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Earning the right to vacation

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By Kirsten Laskey

Up through last week, my mother had reminded everyone in the family just how many days of school remained in the 2009-2010 year. When Sunday rolled around, she sang out to everyone that she did not have to work this week.

If you think students are the only ones who excitedly cross the days off the calendar, think again. A vacation is a vacation – no matter one’s age.

And with the conclusion of one school year and the beginning of a tranquil break, it seemed a celebration was in order.

So a plastic tablecloth with a turquoise flower border was spread on the table and a paper flower chain with accordion lanterns was hung across the window.

Cups were filled with lemonade, my mother made her potato salad – the best potato salad one could ever eat – and my father fired up the grill to barbecue some steaks.

My sister’s children blew into soapy wands in hopes fragile, iridescent bubbles would be produced.

Sunday afternoon had all the ingredients for the ideal summer day. My sister’s daughter flung her sandals off in favor of feeling the grass underneath her bare feet and her oldest son filled up his newest water-squirting toy for a test run.

But even the most idyllic days come with some effort.


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