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  • Dutifully, in early spring, I started the research. Where should we go this year? What should we do? What kind of travel deals can I find?

    Cancun? New England? Santa Fe? California?

    After much investigation I am bumfuzzled. Nothing is calling out to me. I ask my husband. Anywhere there is water, he says distractedly, while watching the Olympic trials on TV. But it has to be after August 12th, I want to be home to watch the Olympics. That tells you two things about my husband. He absolutely loves the ocean and he absolutely loves sports. He was a track star in his day and he has the medals to prove it. When the summer Olympics rolls around every four years he takes it very seriously. He hangs a blanket over the french doors in the den to do away with the slight glare that hits the TV at certain times of the day. I will find him sitting on the edge of the coffee table riveted to the screen, completely absorbed in the event of the moment. During commercials he tries to squeeze in chores, basic hygiene and food rustling. But, I have meandered away from my vacation story entirely.

    Last year, for our 40th wedding anniversary, we went to Victoria, British Columbia. It was beautiful, the weather was perfect, we had a room with a balcony that overlooked the gorgeous Inner Harbour. The flowers were all in bloom. It was, as a 40th wedding anniversary trip should be, magical and wonderful. But even after such a memorable trip we were still very happy to get home.

    We have come to love our simple life at home, love the peace of the small town south of the big city, love the days whatever they bring, because we know they are numbered and we don't know where we are in the sequence. We love the sunny days and the rainy days and even the golf ball sized hail days (this last one because we have insurance). This is not to say we never grumble. This is not to say we never bicker. This is only to say even those things we have become affectionate towards, nostalgic about, because they are a part of this life we have made here in this house, in this small town. Things are perfectly imperfect here, as they are most everywhere else. We find the good things by looking for them. We endure the bad things by accepting them without theatrics.

    We may decide on a vacation this year and we may not. Vacations, to us, are like whipped cream on pumpkin pie. The pie is delicious by itself, a dab of whipped cream is a bonus, completely unnecessary but fun to have once in a while.

    (This is a picture of a whimsical sculpture I saw recently in the Kansas City Museum of Art; I unfortunately did not jot down the artist's name.)
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