Vacation, Anyone?

My husband and I enjoy traveling and seeing new places. We have been coast to coast over the years, literally. But due to the need to be close to home for possible emergency issues with our aging mothers, and thanks to Covid concerns, one of our bucket list trips had been postponed more than once. Finally we decided 2021 was the year. We requested our time off from work, and I made actual reservations for where we would stay for a few days and explore. I purchased trip cancellation insurance just in case, knowing that my mother in law’s health could turn on a dime. The preceding weeks before the trip were not without stress. But, we managed to escape our daily grind and hit the road.

Those 2 weeks were some of the best of our lives. Hubby and I received some much needed recuperation time, and we were able to reconnect as a couple, just us, no kids or other family on the trip with us. And it made us think—do we want to spend the rest of our healthy middle years working? How do we adjust our time table for retirement? Is this a selfish goal? We had discussed in our early years what we thought our goals should be, knowing that my parents’ health did not allow them to travel in retirement. We took many fun road trips with our daughters in tow while they were growing up , knowing that those years are irretrievable once they are gone.

Riverside Memories

So now both our daughters are married, and my mother in law and several other family members have passed away since 2021. Hubby and I decided to retire the end of last year, and now are debating “where to next?” But I have to laugh. In the next few months we have a road trip planned to take youngest 2 kids to meet family in Galveston for a cruise, and hubby and I are going to do things in the area while they are on the ship. Following that trip our oldest daughter and son in law are going to concerts out of state over a weekend, and instead of having family take turns keeping little infant daughter for them, we are going on the trip too and will babysit while they attend the concerts. I suppose lots of folks think we are odd, but that’s not a new accusation. We do us. And after these trips and some other things are done, we have plans for some sightseeing in areas we haven’t been…because I want more mountain pictures!


“Vulnerable strength isn’t an emotional outburst, rather it’s working through misunderstanding.”

Very important words this morning. Yesterday was not the most stellar of Mondays. I managed to get through most of the day by just taking deep breaths and letting go, but by 8 PM I was tired, frustrated, and really at the end of my rope, although I didn’t fully realize it. I stopped to pick up some prescriptions at a local pharmacy on my way home, and tried to make a separate purchase with my new debit card. That’s when the trouble started. The card would not work. At all. “No big deal,” I thought. I told the fellow that I would just cancel the purchase since I did’t have enough cash. I went back to my car, my mind racing over the past few days’ purchases. Surely I had not overdrawn my account! Then, my youngest called wanting me to bring home “something to make this cough stop.” I explained that we already had cough medicine at home, and that since my card wasn’t working I couldn’t make anymore purchases until I figured out what was wrong. I hung up the phone and tossed it in my bag on the seat beside me. Pounding the steering wheel in frustration, I started screaming and yelling at the unfairness of it all. “She has had this stuff since before Christmas. WHY won’t it go away??? Why is this stuff all piling up? WHY was today so crappy???” And so on for about a mile. I swung into the ATM to at least get my account balance. “Contact distributor of card.” Oh dear. This. is. not. good. Pulling back onto the street, I buzz towards home. My phone dings. I pick it up–the screen is BLACK. Apparently the toss into the bag created another issue for me. Now I have no cell phone.

Anybody else see a trend here? I am FAR too dependent on things. And I let little stuff bug me WAY too much. My place of employment is full of people who have woes far worse than mine. And yet I regress into toddlerhood and create more issues for myself. Suzie Eller wrote the words I quoted above, and in her blog post today she is talking about responding with grace in difficult situations. My issues yesterday evening had more to do with anger at myself in the long run, but I have also been guilty of not responding with grace in relationships as well. Thinking back on how I could have responded yesterday evening, lashing out didn’t do anything but create more problems, and I certainly didn’t feel better after my temper tantrum. It seems the more I resolve to do better in that area, the worse I do.

A side note: I fully expected my husband to really be upset over the phone, which is going to create another expense even though I do carry insurance on it (and the protective screen covering which we paid extra for didn’t do it’s lifetime guarantee job). When I explained what happened (a drop on the floor earlier in the day, unintended, did not help I’m sure), his comment was, “well, things happen.” His usual “I’ll just buy the part and fix it” approach won’t work this time–a replacement screen is $150. Sooo, he is taking it back to the phone store for me today since I work another 12 hour shift and won’t be able to do it myself. Oh, and the bank issue? Seems my email to the bank last week about a new card arriving after the Target debacle triggered a chain reaction. They deactivated the new one before it even arrived at my house because it had been sent out 3 weeks ago. Long story short, I still have money, just no debit card–because I cut up my old one this weekend after finding the new one in the unread mail pile. *sigh* Life’s inconveniences…

And how has YOUR week been?

My prayer is that I respond with more grace and less silly emotion. Stuff happens. I need to get over it.

1 Peter 1:2b, “May God give you more and more grace and peace.” (NLT)

Free Writing (style)

Ok, so I have joined this 500 word challenge and so far have failed miserably. So many things demand my attention. Today, for example, after I did my chronological bible reading, I happened to scan my emails and find a note from my bank-not overdrawn, just an automatic notification about the balance being below a certain level. So I start checking to see what’s up. Seems I wrote the check for oldest daughter’s interim session at college from my CHECKING account instead of my SAVINGS account. Oops. Probably would not have been a problem except for other little shopping sprees we had this week that had I known what I had done I would not have indulged in! So I had to make some adjustments. Also had to call about some insurance issues on other daughter’s car; husband carries hers, my insurance company seems to think I have her on my policy. (We have, for the past 22 years, had the ongoing “battle of the companies” at our house because my husband and I both are stubborn. Being older when we married, we had established accounts and neither of us wanted to change.) The communications I had sent in December apparently didn’t go through and they are still charging my account. This momma is NO LONGER HAPPY! Had a littel conversation, was assured if I refaxed the information tomorrow from work that it would be backdated and my account credited once they received the data. A few moments later I receive a call from the insurance lady. Seems she had done a little more checking and, by golly, the underwriting department had received the info from my husband’s agent! Well well well.
Ok, so those two crises were diverted/dealt with. Laundry in. Dishwasher unloaded. Dishes in sink that didn’t fit in dishwasher dealt with. Eat a bowl of cereal, drink a cup of coffee. Start perusing posts and debating what to write. Doorbell rings. Wait a minute. I’m not dressed in street clothes and don’t know the person standing at the door. Dog is barking his head off. So I don’t answer. Retreating to the bedroom, I throw on daywear and shoes. Daughter at school has texted asking for tyelnol and decongestant that she forgot to take before she left this morning. Answer text. Look at card on front door that guy left—the tree trimmers that are hacking away on the next door neighbor’s tree. I place the leash on the dog and grab my cell to go outside and see what’s going on. Apparently they only needed to ask permission for using my driveway as a dropping point for limbs—and by the way, they will be backing their trailer into my driveway to clean up. Neighbor had told them it shouldn’t be a problem. I say of course it’s no problem, thinking “Well now how am I going to get out?!?!?!” Daughter is texting again. I tell her what’s going on.

*sigh* So I come back to the computer, re-read the goals that I have missed the last few days on the “Lift” account, and decide this is as good a place to start as any. Now that I probably have bored anyone to tears who would attempt to read this, I will edit for gross errors and hit “post.” My sincere apologies for the unpolished sentences. But I think I hit my word goal for today! Yay!