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I didn’t take all of my vacation last year, which wasn’t smart at all.
I’ve learned to pace myself as I advance in years and taking vacation is a large part of it. At this age, if you don’t relax, your body will shut you down anyway, so you might as well time it right, like on a vacation.
This year I’m taking off for the Lake of the Ozarks to hobnob with seven other old high school and college buddies, a man-cave spectacle spread over four days with plenty of bluster, stories full of bovine scatology and general hedonism, sans women.
The wives wouldn’t want to come if they ever saw video of the debacle, which we are discreet enough to not shoot, for fear of incriminating the guilty.
Call it one long boys night out with a long drive home on Sunday.
I imagine this will be a good holiday, as most of them are. There are those that go south, particularly when screaming children are involved, but that won’t be a problem now that we’re all old enough and don’t have to drag crum-grabbers around anymore.
I remember one sojourn to Disneyland in Southern California when in quick succession, the sink broke and flooded our family’s room, a young patron of the hotel left his deposit in the pool, a guy pulled a gun on my wife and I paid $14 for two Cokes and a bag of popcorn, all in two lovely days.
For some reason, the Oregon Coast has always worked out but I’m a bit too far to wander out there this time. Long days on long beaches in the summer are glorious there in what I consider some of the most beautiful country in the United States. Just the seafood alone is a treat, much less the ocean and mountains.
When I was a kid, we spent a lot of time at a cabin on a lake in Wisconsin that belonged to my mom’s side of the family.
The cabin was rustic, with an outhouse and porch furniture made from the aspens surrounding the bog at the end of the property. We cooked outside mostly and did a lot of water skiing and listening to radio at night. There was no TV and we never missed it.
However, I still consider some of my Ozark vacations as a few of the best.
Anytime you’re in a canoe is almost always a good thing and floating the Current or Jack’s Fork rivers is about as relaxing as it gets.
I won’t be floating in a canoe late this week, but I will be floating along in a boat or life jacket, completely oblivious to deadlines and responsibility.
The Buck Stops Here will return on Aug. 6.