So if you think you are having a bad stretch of life, let me tell you about our family friend “Duckie.” This is the favorite stuffed animal toy of both of my grandchildren. Yes, there should be a special place in heaven for all favorite stuffed toys of preschoolers.
So here we are in Arizona for a “vacation” week. So far, of our travelling group of 10 people, the only one to not be more than just a bit sick is the mother of my daughter-in-law … who is a cancer patient on regular chemo treatments. Whatever the rest of us had, chemo destroyed apparently.
The most ill of us all have been the grandkids. And poor Duckie – he has been barfed upon, tossed twice into the toilet, had soup and food spilled all over him, and been stepped upon and thrown across the room. He is also regularly carried from place to place by people holding onto his beak! Along the way he has as well made several trips to the “hospital” by being sent through the laundry to clean up the last disaster.
Yep, it’s a Buchman vacation. So typical. I’ve even blogged about it in the past. We have had a couple of nice vacations over the years. The reason those stand out in my mind is because we have more commonly had TOTAL DISASTERS for vacation trips. You know how (I would think) the common experience for people on vacation is to wish it could continue and they don’t have to go home? Well, most of our vacations have been the sort that you are counting the days until you can get home again.
What makes them bad? Well, a couple of times it has been vehicle failures. A few times the accommodations were, well, less than what the pictures portrayed. Many times it has been horrendous weather conditions like a solid week of heavy rain while camping somewhere (people in a canoe literally paddling through the campground). Sometimes it has been, like this trip, sickness that makes for … well … unhappy campers.
One of those experiences actually happened about 22 years ago in the area where we now live – about 3-4 years before we moved to Western Maryland (of course, not knowing we would ever do something like that). I remember we stayed at a large hotel alongside 81 in Martinsburg for an evening. Several of the kids (we had four at the time) were not feeling well – especially Jesse who was just a baby. The room looked like a war zone when we departed. We went to Antietam that day, hoping none of the rest would get it that bad. I remember parking in the area on the south side of the cornfield, and in the time it took for me to turn off the car and walk around to un-belt someone, two of them had thrown up! We just cleaned it up and drove for home.
So, it all makes for memories, right? Well, there are all sorts of memories. I think my vacation memories could use some shock therapy. But no matter how bad it gets, Duckie has it worse!