The stay-at-home vacation

A trip is what you take when you can't take any more of what you've been taking.

- Adeline Ainsworth, 1973

The point of summer is to get away from it all. Pack up and take a vacation to the shore or mountains. Spend a fortune on gasoline and hotels.

Not this year. This summer, we would vacation at home. It would be a working vacation, by which I meant that I would catch up on house projects. When I finished, I could relax on the deck.

I couldn't have been more wrong. The phone never stopped ringing. My husband had to sort out a business-travel itinerary and fix a crashed Web site. A decision had to be made about our son's day care. We called recalcitrant contractors about cutting down the jungle in our backyard. A tree fell in a windstorm. I watered plants for vacationing neighbors.

The only change from a workday was that I could do these tasks dressed in a bathrobe.

The moral of the story: Always go away on vacation.

If you do stay home:

*Tell family, friends, colleagues that you are out of town. Ask neighbors to pick up the paper.

*Turn answering machine on. Resist urge to monitor calls.

*Hide radio and disable TV.

*Eat takeout for lunch and dinner (no cooking or cleanup).

*Take day trips, if only to pick up souvenirs for friends, so they won't think you're a complete loser who didn't go anywhere.

By the way, does anyone know a good deal on a beach-condo rental for August?

*Write the Homefront, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 or e-mail us at

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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