Monday 24 July 2017

Summer Vacation Blues

It's Monday, so it's time to get our fingers into some poetry again! Poetry Monday was started by Diane, then Delores jumped in, and I did too. There are a few other people contributing poems here, some regularly, some occasionally, some original, some not -- and you can, too. Leave yours in the comments or on your blog (and leave your address in the comments so we can find you).

The theme this week, as suggested by Diane, is VACATION.

What can I write about vacations? I haven't had what most people would call a vacation in years. Don't feel sorry for me, though. I work only part-time, there are quieter times at work when I can take a week or more to myself, and we no longer have children at home. So my life isn't hard by any means.

Still, sometimes all I want to do is have someone else look after the cats and be on call in case any of my elderly (or young) relatives need me, order takeout food for a whole week, and read all day except when I take a leisurely walk along our local trail, camera in hand. That is my idea of vacation. Not for me the trips to warmer places, the cruise ships, the cottage on a beach, or the city shopping. I'd be happy just to be free of responsibility for a whole week. Or two weeks, since this is my fantasy vacation ...

Even though I don't have a regular full-time job and therefore a regular vacation time, my husband does, and I understand how he -- and most working folks -- feel about their precious weeks off. They wait all year, and then vacation flies past, and before they know it, they're facing going back to work, with another entire year looming ahead of them. And for those, like my husband, who have had to change jobs from time to time, leaving them with no vacation at all in the annual cycle -- it's even harder.

That's what prompted this poem. (The title is courtesy of my dad, who would often wind up a discussion of something less than satisfactory with these words: "Oh well, it's better than a kick in the seat of the pants."

Actually, he usually substituted a short, descriptive word for "seat of the pants" that happens to be a synonym for "donkey" ...)

Better Than A Kick In The Seat Of The Pants 

Vacation ...

Is never long enough
Restful enough
Cheap enough
Sunny enough
Memorable enough --
But ...
It will have to do.

Is too long
Too tiring
Too insanity-inducing
Too depressing
And too frustrating
To bear.

Let us be thankful
For whatever vacation we get
Whenever we get it.


Not exactly a poem filled with joy, I'm realizing. But ya gotta write what moves ya.

However, the word "vacation" also brings to mind this upbeat song from my childhood. Enjoy!

(Ms. Francis doesn't look very happy in that photo, does she? I wonder if she ever had a vacation. I hope so.)


Let me ask you this: What would be your ideal vacation, if you could go right now, and if money, time, health, etc. were not a problem? I'd love to hear your answers to that, as well as any poetry you have up your sleeve for this week's Poetry Monday theme.

Some of the books I bought at the used-book fair last fall ... long since read and enjoyed. Most have gone on to new homes with other book lovers. Now I'm waiting (impatiently) for this year's book fair, which is still three months away ...

And stay tuned for Friday's post, which will be all about the Mystery Blogger Award for which baili nominated me. Thank you, baili! (baili's blog is HERE) There will be questions, there will be answers, there will be speeches made and glitter tossed in the air and cameras flashing! Well, maybe not those last things :)

May you have a restful, peaceful, vacation kind of week, even if you're not actually on vacation, my friends. Or take ten minutes for yourself, if that's all you can spare. Close your eyes and be in your happy place. Mmmmm....


Elephant's Child said...

It is a very long time since I went on vacation. The last (2004) was to Antarctica. I hug the memories very tightly to myself. If health and/or finances would allow (which won't be a happening thing) I would happily go back. I would also like to see polar bears in theor natural habitat.
No poem from me this week - but I so empathised with yours. Thank you.

Terry said...

Hi Jenny,

Holidays are the last thing I think about having too. However, I don't resent the fact that people do. It's just that I don't. I haven't really thought about taking a holiday, but if I had the choice I'd stay in this country and would probably go to Yorkshire.

Yorkshire folk are top of the crew,
When you meet them,
They just want to make you a brew.

And get out their biscuits just for you,
Just for you,
Do myYorkhire crew,

Jamie dodgers or custard creams, they've got the lot or so it seems,
Sit yourself down and enjoy your brew,
You're in Yorkshire now where chips are grew,

From potatos,
I think you knew, But hark at me I know it all,
And I'll be there when you fall.

Because my cows have done a
shit, and you've gone and trod in it,
But never mind you're in Yorkshire now.

Before you came did you came did stop and bow?
Have you been to Halifax, have you been to Leeds?
You're in Yorkshire, now lad,

It's enough for anybody's needs.
Come sit and have a brew, I'm so glad you came,
You must be too.

River said...

Ideal vacation? Cabin on the beach, nothing to do but eat, read, sleep and walk along the shore, for a month while somebody else did everything else.

only slightly confused said...

Oh my goodness...that's a hoot. I love it. Makes we want to go to Yorkshire.

only slightly confused said...

Let us indeed be thankful for any vacation we can get. I'm retired so every day is a vacation BUT if I were to assemble the perfect vacation for me it would be a month in a small cottage type house in a tiny village with very little traffic. I would be on my own, lots of books to read and yarn to knit and a well stocked kitchen so I wouldn't have to go out if I didn't want to. Throw in a sheltered nook out of the wind for outside sitting and it sounds just perfect to me.

Joanne Noragon said...

I would return to the places I've been completely happy.

jenny_o said...

We have polar bears in Canada, EC (in Manitoba). For how long, no one is sure, though ... I wish you could come and see them (and me).

jenny_o said...

Terry! We've found the poet in you!!! I love it. I want to go to Yorkshire, too. Thanks for joining in!

jenny_o said...

That sounds like heaven, River. Especially the "somebody else" doing everything else :)

jenny_o said...

That sounds like something I would really enjoy, too, Delores. Being retired or just working part-time only lifts part of the chores from a person's shoulders, eh?

jenny_o said...

And now you've got me wishing you'd write more about the places you were happy, Joanne! At least when you want to "go to your happy place," you know where it is.

Terry said...

You love it??? That's a hoot?.?? Oh puhlease!! 🤢

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

You've sold me, Too! I have a Yorkshire man living with us. He married our daughter and there is no finer man alive. Here's to Yorkshire and to Yorkshire people!

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

I love this poem, Jenny! I think it describes vacations perfectly!!!

jenny_o said...

That's the funny thing about vacations - I've NEVER heard someone say their vacation was long enough, or cheap enough, etc. - no one has ever said that to me anyway!

Anonymous said...

I have been to many different countries in my time, but there is no comfortable or restful place than home.

Holidays are for the few,
To do the things they want to do,
So what do holidays mean to you?

To speak of your plans form an orderly queue,
Or sit yourself down on a wooden pew,
But first we'll start with an instant brew.

Making time for your friend Sue?
Relaxing with a book or two?
Or is it time to visit the zoo?

Do you tick off a "do" from a list that grew?
Do you prefer surprises out of the blue?
Please give me a solitary clue.

To visit places that are brand new?
And meeting people with a different view,
When living in a strange igloo.

Or is some sort of adventure due?
On your own or with a crew?
Moulding a friendship with sticky glue.

That's my poem finished, you surely knew,
Fresh as they come just like the dew,
That's it, mission accomplished. Phew!

Joan (Devon)

e said...

My happy place is at home with my cat. I'm becoming an old lady...

Janie Junebug said...

I like your poem. I don't exactly want a vacation. I want to travel, which I guess would be a vacation from my regular boring life. My fantasy is to wander around England.


only slightly confused said...

Don't knock encouragement Treey. There's little enough of it in this world.

dinthebeast said...

This post reminded me of a song by a Canadian band that called themselves "Klaatu" from 1978, about everyone spontaneously taking a month off one summer. The song is called "Everybody Took a Holiday":

It happened back in ancient times
When people worked overtime overtime
In fact I think in 1985
Life was busy in the big city
And the union was sitting pretty
It wasn't easy to stay alive
And they'd run from the city to the sun and the country
And never quite get away
When the weekend came
Everybody took a holiday
Everybody took a holiday

On a Sunday in July
Everybody made up their minds
And when Monday rolled around no one came home
All the cities and streets were bare
Everybody was having fun elsewhere
As the weeks went by no one came home

And they'd run from the city to the sun and the country
And never quite get away
When the weekend came
Everybody took a holiday
Everybody took a holiday

But the world has changed today
Everyone works in the usual way
But at least we had one month away
Things are much much slower now
People get away anyhow anyhow
When the weekend comes they take a holiday

And they run from the city to the sun and the country
And never quite get away
When the weekend comes
Everybody takes a holiday
Everybody took a holiday
Everybody took a holiday

Everyone used to say that they sounded like the Beatles, and they kinda do, but I think they were their own thing.

-Doug in Oakland

Martha said...

I'm looking at your books and I recognize some that I've read! I don't think I could get through life without reading. haha

If money wasn't an issue, I would travel most of the year. When I'm feeling tired, I want a beach vacation to get away from it all. Being near the ocean is soul healing for me. If I could take off today, I'd head to Barbados or Bahamas or Aruba or St. Lucia or Curacao...and on it goes. You get the idea.

But I also love playing tourist, so when I'm feeling adventurous I'd love to explore many of the European and Asian countries, visit and photograph historical sights, and walk for miles to see these amazing places.

jenny_o said...

Well done, Joan! I didn't realize there were so many words with the "oo" sound ending. This is a good list covering many different kinds of holidays. Thanks for joining in!

jenny_o said...

The advantage to that is being in your happy place most of the time -- a very good thing!

jenny_o said...

I certainly think of travel as vacationing, for those who like to do it. And many people do. I hope you get to go to England sometime.

jenny_o said...

Very cool song for the vacation theme, Doug! I didn't think I'd heard of the band but then I checked and they did "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft," which I do remember. Thanks for bringing this one to the table.

jenny_o said...

It's funny, isn't it, how some people just want to stay home and some just want to GO! Takes all of us to make the world go around :) I hope you get away enough to scratch that itch!

Diane Henders said...

I feel the same as you about vacation! I'm not much for travelling, so a 'staycation' would be lovely. For the past year my work schedule has been 16 hours a day 7 days a week, so I have great plans to take Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off next week. I intend to wander around and see some local sights with Hubby and read, read, read!

I'm hoping it'll work out - my vacations usually start with good intentions and then evaporate when some new crisis strikes. Fingers crossed... :-)

jenny_o said...

I hope it works out, too - that's a gruelling work schedule! You have a strict boss - only three days off :)

Diane Henders said...

Oh, my 'boss' isn't THAT strict - I only get three days off because on Thursday I leave for a week's visit with friends and family back east. That's why a staycation seems so attractive - as much as I love visiting everybody, it's always action-packed and I often come home wishing I had time for a rest. Maybe this time I will... ;-)

jenny_o said...

Nice! Have a great time!

Terry said...

I never knock it Delores.

baili said...

Beautiful post about my Favorite "Vacations"

I wait for the vacations because i can have my kids at home front of my eyes and this is most desired by my heart throughout the year .

I Love vacations because they get me out of my routine life {as i am not much social and spend my whole day roaming around the kitchen ,bedroom bathroom and yard walk } so In vacations we visit to my native village where i feel more refreshing and relived by hilly lashing views which take me to the era when i was with my parents and sister .

This poem is amazingly and cleverly cute and cover the complete dimension of Vacation

jenny_o said...

You've given such good reasons for loving vacation, baili. Family and familiar places! Both are so important to our happiness and contentment.

LL Cool Joe said...

You know we Brits don't use the word vacation don't you? We say holiday. Still I have to admit sometimes a holiday is long enough for me and then I'm itching to get back to work!

jenny_o said...

Hmm ... I daresay you are not the only person who feels that way, just the first I've witnessed :) Maybe it depends on how much or how little a person likes their work, too. Some jobs seem more interesting and fun than others.