The breeze is cool, the sky bright and the van back hatch open. Inside the house, there’s boxes of food and suitcases of clothes good for a 50-degree temperature differentiation. A day from now, the animals will be confused, our friends will be house-sitting, and Kansas will be well beyond our rear-view mirror as we head through Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota — picking up our daughter on the way — until we reach the water’s edge. We’re going to a cabin on Lake Superior, which I hear truly is superior.
Meanwhile, there’s today to bridge and work through, packing, loading, cleaning, arranging, and finishing a whole lot of work, and I’m giving a poetry reading this
evening. I try to envision calm, telling myself the transition to get the hell out of Dodge can be matter-of-fact as opposed to our usual way of panicked frenzy.
For the trip itself, I’m hoping for long walks, lots of waterfall viewing, sitting on the deck of where we’re staying and watching the lake, some kayaking, and I pray on the souls of all great vacationing families before me that we don’t end up mistakenly eating at the wrong restaurant where we pay an outrageous amount
for bad food while arguing over it all. Having failed to have a relaxing family vacation well over 90% of the time we tried for two decades doesn’t seem to dissuade me, but then again, denial and the urge for going together make an intoxicating blend.
In the meantime, wish us well, and we will wish you well wherever you’re going or staying. May the breeze be cool, the coffee strong, the credit card balances low, and the Chinese food you try out in a place not known for Chinese food surprisingly satisfying.