"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will be a really good day." Louie Schwartzberg
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On our Staycation

posted by Susan Dominikovich on , , , , ,

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I have a new favourite word:  staycation.

According to Wikipedia, our venerable fount of knowledge and truth, a "staycation is a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night. They might make day trips to local tourist sites, swimming venues, or engage in fun activities such as horseback riding, paintball, hiking or visiting museums. Most of the time it involves dining out more frequently than usual."  Apparently, staycations became popular in the United States during the financial crisis of 2007-2010.

Our family usually goes away during this spring holiday to a bach in Kuratau.  It's always a lovely time of rest and relaxation and independence as the kids play happily on their own at the lake.  This year, however, thanks to saving for our trip to Canada and Disneyland later in the year (you can't have everything) and yes, some Novopay issues (which will be sorted...we live in hope) we have decided to have a staycation.

Paul's parents came up for a few days of our staycation, specifically to help us celebrate Sam's birthday.  We enjoyed good food and wine with family and friends on the last day of term: chocolate cake, red sausages and Chinese takeaways, as requested.  Sam himself said it was probably his best birthday ever. From Sam, that's pretty good praise and I'll take the probably with gladness in my heart.  The next day we took the family and grandparents to enjoy a game of mini-golf (note to self:  not a place for the introvert who doesn't like crowds) at the newly renovated Bowlarama and then out for a fun meal at Joe's Garage.  It was a good time.

Sunday was the last day of the grandparents' visit so we spent the morning with them and then enjoyed a spontaneous gathering of friends and family over an Allblacks game on tv and t-ball on the lawn.  My friend and I took the opportunity to leave the children with their dads and went out for lunch at our local, where we were joined by a couple of other friends for good food and even better conversation.  A trip to the airport that afternoon and then a very light meal and more fellowship with friends that evening.  

So by the time Monday morning came around, you probably can't blame me for sleeping and staying in bed until after lunch.  I love people and thoroughly enjoy spending time with them but I need my space too.  And everyone needs a good lie-in.  In fact, I think "lounging around in bed until after mid-day at least once" should be added to the definition of staycation on Wikipedia.  This day was spent re-grouping as a family unit, time with God, reading books, playing soccer on the lawn and watching NZ's got Talent (tissues at hand).  A restful day.

Tuesday dawned bright and beautiful so no lounging around in bed until all hours.  Brunch with a friend and then a few catch-up chores were the order of the day while the girls played at the neighbours, covering themselves with chalk and coming home looking like smurfs.

But I wasn't silly about the chores during staycation and escaped to grab a glass of wine with said neighbour on her swing in the late afternoon sun.  A lovely meal of fresh salmon on the grill, pasta and tomato salad capped off a perfect day and the kiddios all played outside mastering their skateboard and ripstick skills until dark.  Paul went out and I enjoyed a second dose of NZ's got Talent by myself (tissues at hand).

And then this morning we were woken by the girls getting themselves organised very early to go outside and hone their skateboard and ripstick skills even further.  Well, when I say early, it was 9:00 but keep in mind we have just recently turned the clocks ahead so it felt like 8:00 am, well and truly!  I took the hint however and got myself up and out the door, dog and music player in hand, for an early morning walk.  It was a heavenly time, and I mean that.  Back home for a coffee and croissants on my garden swing.  It just doesn't get any better than that.  And now, here I sit with my legs in the sun and I write.

I do miss the lake, the kowhai, the tui and my seat in the sun at the bach.  I miss walking to the river-mouth and feeding the ducks in the solitude I always find there.  I miss standing at Kuratau point, allowing myself to be pummelled by the wind.  I miss watching Buster play with the other dogs we meet in the reserve.  I miss the inspiration for stories...so many stories that I imagine about the people I meet there.

But we have our own story.  We have our own bridges to cross, pleasures to pursue and faith to live out, whether we are in Kuratau or right here on our staycation.  We have a beautiful family, fantastic friends and a lovely home--all gifts from God.  Sometimes we need a break and a change of scene.  Sometimes we need to stay right where we are and experience the blessing of it.

Staycation:  my new favourite thing.

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