By Grant McGee: Local Columnist
Are you planning a vacation this summer?
This afternoon, if all goes according to plan, I will roll east out of Clovis and be off on the first two-week vacation I have ever had.
I needed two weeks to cover all the stuff I’d like to do, putting together some family visits with some genuine vacationing. My last trip east I had little time to do anything. Every day was spent traveling. Now we’ll only be traveling every other day.
The first stop will be Memphis to visit The Lady of the House’s brother. Memphis, home of Elvis’ Graceland, blues music’s Beale Street and the “Big Pyramid By The River.” Memphis is named after the city by the same name in Egypt and there’s a bunch of pyramids over there. So the folks in Memphis, Tenn., decided to build the Pyramid Arena, maybe because they thought if Memphis in Egypt has pyramids the one in Tennessee ought to have at least one.
Next stop will be The Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina. We’ll be paying a visit to my oldest daughter in Asheville.
We’ll take a drive along South Carolina and Georgia’s barrier islands hoping to find a place that hasn’t been homogenized, pasteurized and “Disneyfied.”
We’re going to spend two whole days visiting with my mom in south Florida. She’s 86 and has been “under the weather” lately. She said she’s been looking forward to seeing me.
Then The Lady of the House and I are going to the Florida panhandle to solemnize our union at one of our favorite spots in the country. I’m keeping the place kind of secret because I don’t want my brother driving over, moving my car and putting sardines on the engine and under the driver’s seat. He did that to me once before.
We’re going to visit The Lady of the House’s dad near Eglin Air Force Base for a couple of days. Then it’ll be time to head home to New Mexico. Along the way we plan on stopping at flea markets, looking for Tupelo honey, seeing some old plantations and generally taking our time cruising through the South.
We’ve arranged to have someone stay at the house to take care of the critters and the garden. I’ve come far since my days of living in my second-story penthouse apartment in downtown Clovis. It used to be when I left on vacation I would stick a sign near the door addressed to any burglars (hoping they could read):
IF YOU’VE BROKEN IN, TAKE WHATEVER YOU WANT BUT PLEASE LEAVE MY CLOTHES AND PLEASE SHUT THE DOOR WHEN YOU’RE FINISHED.
In the days before departure a pile of stuff to take on the trip grew underneath the window of the living room, including an extra pair of flip-flops because when you blow one of those out it’s tough finding a replacement pair. This is an important tip.
Considering all the work and planning that’s gone into this trip (the bulk of which was done by The Lady of the House while I tended to my day job), I wonder why it’s called a vacation.
I actually do know, though.
While away, I don’t have to go to work, mow the lawn, take out the garbage or do “yard patrol” (if you have dogs you know what I’m talking about).
Or clean the litter box.
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org