Staycations are stay-sucky

School began for me this week. The official end of another summer and as the kids trooped into the classroom, all decked out in their masks, thank goodness, the inevitable first question cropped up, “What did you do with your summer vacation Mrs. Fauth?”

This presented a problem, because usually I have some travel stories for them or some big parties or celebrations, etc. What could I tell them about this year’s vacation? “Well, children, mostly I stayed home and sprayed my groceries with bleach water.” I can’t tell them that, right?

They call it a “staycation.” This is a pleasant euphemism for, “I had no where to go, or no money to travel, or too much work to do, so I dressed it up by pretending that I wanted to stay home.”

I, of course, was helped in making the decision for a “staycation” this year by a little event called the pandemic. This did not stop everyone from traveling, but it did stop me because of my basic aversion to Covid 19. So, since cowardice was my guide, I was forced to find something positive about staying home all summer. I’m still looking!

What I discovered is that when you sit in your house for basically five months, you begin to have delusions. These delusions are that you think you have way more ambition and talent than you actually have. I kept walking down to the basement (my daily exercise) and eventually I got the bright idea to paint the floors. They had become so scratched! So, I dragged everything out of the rooms, rolled all of the floors with the special paint, and dragged everything back…thereby re-scratching all the spots that I had previously painted to hide the original scratches. My ambition is over it, now.

Judging from my back after that event, I soon became aware that this lovely little staycation might just kill me! After a week of sitting in a chair, convincing myself that I deserved a break and the chance to watch every episode of “Merlin” at once, I was beginning to try to jab flies with a fork (in lieu of King Arthur’s sword) and I decided I had better move on to something else, or else lose what mind I have left.

I organized all my pictures and that gave me a brilliant idea. I would catalog and journal about all of the previous vacations we had taken! After all, if I couldn’t go on a vacation, I could enjoy all the past ones, right? Unfortunately, the past ones have been so many, that they tend to run together and I never was very good with years, anyway. So after four fights with Roy over when we did what and what we saw when we were there, I abandoned the vacation memories book as the fast track to divorce. And just so you know, we DID go to Manassas Battlefield first on our vacation THREE years ago, I don’t care what Roy says!

I started wearing my souvenir Manassas Battlefield cap just to irritate him and that was the entertainment for a week on my staycation. Then I needed to do something else. What to do…what to do. I did spend a lot of time doing gardening. After several weeks of pulling weeds and leaving dirty handprints all over myself while I battled the mosquitoes, I finally remembered why it is that I don’t do gardening! Next year, there will be a nice crop of grass planted in the garden, and I will score some tomatoes where every self-respecting, garden-hating individual does—at the Farmer’s Market!

By now, I think you get that my little staycation has not been a rousing success. Just because we call it a stay-cation that doesn’t conjure pictures of sandy beaches and lovely mountain roads. For me, it will always mean the summer I stayed in my house and contemplated which wall to climb today. In short, I learned this summer that staycations suck!

So, when the fifth student into the room this week piped up with, “What did you do this summer, Mrs. Fauth?”, there was only one thing for me to say: “I stayed home and sprayed my groceries with bleach water.” She gave a little sigh and said, “Yeah, me too!”

Looking forward to next year and possibly a VACATION!

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