A Vacation (of sorts)


I need a vacation.

I think I have for a very long time, actually.

And we’ve had some. We enjoyed a really nice visit with family this summer. And we just had a nice weekend in Buffalo with more family this past Labor Day holiday. And I’ve had some really nice days off here and there.

But I really need a break.

With an increase in activities beginning this week, one break is going to be here at GregsHead.net.

There will be no new posts this week, but there is so much content here (remember… over 800,000 words worth) that I’d love for you to scroll back through the recent posts, or use the archive links in my 10th anniversary post, or just click around wherever you’d like. Much to ponder, encourage, challenge, and I certainly welcome your responses—even to things written over 10 years ago!

I can’t really call this break from writing a vacation … but at least I can put this pen down for a while, and perhaps a true break will come at some point in the near future.

And perhaps not.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Have you never heard?
     Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
     the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
     No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
     and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
     and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
     They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
     They will walk and not faint.


Some of you reading this know that we have been on vacation for the past week. Now, all of you reading this know that. 🙂 It was a very different vacation in that we did not know where we would be spending it even up to the eve of the first day of the week off, and to some degree, most of the first day of vacating!

We ended up spending the first day of my week off at home, doing fun vacation-y things at home. But the phone and the office are too near, as is an abundance of household chores. (I ended up doing a good deal of laundry, dishes, cooking meals, and best of all, got to spend at least an hour fixing a clogged tub drain in our bathroom.) So, Jen said near the end of the first day, “We’re leaving tomorrow!”

Mainly (if not totally) due to financial concerns, we had cancelled our initial trip to Florida to visit with family. While the lodging was taken care of, and likely, most meals… the travel cost of just getting there was too high for us at the moment. So, our backup plan was to visit my sister for a portion of our week. They live in Washington, DC… Jen loves DC… it was Jen’s birthday weekend… seemed a perfect fit. So, we planned to take a leisurely trip down through PA to get to their place for the weekend… just staying at a few cheaper hotels along the way. Well, that too became out of our price range at the moment and so we scrapped that idea.

What we ended up doing was a modified version of plan B. A plan B-B, if you will. We only spent one night in a moderate hotel, and did a little tour of a couple Gettysburg historical sites on the way to visit with my sister’s fam down in DC. Then we spent the final two days of vacation back here at the humble abode. (And, since we did spend the time doing household chores on the first day of vacation, there were far fewer to do the past couple days. Also, people had learned that I actually was gone, and they needn’t call till I return, so the phone was less intrusive.)

I’m getting ahead of myself… let me back-track to Gettysburg.

Our son, Ian, is 7 years old and just quite simply a marvel to me. He is so interested in people that he read a book that I’d say was intended for middle-school minds (remember… he’s seven!) on the trip down to Gettysburg. We had read a story or two about G-burg before leaving, but mostly Ian did the research on his own. The book was a diary of one girl’s experiences in July of 1863 when the major battle at G-burg occurred. So, since Ian had read this story, the place was much more alive and had much more meaning to him. He was pointing out signs and street names and locations to us, “Hey! That was in my book!”

Basically… he was our tour guide. 🙂

We strolled the very ground where the crucial battle had taken place some 143 years prior. It was really very interesting and sobering to be standing there with cannons and battle lines and other things still in place. The story was very alive and real as we read the various plaques and memorials. Definitely going to make a return trip and spend more than a few hours there.

Our time in DC was packed full of time with my sister and family, which was really great. We also celebrated Jen’s birthday on Saturday. (Including a nice birthday dinner at Red Robin on Friday night!) We even got to spend most of Saturday with a good friend from high school and his family. The kids also got to do some trick-or-treating at the local businesses with their cousins. That was fun 🙂

Since we came home we spent some leisurely time around the house playing Tecmo Superbowl (among other electronic games), making and eating fun meals (like waffles!) and just enjoying being a family of six.

That reminds me… we also spent our vacation letting family and friends know that we are now expecting to be a family of seven by the end of May 2007. 🙂

We finished up the big 2006 vacation with a THREE HOUR trick-or-treat extravaganza in our own town of Palmyra, NY. We have not yet done that (so far, we have trick-or-treated in Florida, California, Vermont twice, and a few other locations across the country), so we had a great time visiting friends, meeting new neighbors and just being in our own town. And we did get quite a haul of candy!!

The kids were Buffalo sports reps. Ian was a Buffalo Sabre in classic blue and gold attire. Alex was a Buffalo Bill: Drew Bledsoe, to be precise. Kirstie was a Buffalo Jill. We even had the face paint! Oh! Even Julia was dressed in her little Buffalo Bills outfit from Grammy. So, she was a cheer leader too. 🙂

It was a great night. It was a great vacation. Why am I up at 2:15 you ask? Well, I spent two hours straightening up our finances (reconciling our accounts, paying bills, filing receipts, etc).. and then just felt the urge to blog. Last day of vacation… I’m milking it. 🙂

Hopefully I return to the office tomorrow refreshed and recharged. There’s a lot on my plate already… so it will be tough, but I hope the time away will give me a renewed capacity to deal with all the challenges and to enjoy the work God has given me to do. I am definitely blessed.

Beyond how God provides for our family… I am blown away by how blessed I am to have the wife I have, and the four (and soon five) great kids we have. Can’t say it any better than that.

So… we’re back! Here we go again!