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The Staycation

‘I imagine sipping a tall, cool drink, under the sun, listening to the palm trees sway in the warm tropical breezes.’

Sipping by an Arizona pool...a few years back...

The Staycation

The term, ‘staycation’ is a fairly new term, though not so much a new concept. COVID has changed all of our lives, and with the change came locational grounding, and the inability to freely travel our globe and visit all the places so many of us look forward to.

Each year, so many people book vacations away from home, to get a break from the everyday routines of work, family, home, responsibilities and obligations. We trot off across the globe to get a different daily perspective for a while, and to enjoy time away to recharge our batteries, to step out and take a break from our busy lives at home.

Because of my beautiful lake, and my family’s choice and commitment to spend our vacation time and budget on our beautiful little spot, I have not really travelled much of the globe, and I expect I never will now. The lake was the place I stepped out to, and the place where I spent all my vacation time, and for the most part, I was content with that because the magic of my lake had always been my joy.

Many of my lake neighbours that own a home in the city, still pop off now and then to tropical destinations to see and enjoy more of the world. My family was always been so completely committed to just coming to the lake, and when my parents divorced, and I was entering adulthood out on my own, I came to the lake, and continued the commitment to the place I loved more than anywhere else in the world.

Our seasonal lake property was not the same as everyone else’s financially, because it is Crown land, and therefore, a larger financial commitment each year than freehold ownership, at least, in the past few decades, where Crown leases increased to what they were so many years ago. My goal was always to own the lake outright, but there were issues, and I am not comfortable just now with full disclosure. Just know that for over 55 years, I have always done what I could do to enable me to return to my beautiful little lake property each year.

I am a girl of the forest and my lake. I am a West Coast girl. Living in cities near to the Pacific Ocean coastline, and vacationing on a freshwater lake in a breathtaking forest near to the ocean along our Canadian coastline has always been my blessing and my bliss. This year I am facing some very radical changes, but that may be for another story.

COVID has been here for a year now, and we are all still grounded. I am unable to even cross the border into the USA to do my small trips with my van as a getaway. I have been home, for the most part, for the past year. I can tell you it has made a profound difference on how I interact and socialize with the world. I have been very quiet and very alone. Thank goodness, I am able to write. I have been furiously writing stories and poetry, and am self-publishing here and there. But I can tell you honestly, I miss not having even the choice to go somewhere, and somewhere tropical would be so nice. I am a huge fan of swaying palm trees and sunny warm weather. I really miss not being able to go south in the cooler winter Canadian months in order to sit by a pool somewhere in a big hat, sipping a tall, cool drink, sitting in the sunshine under the shade of a swishing palm tree waving in the warm desert breezes.

Instead I have created a rather tropical-themed outdoor covered deck at home in the city, and I can tell you there are palm trees, although they may not be real. I have created my own staycation spot for sunny days, but of course, the deck is not a tropical oasis on a chilly winter day, or on the many, many pounding down rainy days, like today, that we get here on the west coast.

A little tropical home 'staycation'.

My small home staycation spot does fit the bill, however, on a warm, sunny day, and I have been very happy sitting outside there over the past few years I have lived here. (I might boast that I was a little ahead of the game when it came to the staycation concept.) However, I, like so many, are longing to break out of the gate and gallop into a healthier, more open world. I long for a vacation to some nice warm spot due south. It am guessing that will not happen for a long time yet. We have to all do our best to beat this COVID thing, so we can eventually get on with our normal lives, whatever that will look like.

In the meantime, I am grateful that I have a little staycation spot in my home. I am glad I can enjoy that special space, for free! I am sure I am not the only one who has converted a space, or set up a place in their own homes to staycation. Staying in while pretending to be out reminds me of the very funny COVID-related joke about going out for drinks, that I will share here:

‘I’m going bar-hopping tonight. I have a full bottle of wine and a glass set up in every room of my house, in the kitchen, the living room, the dining room, the bedroom, and on the patio. It will be a fabulous time!’

I’ve heard of other people creating staycations at home in one form or another, either through decor (like setting up a cruise-like environment, or beach-like experience in their back yard), or with simple themes or events that make date night out, become date night in, as we shelter in place. I do feel sorry for the many kids that graduated without a prom, but even then, parents got creative to make these events memorable even in the face of COVID. I had a milestone birthday this past year that was extremely quiet, when most times people have outwardly planned a large event for that type of birthday celebration. Ah, c’est la vie!

My lake friends know how to bring vacations home...stunning!

For those brave souls who live at my beautiful lake, even in the cold winters, well, they seem to have now managed to be comfortably ‘stranded’ in paradise, in my opinion. I will point out that those who full-time at the lake have created the necessary amenities and environments to stay there year-round. They have also made their properties shine as a home base, 'vacations not necessarily required?' However, my little place is strictly seasonal without its power, running water and insulation, and in addition to being off-grid, is water-access only as well. My aging world says it is not okay for me to be there in the cold, wet winters of this locale. I must wait it out until the more welcoming and warmer summer months.

And so, I remain in the city, staycationing on sunny days in my tropical oasis, though, right now I am listening to the pounding rain on my roof, as it is Spring, a time of showers, and I am thinking and dreaming of my little lake...

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