I am not a very good vacation-taker but time away from work is important. We need it to re-charge, calibrate our senses, and reconnect with those loved ones who have been unconditionally cheering for us on the sidelines of our work, patiently waiting their turn. Last week I went back to my roots and spent a glorious week in my hometown on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay with memories of crabbing, fishing, sailing, waiting tables at Harris Crab House, and sitting on the end of the pier in the back yard just staring at the water. I did a lot of that last week.
Family vacations don’t have the reputation for being relaxing, healing, or heck, even very fun. But this one was a blast. Twenty four of us came in from all over the country including siblings, spouses, grand kids, cousins, aunts and uncles. My parents are in their late seventies and early eighties so it was heartwarming to have so many of us in one place, all getting along and catching up.
We taught the younger ones how to bait crab traps, put a worm on a fish hook, how to use a dip net to scoop a crab up from behind a dangling chicken neck , and how to treasure the flavor of a sauteed softshell crab. The older kids got to jet ski, kayak and learn a bit of history during a tour of the Naval Academy. When it rained, we all packed into the living room and watched classic movies from our childhood like The Pink Panther (the original with Peter Sellers) and Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
I wouldn’t have changed one single thing, except to make it longer!