Vacations And Trips
Work often seems to usurp vacations, likely because we schedule our time off around my personal superhero’s projects. Of course, those projects slide, run long, start early, or change schedules. We planned a getaway to the Sunshine State before the two-year assignment to Japan, mostly to visit friends and family, make introductions, and get away from the bayou. Of course, when time came for our getaway, his departure date slid up. I would travel to Florida alone and when I returned in a few days, he would be gone when I returned alone.
Over time, I thought we’d get better at coordinating our lives. Every crossing of our paths comes with hiccups and oddities. When I left Wyoming on my way to Hawai’i (see Sound. Color. Hawai’i. from February 2022), I invited him to join me in the islands, but his project ran long and I landed on Oahu alone. When I drove from North Dakota to Florida (see The Long Road To Florida from October 2022), I bee-lined it back in four days because he departed unexpectedly early. Even when we vacation apart, we still trip each other up.
The Flavor Of Departure
Our last morning together, as is often the case before he departs, he bakes us a German pancake. It gives him time to get ready while the eggs stretch beyond their borders. Between the two of us, somewhere around half of the doughy rectangle is always left over, so he packs it in a zippered bag, and it becomes road trip snacks for the one hour each in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the dragging hours down Florida’s spine. Each bite reminds me that when I return, he won’t be there. He’s leaving and I have a few pieces of dough to remember that the house will be empty when I return.
We often cross paths, heading in different directions, whether one state over or the other side of the planet. This is the routine of having non-routine employment. As hard as it is to say good-bye each time, it’s especially challenging to know we could have spent a few more days together if only our calendars aligned. I used to love solo adventures (see Traveling Alone from November 2021), but when I hit the road alone because my co-pilot gets ejected, outings change from vacations to errands with distant destinations. But at least I have a European-style pastry to pass the time as we pull away from one another.