It’s a bit of a unique animal, getting ready to leave on vacation when you’re in the business of deadlines. This job, this editorship over our three newspapers of Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon is very much all-consuming. And I don’t mean that necessarily in a bad way, it’s just that sometimes it is eye-opening even for me. Trying to make sure that everything gets done in my absence means I have to remember everything I do. Some of it is so automatic, I don’t realize I do it … until I have to make sure someone else does it. Running down the list of what I do when and for which paper and then spreading out the various tasks among the rest of the staff ... well, it’s a bit of a juggling act. Or a ballet, if you prefer, as everyone has their part to play and the goal is to have it blend seamlessly together. And hopefully, I’ve remembered to assign out all my weekly tasks.
But enough of that; my goal with this column is to focus on vacation. This one is exciting (guess they all are, aren’t they?) as my daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter and I all get to go to upstate New York. It will be our opportunity to introduce Lorelei to the east coast branch of the family and, at nine months old, she is full of personality, is continually discovering new sounds she can make (blowing raspberries is her current favorite) and is an incredibly fast crawler. I don’t think there will be much walking in her future; she will be running.
Unlike other trips to NY, our itinerary does not have a ton of sightseeing-type outings. The last time we were there together – Ally, Judd and I – it was before their wedding, and gave Judd a chance to meet the family. We traveled to Niagara Falls, did some hiking in the Catskills, hit the Animal Adventure Park, etc.
This time, we do want to hike in the Adirondacks (the mountains there are a little bigger than the Catskills) and we are going to take Lorelei to experience the Utica Zoo. There’s also a Pumpkin Patch nearby to visit but other than that, the schedule is clear. Time for some relaxing and just embracing whatever the day brings. If it brings some rain, I am good with that. Temperatures are supposed to be mostly in the 60s during the day, I am good with that.
Remembering vacations through the years, they each bring back special memories.
When my brother, sister and I were young, our dad ran his own business so he didn’t get to take much time off. He was a mason contractor and throughout the county, there were houses where he either laid the foundation, built the fireplace and chimney or installed the backyard patio. When we did have the chance to vacation, it usually was either a camping trip that also included fishing or a drive to my great aunt’s summer home on Lake Mahopac. Both were fun in their own way; I loved fishing from the rowboat when we would camp locally and it was always a treat to go to Mahopac because their TV had like 10 stations you could watch (instead of the three we got at home) and there was a pool table in the basement.
When I was older, I got to go on vacation with my parents to Canada, as my dad was doing some work for a friend that had a cabin on a lake deep in the woods. Really deep; the closest phone was about three or four miles away. We cooked on a wood stove, we used an outhouse, it was quite rustic. But I managed to bake up some pretty good oatmeal cookies on that stove and probably had the best alarm clock in the world, one you didn’t have to set. The loons on the lake, greeting the morning, was a beautiful sound.
And this vacation, I will get to enjoy the colorful fall foliage of my hometown; beauty in simplicity.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 209-847-3021.