I can’t wait. Counting down the hours. It’s time for our annual family holiday. A time to put the body and brain into cruise control and SLOW. DOWN.
It’s been a few years since all of us have gone away together. The older kids are gainfully employed for the summer and are unable and unwilling to take time off. So, it’s just my beloved, #6, #7, #8 and I this year. We’re going to Ottawa, our nation’s capital – beautiful, historic, surrounded by lakes, rivers, hiking and bike trails.
Planning and packing for a large family is a talent. Back in the day when we would take the entire brood to a rented cottage on Manitoulin Island, I would make super-organized, analytical lists that would impress any process engineer. I was gooooood! In truth, it was the only way I could keep my sanity.
As years went by and the cottage was replaced by road trips and camping, the number of children grew smaller and the lists evolved to reflect the change. But there were still lists.
On those lists were things to do so the kids staying home wouldn’t starve or lock themselves out of the house: make sure kids have extra keys; fill the freezer with food; tell the neighbours to keep an eye on the house and the kids; leave emergency money.
One year we came back from a three-week road trip to the province of Nova Scotia to find numerous empty pizza boxes in the recycling bin and no emergency funds left in the jar. Who knew that late night pizza delivery was a dire emergency? That’s when leaving emergency funds stopped!
By now, the three youngest have been given a list of what to pack in their one bag. I’ll still check to make sure they have everything. One time, despite my best efforts, we arrived at our destination and realized that #8 and I had forgotten to pack any pants for her. A quick trip to a local store solved that problem. Now, it’s become her vacation mantra – “mom, we can’t forget my pants!”
As I write this, I have just finished seeing my last patient and the list that’s been running around in circles in my brain is about to be committed to cyberspace:
- sterilize and put away work instruments ‘cuz who wants to come home to unautoclaved, contaminated tools of the trade? Yuck.
- wash and put away nursing scrubs
- remind my beloved to pack
- check bags for #6, 7, 8
- put food in the freezer for kids staying home
- tell neighbours to call 911 if they see billowing smoke from the house 😉
- pack for myself – don’t forget breviary, Our Lady’s Psalter: The Rosary of The Mystery of Christ, rosary, mantilla
- SWITCH. OFF. WORK. NOW.
May you be blessed with good weather and good times as we near the end of summer. God keep you and your loved ones safe on your travels.
See you in September!