Recharging the Batteries

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Recharging the Batteries

Vacation.

We all talk about it, dream about it, even fantasize your old “bucket list” idea of where you’d like to visit.  But do you ever really take one?

I’ve not written here in about a week and it’s been because, for the first time in I think three years, I took a full week off of work.  It’s not from lack of desire that I didn’t take a big bulk of time off.  No, life just has a way of intervening in your affairs.  When the kids have days off from school and you’re the only parent you take a vacation or personal day to watch those kids.  It’s not a bad thing, that’s what parents do.

But for the first time in that time period, with my kids visiting my parents in another state, I took a week off and went to visit them.  As a good friend recently told me . . . it’s not making up for lost time.  This is making time to be with my family.

So no, there was no amusement park.  There was no roller coasters or campsites or people dressed up as cartoon characters.  There was no tourist trap.

This is home.

No, I didn’t change my routine.  I wake up, exercise (ugh) and shower.  I spent most nights talking with my folks.  I tuck the kids into bed and just spend time with my family.

There have been thunderstorms.  One a day, almost, and considering the nasty drought that we have in California it’s been a fantastic change.  I live on the West Coast, yes, but there really are no storms or rain like the ones I grew up with in the Midwest.  The rain has another feel, smell, and feel – yes, I said feel, you can tell when it’s going to rain here – than in California.  Not just because it does rain more but because it’s just a good solid thunderstorm.

Fireworks dance across the clouds with the lightning’s electricity and the thunder rolls across the clouds.  Today it was a constant rolling, sound surrounding us.  We all stood on the front porch and watched it.

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Then there’s the sunsets.  The storms moved out of the sky and the colors just spread like paint on a canvas.  Joel Sartore says he won’t live anywhere else, and he’s traveled the world for National Geographic.  “Under a Big Red Sky,” he calls it, and he’s right. I’ve seen lots of sunsets in lots of places.  Few rival the sky up there.

So the quiet, soft days and the chores of helping around the house and taking care of the kids . . . those are totally worth it.  It’s not one of those vacations where you get home to rest up from all the “fun” you’ve raced around doing.  This was a true recharge of the batteries.

Home certainly is where the heart is, sure, but home is where your family is, too.  I have parents, kids, and relatives all here.

I’ll take this kind of recharge over the parks filled with people any day.

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