~ Robert Orben
August 11, 2002
Welcome to Wyndspirit Dreams! I am in the middle of my long-awaited vacation. And what am I doing on my vacation? Staying home! Some people have told me Iím nuts. I say, whatís the point of having a home if you never get to spend time there? The rest of the year, my life is arranged around work. Everything is done before work or after work or on days off in between work. Most of the time, following a schedule isnít a problem. There is a certain comfort to structure, and actually I tend to get more accomplished when I do have a schedule to work around.
But I can only take so much of structure. Part of the problem is, I had freedom longer than most kids. I never held a summer jobómy summers were my own until I moved out on my own and joined the work force. To this day, I plan more projects than I can ever hope to accomplish, because I have never fully adjusted to not having the time. Also, I want to have a block of time to work straight through a project. Iíve never learned to do a major project in bits and pieces over days or weeks. Believe it or not, I used to do spring and fall cleaning. I would do it over Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, start on Saturday morning and work straight through the long weekend. One problem with my current job is I no longer have long weekends. Not ever. If I have a holiday off, itís one of my two scheduled days off. If I want three days off in a row, I have to use vacation time. So my two weeks off in August are practically sacred.
All right, with all that buildup, what do I actually do on my vacation? The first summer I lived here, I painted my deck in 100 degree temperaturesóbecause that was the only time I had to paint my deck. (As you can imagine, the results were less than optimal.) Last year I had to try to rescue my flower gardens and yard from two weeks of neglect while I was in New Hampshire. This year I am digging out my storage room. But thatís not the point. I do try to take on one major project when I do have that block of time, but the main thing is the freedom. Take this vacation, for example. I started it out by going to the farm for the weekend because my sister was visiting. When she left earlier than I expected Sunday, my first thought was, it was such a gorgeous day, I should leave early, too, and go home and mow the lawn. My second thought was, "Iím on vacationóI donít have to mow the lawn on Sunday because itís the only time I have!" So I stayed at the farm another night and mowed the lawn Monday. Then we had a major storm a few nights ago. The following morning, I wandered around the trailer park gawking at the storm damage. Then, even though I knew my storage room was waiting for me, I spent the morning weeding just because it was too nice a day to stay indoors. When it got hot in the afternoon, I came in and took a nap, then worked on the storage room in the cool of the evening. And then there was today. Sunday againóI promised myself I didnít have to work on the storage room, even though half of the stuff is all over the living room. I wrote letters in the morning, then sat in my swing all afternoon. Yep, all afternoon! Iíve never gotten to do that before, but the day was gorgeous, and I had some knitting I wanted to do anyway, so I took it outside. Tomorrow itís back to working in my storage room, but I have a whole week, and thatís the only major project I planned for my vacation, so I might even actually get it all finished before I have to go back to the real world.
I guess you could almost
say Iím building a home over my vacations. A house is just a house until
it is lived in and full of memories. Sometimes I feel I am gone so much
my house is just a bed to crash in and not a real home. Iíve lived
here almost three years and hung exactly one picture. Whatís the point?
Iím never around to admire any decorating! But for two weeks out of the
year, I really live here. I notice bare walls and cluttered countertops.
And I actually do things to make the place more homelike, things that will
last long after my two weeks are over. Who knows? A few more years of vacations,
and I just might have a home!