We had just started our vacation, or so I thought, when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “Hurry up; it’s time to go home.”
I have been married to my wife for almost 46 years and during that time, she has always teased me and tried to get my goat. My goat has long been gotten. So, I thought she was trying to tease me about our vacation time.
As she said that, I noticed she was packing her suitcase. That was just strange. She is really going all out to fool me into thinking it is time to go home. I, however, know better and cannot be fooled even by her.
I laughed most heartily and said, “That’s a good one, but you can’t fool me. We’re on vacation.”
When she was planning the vacation, it took her quite a while to convince me we were going on vacation. I get so caught up in “life,” that I often do not realize I need to take a break every once in a while. However, when I take a break, I Take a Break.
Looking at me rather strangely, she said, “Our vacation is over and we need to go home.”
“But, I thought we were supposed to be on vacation for a week. Why do you want to go home early?”
“Oh, silly boy, we have been here for a week and our time is up and we must go home.”
All I could do was just stare at her. I honestly thought we were only halfway through our vacation. Where does time go when you are trying to relax?
I started the vacation with only one plan and that was to do nothing. I was just beginning to enjoy this “Nothing Plan” and needed a few more days to perfect it.
I guess I do have some of an obsessive aspect to my nature. When I start something, I don’t want to stop until I have ﬁnished it. That’s just a philosophy that I have had since I was a young boy. Why start something if you are not going to ﬁnish it? And, why start something new until you have ﬁnished what you had been doing?
That is why planning a vacation is so difficult. Whatever I am doing at the time I am obsessive about ﬁnishing it before going on to the next project. If I am working on a book, I cannot stop until it is ﬁnished and sent to the publisher. That is just my nature.
“Well,” my wife said in a more joyful mood, “we did have a wonderful time here on our vacation. Don’t you agree?”
I had to stop and process that thought. Certainly, I agreed with her on that level. Where I disagreed was that it was over. “Yes, we sure did have a good time, but I have a hard time believing it’s over already.”
She just laughed at me and ﬁnished packing her suitcase.
When on vacation, I usually do not take my watch. I do not want to know what time it is. Lunchtime is when I’m hungry and close to some restaurant. Nap time, is when I’m tired. No schedule. Just enjoying the moment I’m in at the time.
For my wife, vacation time gets her best planning schedule. Most of that schedule has to do with thrift stores. Every day in our vacation, she visited several thrift stores and brought back what she thought were “goodies.”
I have learned long ago that when she is excited about one of her “goodies,”
I join in her excitement. Most of the time I have no idea what it is, but what does that have to do with anything?
“Look what I got,” she says as she burst into the hotel room, “and I only paid $3 for it. Wasn’t that a bargain?”
I once made a mistake along this line. She came back with one of her purchases and I quickly pulled out my wallet that had $26 in it and said, “Look what I saved today, $26.” Trust me, I never did that again. She responded by saying, “Great, you can buy supper tonight.”
Vacation time means different things to different people. Years ago when I discovered what it meant to her, it made my vacation time all that much better.
I was begrudging the fact that our vacation time was over and slowly started packing my suitcase. I hope I got enough rest during this vacation. I am not sure you can get enough rest on any vacation, but at least I tried.
Driving home from our vacation, I could not help but think of that wonderful verse in the Old Testament. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
Working together doesn’t mean you are dressed alike or you have the same likes and dislikes. Walking together means, you’re going in the same direction.
Her likes happened to be thrift stores. She knows everything there is to be known about a thrift store. She knows every thrift store within a 100-mile radius.
Me, I know relatively little about a thrift store. If they have a shelf with some books on it, I will take some interest.
Driving home, she gave a detailed description of all the wonderful purchases she made at those thrift stores. It made her happy and therefore I was happy. That is what it means to “walk together.”
[The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, in Ocala, Florida. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www. whatafellowship.com.]