Monday, August 18, 2008

A Truly Great Vacation

I returned to my desk at the office this morning. The previous weeks vacation easily ranks up there with one of the very best I have ever had. And of course the question asked when you return from holidays is "where did you go?"

"Putted around the house mostly", is my reply,

"Really, what made this such a great vacation then?"

"Friends mostly. Dropping by to say hi, staying a while, you know ... back yard pool and barbeque stuff".

"And that's the best vacation you have ever had?"

"Well, one of them, we did go a couple years back to my mum's in Florida and caught up with my brother Paul".

"Well what made this vacation so great?"

And so I would explain about Ray and Michelle visiting from Ireland with us for three weeks.

I would start by describing our time on the back deck – laughing and having a great time together. And I would explain about watching their English comedy shows and comedians on YouTube – like 'Little Britain' and 'My Hero'.

I would then also explain that friends also came to visit from places as far away as Collingwood or Barrie – both an hour outside of Toronto. Local friends and family came by to sit at the patio table for an evening and enjoy Ray and Michelle's company again and again. The one couple, Martina and Glen – who as a private investigator was responsible for locating the other couple, Michelle and Dave – who was an old Canadian Forces buddy of Ray's when they were stationed in Beirut and Syria in the mid 1980's when Ray was in the Irish Peace Keeping Forces.

But unfortunately Martina and Glen have never yet met Michelle and Dave – except for telephone messages left.

I would also explain that our pool table was heavily used. Ray and I would start playing at eleven at night, and often would finish a game only to ask each other "one more?" The result was a freshly racked table until we would realize it's almost five in the morning.

"You shouldn't be letting people beat you on your table, Fred" Ray would chide as he waited to break the next game. Most of the night our conversation would be one sided while playing and would go something like this:

"Nice break Ray"

"Nice shot Ray"

"Nice shot Ray"

"Nice shot Ray"

"Nice shot Ray"

"Nice shot Ray"

"Nice shot Ray"

"Good Game Ray", I would say at last.

"Play again?" would say Ray. I would then rack up the balls for Rays next break.

Then I would explain how sad it was that Saturday afternoon as we stood out on the front lawn to say goodbye to Ray and Michelle while my wife Darlene and Ray's army buddy Dave drove them to the airport to go home to Dublin.

But before I let it get me sad all over again, I would look at my watch and explain to my co-worker that I really should get back to work, that I didn't realize an hour had flown by already.

When I go home tonight – to our quiet little house where once again only the four of us reside, my lovely wife Darlene will ask – "How was your first day back to work?"

"Busy", I will reply.

"Was there a lot of working piled up while you were away?" she will ask.

"Still is", I will answer, "I spent the whole day telling people about my vacation".

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