s a kid, I remember our vacations (such as they were for a poor-as-church-mice Navy family), stopping at my Grandparent’s place at Buckeye Lake, Ohio. It was a nice lake-front cottage, the type with creaky floors, old wagon wheels suspended and fitted out with light bulbs, and just-decommissioned outhouses serving as toolsheds. Croquet was a very adventurous game, a random contest amid the gnarly oak roots.
Most mornings I’d come out and see my father sitting all alone on the deck, bamboo pole optimistically deployed, a silhouette against the silent lake. He never caught dinner, just mid-sized catfish he’d throw back. I’d fish a bit but bug him in his silence but there were always other things to do. I never got the point of it.
Of course, now, with adult eyes, I realize that he was in transition from job to job in those times. He’d probably be thinking of how he’d done, his review and such. Also would weigh thoughts of his next station, the new details, an entire new position to learn. He was probably under a lot of stress and welcomed the silence and serenity of fishing.
This vacation (up in Beech Mountain in the high Carolinas) is not quite the same thing for me. Sure, I’ve just gotten a work promotion but it’s for a job I’ve been doing for nearly a year now and for which I seem well-suited. I’m not under pressure (except, possibly, for that 700 mile drive tomorrow). But this was pretty much a relaxing work vacation. I read two books for review, and am half-way through a collection of short scifi stories. I also wrote two DOG EAR pieces (this and another). And there are a couple of short stories I posted up for net friends. And on walks, I’ve been thinking about that submission for possible publication I’ve got – 6000 words, with no guarantee it’s sold). So I’m sitting out here on the high porch, looking over this tremendous valley, writing and editing and emailing and crafting. Relaxing? Sort of, in that way writing can be. Fun. You becha!