Animal Tracks: My Vacation

My wife, Cheryl, has been a nurse just about forever. I met her, in fact, when she was one of my mother’s nurses in a Richmond hospital.

When we got married, she moved from Richmond and took a job in a local hospital. A few years ago she changed jobs, going to work for a private healthcare company.

In a lot of ways, this job is much easier. Instead of taking care of a dozen or more patients, she has exactly one patient, that being a young boy with multiple health issues. She works in Raleigh five days one week and six the next so she spends a lot of time with the family.

As for the family, they’re some of the nicest people you’d ever meet and Cheryl has gotten very close to them, and they to her. It would not be an exaggeration to say that she has become very much a part of that family.

Naturally, when the family goes on vacation, Cheryl goes with them. In the last few years she has been to several resorts with the family. A couple of years ago they went to a “water world park” for a week and later that summer, they did a weeklong trip to Disney World in Florida.

Cheryl does work on these trips, doing the same things she does the rest of the year. However, she also gets time to enjoy herself and have a good time. And, she gets paid for it, just as if she was working in their home.

It’s a pretty good deal.

This year the family decided to rent a beach house in Hilton Head, SC for a week. On the agenda is a cruise where they go out and play with dolphins, paraglide, whiz around on jet skis and, I suppose, whatever else strikes their fancy. I looked up attractions in Hilton Head and it seems there’s no shortage of things to do.

As for me, I’m still right here in Chase City, although I am planning a trip of my own later this week. I’m an organ transplant patient so I’ll be traveling to Boydton later this week to get my third Covid shot.

This is all perfectly okay with me. Sure, I enjoy traveling and seeing new places but, I don’t think I’m really good tourist material.

I don’t get overly excited wandering around a glorified midway with overhyped rides and running into folks dressed up in Mickey Mouse or Goofy costumes. Deep down I always suspect they’re actually teens in costumes wandering around for minimum wage, posing for pictures with tourists.

Besides, someone has to stay home and take care of all the animals.

So, this week I have my own vacation.

This is the time of the year when I get to fix and enjoy the foods that I like that Cheryl doesn’t. I expect I’ll make at least one meatloaf this week. It’s one of those foods that I enjoy that Cheryl doesn’t eat. Why? I don’t know but I do know that there isn’t anything like a cold meatloaf sandwich with tons of ketchup in the middle of the night.

There’s a long list of foods like that and I expect to enjoy them this week.

Cheryl leaves for Raleigh early on the mornings she works and, being the every thoughtful hubby, I keep the noise down after 8 or so. This week I get to play music as loud...and as I want...wailing on guitar or bashing on the piano.

The dogs don’t mind a bit.

Of course, we’re all creatures of habit and we get used to things being a certain way so yes, I’ll miss Cheryl this week. I always do when she’s away.

But a little time apart now and then can be a good thing, too. I’ll be delighted when she gets home next week. But, I am going to enjoy being on my own for a week.