’re by the red car. Quick!”directions, lost, stress

I throw everything back in my witching bag and take a wild guess, going for the left-hand side doors.

But then I remember, she just bought a new car, and I’ve never seen it. I peer up and down and don’t see anyone I recognize. I open the g.d. phone again and, while standing in the middle of the airport car lane yell, “Can you see me? I can’t see you!”

“We can’t see you! A black van just passed us, did you see it?”

At this point I’m hoping to get run over by it. But then I view a brown hybrid five cars ahead, underneath the overhang. Heart pounding I run toward it with my 50-pound duffel bag, my book bag, my witch purse, and my cell phone at my ear.

Eureka ! My daughter is sitting at the driver’s side! I open the passenger door and almost sit on my mother, who along with 3-year-old granddaughter and 2-year-old grandson is grimacing at me as if I’ve been a very bad girl.

“Find a seat in the back,” they all yell.

Ahhh, family reunions!

famly reunion