The Hangover

Generally I need a holiday to recover from our holidays. Especially when air travel and family are involved. It’s not that it was an awful trip or a bad time. Even with the transportation snafu’s*, nothing came up that wasn’t manageable. Inconvenient, exhausting and enough to make a person question the various intelligence levels of those who thought saving the airlines after 9-11 was a good idea – but the whole thing was very doable. The family experience was one of the smoothest and most enjoyable I can remember.

The trouble is that I usually don’t get a break from my routine when we travel. My routine follows me. Part of it is that I write constantly. Even if it is just in my head. Another issue is food preparation. My allergies are worse than they were because of my avoidance habits. Exposures, even tiny ones, cause instant reactions. This means I do the cooking and at Mom’s I am cooking for a minimum of four and most of the time twice that. As an example, I made pizza on Sunday evening. Four pizzas plus a pan of bread sticks (which I cheated on and used Pillsbury despite not really being able to eat them myself). I did this after a three hour drive back from the wedding brunch in Pella and while dealing with Dee and her cousins and nOne’s girlfriend (a rather pleasant girl who is sufficiently smitten with nOne to help him watch his two little cousins.)

I also do laundry. When will I learn to underpack when a washer and dryer are on site? We take along too many articles of clothing (in part because the weather is unpredictable this time of year) and then I end up washing anyway (mostly because of the destroyed and soaked luggage thing this time).

I also clean. Mom complains that she can only clean so much and then she is merely cleaning clean stuff, but I think she could spend more time on the bathroom and on things like sweeping, vacuuming and possibly overcoming her resistance to the idea of a kitchen waste can as opposed to a plastic sack in the sink. Seriously. But I have always cleaned when I am at my folks. It was my way of avoiding the ever present tension that went resentfully unspoken. And it is because, despite my being an indifferent clutter person at best, obvious grime on counters, in sinks and bathtubs and on eating surfaces grosses me out.

“You’re such a good little scullery maid,” Rob remarked at one point.

“Call me Cinderella,” I said. Really, do.

We arrived home to pouring rain, wild winds and a cat in full meltdown mode, and there was unpacking to do, laundry to start and supper to make (bean and veggie soup with bread sticks I had made before we left and froze). We were all in bed and asleep by nine. And we are all still dragging today. Dehydrated, headachy, and wishing I could have slept in, there is the grocery to hit and Ashtanga in the afternoon plus Dee’s new winter coat needs to be washed so she can start wearing it. I put her on the bus in layers that might keep her warm enough today but won’t suffice for too many days longer. It is fall on the brink of winter here.

*The last leg of the trip was mainly delays but forty minutes here and twenty there add up and weigh a person’s patience down. I didn’t crack though. Good on me.

11 thoughts on “The Hangover

  1. Alicia and Daisy, I have not been on a vacation probably ever. I think that Rob is the only one in my life who has ever tried to take me away, but we are both so practicable and averse to splurging that even the best get-aways (like Devils Den) ended up being work in terms of cooking at least. he is the only one who spoils me or tries to lighten my load. And me him, I think. If you think I am put upon, you should see the load he carries. And I have never just gone off on my own – even when I was single and it was possible. I had standards where my day to day life was concerned (like not being in debt or needing to run to my parents when the unexpected crisis occurred) that kept me within my means and as a teacher it was pretty mean. I marvel at people who go off on cruises or take weekends in far off cities or spend large sums on exotic vacations. Don’t they budget for the future? Don’t they worry? I have friends who do the girl get-aways but I know I would last about a day before I needed a get-away from the get-away. The best times? When I strolled Revelstoke on Sunday morning while everyone else was asleep and found this great coffee shop, or the week in Fairmont with a pool within walking distance of the condo and a condo full of things I didn’t need to pack and bring with us. Sleeping until I woke up. But not having to cook would make a vacation a vacation regardless. I loathe cooking.

    1. Rob just pointed out the term “loathe” and commented on the harshness of it. Perhaps that is strong. Cooking is not a passion of mine but something sprung out of the need to eat and the realization that my family’s health is better when I am creating fresh meals as opposed to warming up things loaded with salt, sugar, fat and preservatives of dubious origin. I guess I am a bit tired after the trip.

      1. i always budget for vacations. it’s never been worth going in debt for… that would be stressful for me as well. but i love travel so much that i cut back elsewhere (don’t have the house the banks say i can afford, drive cheap cars until the wheels fall off, etc)… when my children were small? all of our vacations (that weren’t wired into family visits) were tent camping trips – very cheap. but not exactly good for a gimpy back!

        your reply may hold the core of your ideal holiday – which may not need to be expensive! a long weekend, rental condo… and somehow figuring a way to pre-plan/pre-plant all the food… or go to Ithaca, NY and eat at Moosewood every night! lovely vegetarian restaurant! great, healthy food possible there…

  2. I’ll bet you are glad to be home! Now, treat yourself to a warm bath. Take something to read, and a beverage of your choice. A Calgon vacation beats no vacation! 🙂

  3. I agree. A real vacation would recharge your batteries instead of zapping all your energy. My guess is that there are retreats for writers….

  4. have you ever taken a vacation that did not involve visiting immediate family, weddings, or other such things? can be a very different experience… suspect that the food allergies would be the big challenge, but finding a hotel with a small kitchen, gorgeous scenery, and high quality internet might make the trek actually enjoyable…

  5. I’m worn out just reading this. Perhaps you should consider taking a holiday that is a REAL holiday, not simply a change of venue of family and household obligations!

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