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Nevada County Picayune-Times - Prescott, AR
  • Julie Fay: Vacation lessons that really hit home

  • We drove, as we always do when we visit la petite maison, our summer cottage in the Eastern Townships area of la belle province. It was a week of lovely scenery, too much ice cream and an abundance of mangled French on my part (my best line: Je ne parle pas français).

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  • I just flew in from Québec, and boy, les bras sont fatigués. Just kidding.
    We drove, as we always do when we visit la petite maison, our summer cottage in the Eastern Townships area of la belle province. It was a week of lovely scenery, too much ice cream and an abundance of mangled French on my part (my best line: Je ne parle pas français).
    After being back home for a few days, though, I realized the best part of nos vacances was being unplugged. We have no cable or Internet at the cottage. I couldn’t check my email, so I didn’t. Somehow I remained cheerful without checking the humor boards on Pinterest. Miraculously, I managed to eat without tracking everything on SparkPeople (see “too much ice cream,” above).
    Instead of catching up with my Facebook friends over my morning coffee, I sat on the porch and watched a blue jay hop around the yard. My daughter couldn’t check out silly animal videos on YouTube, so she got out the crayons and made silly animal drawings. Instead of watching baseball highlights, my sons read books.
    Did I worry that things might blow up at work and I wouldn’t know? A little, but I had my cellphone and only received one text, which wasn’t urgent. There’s nothing like being off the communications grid to remind me that I’m not indispensable. Far from being troubling, it was liberating.
    We took bike rides. My husband and I had grown-up conversation while the kids played in the sprinklers at the playground. We kayaked and canoed and swam in the lake. We told stories and sang songs around the campfire. We had a glass of wine every evening. We ate when we were hungry and slept when we were tired, and I didn’t check my calendar once. It was heaven.
    We wanted to hold on to vacation, but life and its many obligations called us back, and as much as I’d like to avoid my calendar, I’m back on the grid. There are some ways I can keep the vacation mind-set, though, if not the setting. I hereby resolve:
    To have my morning coffee on the porch instead of with my laptop this summer; to attempt at least one grown-up conversation with my husband every day; to remember that Facebook won’t collapse without me; and to encourage (read: decree) device-free fun for the kiddos.
    A verre de vin rouge every evening wouldn’t hurt, either.
    Read more at www.juliefaysblog.wordpress.com.

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