Publisher’s Perspective

What is an oxymoron vacation? Read on McDuff


Last week, I took an oxymoron vacation.

For those of you who don’t understand what an oxymoron vacation is, here is one way to explain it.

Vacation is defined as, “an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling,”

The only part of that definition I fulfilled on my “vacation” is that I traveled. As far as leisure and recreation, well far from it. Hence, it was an oxymoron vacation.

I took a few days off last week to fly home to Michigan to do some work on my house that still has not been sold. After four months of sitting on the market, my realtor finally told me I “needed to replace some carpet upstairs.” Now why she didn’t tell me this when I first listed the house, I don’t know. Why she hasn’t held an Open House yet is another question that begs for an answer. But I digress.

I set up an appointment to have the carpet replaced last Thursday, which required me to move all the contents from that specific room. That specific room was my library, which just happens to have over a thousand hardcover books sitting on various book shelves and stands. Guess who moved everything by himself?

Wednesday evening and Thursday morning were spent moving books and shelves into another room in the house. Many of the contents I had to move were rare first edition books from the Civil War, World War II and the Indian Wars. They had to be delicately handled, but they also weighed a ton. It took a lot of time to accomplish the movement from one room to another. On Thursday afternoon the carpet was replaced. On Thursday night and Friday all the books and shelves were replaced. By me.

So where in the definition of “an extended period of leisure and recreation” does that fit into my understanding of a vacation? I am still tired, sore and black and blue from this vacation. Ugh.

OK, I am done complaining. There was a good side to all the hard work and expense of the week.

What I did get while I was back on the homestead was a wonderful display of Michigan at its finest autumn color. Reds, yellows, greens, oranges—they were glowing everywhere on my property that is filled with maples, oaks, cherry and pines. There is something magnificent about autumn in Michigan that warms the soul. Unfortunately, five months of winter is right around the corner and that is not for me anymore.

There were a couple of other good things that came from this “vacation.” I got to rejoin my old trivia mates in Marshall, Mich. for a big showdown and we swept to victory and celebrated like rock stars on Friday night. On Saturday, my flight back to Texas had a layover of three hours in Minneapolis and I got to see my son and his wife who live there. The highlight, however, was getting to see and hold my newest grandson at the airport.

For two hours, little Theodore James and his grandpa played, cooed, and generally had a jolly good time amidst the hustle and bustle of people scurrying about the airport. He is growing like a weed, but little Theo has the best disposition of any little tike I have ever been around. He is the happiest baby to have ever been born. Just ask his grandpa.

Maybe, just maybe, it was a vacation after all.