I'm writing from my vacation up north in Michigan. My in-laws have a house right on the lake in a little village that used to be a thriving lumber town before the turn of the century. It's just south of Sleeping Bear Dunes and part of the National Lakeshore, which makes it a truly remarkable place with views that bring peace into your soul. Today the lake is extremely windy and agitated. From inside, through a window and while sitting in a patch of sunlight, the lake is lovely. Trying to sit on the beach, though, would be totally miserable.
If I thought about it long enough, I feel like I could come up with some cool metaphor linking the beauty of a windy lake from inside the security of a warm log house with the beneficence of faith sheltering me from the winds of circumstance or something, but you know what? I am on vacation and I just don't have the brainpower! Sorry...
Since I am away from home (and on vacation, have I mentioned that?) I am relaxing my Rule in terms of keeping on schedule. I do have several guidelines for my month up here, though.
(Those of you with kids can read these like the Genie from Aladdin)
Rule #1! I can't completely let go of my prayer life. At a minimum, I want to drag the kids to Mass on Sunday for one hour of absolutely hellish aggravation that makes me question my decision to raise my children as Catholics, pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily for my parents, say one decade of the Rosary for the intentions of the Rosary Crusade each night, and offer each morning to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Rule #2! I can't overindulge myself. I can have pie, ONCE a day. I can have ice cream, on a day I DON'T eat pie. Just because my in-laws are generous, fun-loving people does not mean I can take advantage of their munificence and get a new outfit every time we walk around the downtown. It's not a bad idea to keep some level of discipline going with the kids, too. One new toy per outing is PLENTY.
Rule #3! I can't pawn off my children entirely on their grandparents and spend the day blogging...oops. No, seriously. Doob Time and Gin Time need to be preserved. 1/2 an hour a day for each child, concrete, one-on-one activities that they choose. It really is too easy up here to let Grandma and Grandpa entertain them all day. Especially because all four of them enjoy that time so much.
So there you have it. Minimum standards for vacation. I have additional goals of setting out my curriculum plan to begin Homeschooling the Doob when we return, and possibly finishing Pope Benedict XVI's latest encyclical, of which I am 1/2 way through. There's also a book on the 1967 Arab-Israeli war that's caught my attention, and possibly something on Northern Michigan flora and fauna...but more likely I will spend my evenings chatting with my in-laws and watching what passes for news up here. Last night's Top Story: the weather forecast. I kid you not. We are all on vacation up here, I guess!
God Bless you all.