• Carmen Marie Fabio

A place in the sun


“What are you doing for vacation?” is a question that seems to demand an exotic answer like a voyage to Europe, beach excursions, or visiting a glamorous new city. I feel like I kind of let people down when I tell them, “Nothing. I'm staying home.”

After using up any 'extra' money (hah!) on spending a week with the family in New York City last March, my vacation fund is not only spent, it's still in the red.

So my plans, for the next three weeks, include reading, relaxing, and sleeping. For the first few days. After which, besides finishing whatever tasks or renovation projects I'd started earlier in the year, I really ought to pay more attention to things I spent money on, thinking it was a good idea at the time, and then never really got around to using to their full extent.

Starting with the kayaks that were 25 per cent off at Costco last year. They're really awesome little vessels but finagling them from the house to the shore, on a day when conditions are not too sunny, not too windy, and not too buggy, are few and far between. I have every intention of getting back in the water next week, accompanied (she doesn't know it yet) by my tiny, patient dog as soon as I buy her the adorable little red life jacket I saw at Global. I'm sure she'll love it and everything will be perfect, which is the same idealism that made me buy the kayaks in the first place.

I hope to spend time in the hammock which also seemed like a good idea at the time until the spring floods nurtured long dormant mosquito eggs back to life, leading to a seven-fold increase in the vile little bloodsucking disease-spreaders. Perhaps it's time to invest in a mosquito net to drape over the hammock. Sounds like a good idea.

I'm hoping to pick up the banjo again that was a gift from my husband about a decade ago when I casually made mention of always wanting to learn how to play one. The large package that showed up that Christmas all the way from Knoxville, Tennessee, replete with a how-to CD, has over the years been pushed aside for other brilliant ideas. Like kayaks and hammocks.

Thankfully, my eldest has taken up the instrument after schooling me on some of his favourite bands that incorporate banjo into their artistry including the Norwegian band Taåke; Weedeater, a North Carolina stoner metal band, and No One Gets Out Alive, a German bluegrass/death metal band. I blinked, smiled, and told him to enjoy himself.

There’s the croquet and badminton sets, still nicely in their original packaging, as the grass was never really suitable for either. Determined to get my money’s worth, I told the kids I’d be setting up both this summer and, perfect grass or not, they’d be putting down their mobile devices and get out in the bright sunshine….

Sunshine. Sounds like a good idea.

Happy vacation.

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