Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I can’t see that from over here

My right elbow is still a bit sore from unloading my own hellish version of the family truckster. Our all wheel drive vehicle had been piled to capacity with beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, coolers, shovels, golf clubs, clothing, wind chimes, assorted crafts and 3 bicycles. Riding along with me was fair lady and budding son. We had been vacationing for 10 days along with my sister-in-law, her husband, their three children and an equally maxed out family fun vehicle.

A few days into the vacation I was feeling a bit guilty for taking more than a week away from work. Rarely do I think along those lines as I am confident that in my final hours I will likely reflect more on interpersonal times of leisure than career milestones. Perhaps I was temporarily influenced by some local papers and their coverage of President Obama’s vacation, which was just a ferry ride away from our cottage. Many Americans feel that the Obama’s should not be vacationing while the economy is in such bad shape.

Luckily the regret was fleeting and I spent most of my time walking in flip flops. When I slide my feet into other choices, golf shoes, running sneakers or bike pedals were the alternates. When not eating a lobster roll on the beach, our meals were either proceeded by or followed by admission to one of the ubiquitous miniature golf courses that prosper on Cape Cod. Sometimes we substituted the activity for an appetizer or dessert. Other times we just inserted it in before the hors d'oeuvres or after a late ice cream stop. My eight year old fell in love with that life. He was all hopped up on artificial turf and a salt water breeze. I lost some enthusiasm for the redundancy of the mini-golf after the second round. Instead I fell in love with the endless delight of a soon to be third grader for hitting under the bunny, around the pig, clanging the metal pail at the wishing well, holing the pirate’s plank and banking a shot off the treasure chest.

If polled I would certainly cast my vote for vacations in both good times and bad. And with the full knowledge that as sure as I replied to some e-mails and called on some business propositions, the president is never really not working. It’s just an illusion. It’s one of life’s false impressions that can only be seen from specific angles.

My son reminded me of that when he gleefully popped out of our all everything vehicle late one night when we chose the after dessert option. ‘Dad, come look, come look’, he happily insisted. I wondered and asked, ‘what is it Bud? ‘Look at all the stars up there’, as he pointed toward a spectacularly bright celestial show. Contrasting his experience of how living among the bright lights of New York dims out the heavenly night above, he was learning something new.

He was learning that our views of the world and that of reality can easily be worlds apart, as predicated by where we stand.

© 2011 Christopher’s Views


  1. What a beautiful post, Christopher! And, yes, out of the mouths of babes comes wisdom we don't always see while we are so "involved" in the world today! Good for you to recognize it! Good to see you online. Hope you and your family had a great vacation.


  2. So good to see you back, Christopher. You and Obama both need holidays, all the better to cope with the rest of the year. But I'd rather you went, since I'm not likely to hear about his time off. Your writing takes me right along with you.

  3. A wonderful post Christopher! Love that last sentence. Isn't it so true!

  4. you are one lucky man
    and yes, the stars are always there
    even in the city..even when we can't see them
    they are there...comforting to know..
    comments on the President's vacation come with the territory....
    glad you got away for some memory making hours and days
    had fun...lived

  5. It's so important to take time off and enjoy the stars! We get six weeks of holiday in Sweden, so don't feel guilty about your short one! Enjoy the day.

  6. Oh no! This could get confusing. I too started to blog in the fall of 2008 and I too have been going by the handle "Christopher". I actually started using my full first name in certain public settings as a handle back in 1983, to avoid confusion with the few other Chris's that come into my life. This happens more often to me than it otherwise might because I am a member of AA. One of my current closest friends is also a Chris. He is tall and slender and younger. I am not.

  7. Those breaks we get - sometimes as small as having a chance to look up and see the night sky - are what keep us going through the bad patches, I think.

    I'm glad you came full circle in your thinking. Flip-flop times are precious! :)

  8. Haven't been here in awhile so I am glad to see you are still writing and sharing your interesting views!

    Just a quick comment on your last post. The part that struck me was about driving your son to his summer day camp. Since it already sounds like you are well aware of the benefits I thought you would be interested to know something a teacher once taught me about that. I was at a workshop for parents & the teacher mentioned that if you drive your child to or from school be aware that that is when they will most likely spill the beans about what's on their mind or how their day went. She said it has something to do with them feeling secure in the backseat & not having to sit face to face that makes them feel comfortable to talk openly about things that are on their minds.
    I found this to be quite true with my son & still look forward to these conversations to this day & he is now 17.
    & for what it's worth, I have had the best conversations with my dad while driving somewhere with him since the time I was a child & continue to do so now.
    So glad you enjoyed your vacation.
    : )

  9. Oh yes.. perspective is everything. Wonderful post, Christopher.

  10. so happy you got away!

    Aloha from Waikiki;

    Comfort Spiral
    > < } } ( ° >


    < ° ) } } > <

  11. this was lovely... came over from hilary's place to say hello and congrats on your POTW!

  12. Getting away, even if you are the President and working even when away, is important especially if you work even on vacation .. everyone needs time to slow down and recharge .. great post .. over from Hilary to say congrats on POTW!

  13. It's nice to get away. I agree vacations are good in bad and good economic times. Great post!