My husband, son and I have just returned from a week-long visit with our daughter in Washington state, so you’ll be seeing lots of pictures from the Pacific Northwest in upcoming posts. We explored Seattle, Whidbey Island, Bainbridge Island and Mt. Rainier. The weather was cool and perfect (especially compared to the 106 degrees days back here in Arkansas) and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. We rode the ferry, crammed into my daughter’s little car for excursions, walked city streets and hiked beach and forest trails (I didn’t exactly keep up with my fit, athletic offspring, but I got to the destinations eventually). I had a fabulous time — and now I’m so far behind I’m wondering if I’ll ever catch up!
Vacations are interesting in that regard. We look forward to them all year. We save and scrimp, work like crazy to clear some time off, spend hours packing and sitting in airport terminals and/or cars, and then when it’s all over, we have the unpacking, laundry and catch-up work to do — not to mention the bills to pay. Our vacation wasn’t extravagant, since most of our favorite things to do there were free — the hiking and beach-combing and sightseeing — but it was still a disruption to our usual routines. So was it worth it?
Oh, yes. The family time alone was the most valuable part of the trip for me. As our children have grown up and gotten more involved with their own lives and careers, those times together have become more rare — and all the more precious to me. The only thing that would have made that week more perfect would have been if our other daughter and her husband could have joined us there. I’ll get to see them when they come home from New England for their own vacation next week, and I’m counting the days until we’re together, but I’ll be aware that we’ll still be missing one around the game table, even though I just spent a week with her.
Creatively, it’s good for me to get out of the house and into a new location. Ideas crop up in new and (to me) exotic locations while I people-watch and subtly (I hope) eavesdrop and mingle with friendly strangers. When I declined to make the particularly-strenuous hike with the rest of my family to a point as high on Mt. Rainier as they could climb without spikes and picks and other gear, I spent a delightful couple of hours visiting with a couple of other women who’d made the same decision. One accompanied me on a somewhat-less-demanding climb to the waterfall pictured above, and the other sat and chatted with me for an hour in the beautiful visitor center. Both of my new friends gave me ideas for upcoming scenes and cheerfully answered questions about their interesting jobs. I’ve mentioned before that it’s easy for me to become a hermit in my house and at my computer, so it’s good for me to have an excuse to get out and away from the keyboard, even if I do fall behind in doing so.
So, I’ll be working madly during the next few weeks to catch up, but whenever I start feeling stressed, I’ll have my memories and my dozens of photos to make me smile again. If I fall a little behind in my postings here, you’ll understand why.
Don’t forget that my next book, PROGNOSIS: ROMANCE, a September release from Silhouette Special Edition, will be on the shelves at the end of this month. Click on the Books Available Now tab for details.
And don’t forget to enter the contest for the next drawing on September 1. The prize will be two books of your choice from my backlist (subject to availability). All the details for how to enter are available on the Enter to Win! tab above.
Until next time, I hope you find your own moments of relaxation and pleasure, whether on vacation or in your own backyard.