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Trying To Plan Ahead
Marg-Ins 5-5-21

My Fitbit is telling me something I already know: sleep isn’t something that is coming very easily to me right now.

My best ‘showing’ in the past week or so was a night of six hours, 0 minutes in the various stages of sleep while the worst – a Monday night into Tuesday, was three hours, 53 minutes. Seriously, falling asleep at 2:16 a.m. and getting up at 6:49 a.m.? I like the fact that my ‘I will check every breath you take’ constant wrist companion lets me know I am not getting enough sleep but, truthfully, I don’t need the reminder.

Especially on a Monday night into Tuesday – I make it through Monday, and getting the Escalon Times to press, then have to try and power down and re-group for Tuesday when we have to get both The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News on the press. Sometimes my mind just won’t shut up, especially if I have many tasks left to do and stories to wrap up on Tuesdays. My sleep patterns also often depend on the book I am reading, which is what I do to relax before turning out the lights. If it’s a good one, especially a crime drama or psychological thriller, I tend to read too many chapters and not pay attention to the time. I should just limit myself to two chapters a night and make sure I get some decent shut-eye.

So all that has me thinking about scheduling a vacation and that has actually been harder than I thought it would be, too.

Juggling the time off for my people in this office and making sure there is someone to cover for me, trying to arrange for a trip that doesn’t conflict with significant events here in our tri-city area and also looking to avoid the peak of summer’s swelter in the upstate New York humidity … there’s a lot to work around.

The good news is that, after not being able to take a vacation last year (couldn’t really travel that much anyway amidst the height of the pandemic) I still have a significant amount of travel funds available to me. I did have a trip scheduled but it got postponed because at that time, New York was randomly enacting the quarantine for those visiting The Empire State and I couldn’t afford to be gone for an indeterminate amount of time. At least not without my laptop and I choose to leave the computer behind when I go on vacation.

The travel funds are on account for me and are good through the end of September, 2022. Trust me, I am not waiting that long to use them; I will get a vacation this summer.

I also will get to have a little break for Mother’s Day, as my daughter called a few weeks ago to see what I wanted to do. She caught me off guard; I certainly don’t plan three weeks to a month in advance but it did give me some time to formulate a trip itinerary. We will enjoy some time together, a mother-daughter day trip – without either of our dogs, just us. Well, we might take the dogs; we’ll see.

I’ve always enjoyed visiting Columbia State Historic Park, as it has some great memories of times spent there in the past with friends and family – from the stagecoach ride to gold panning to browsing through the Main Street shops.

This time around, it’s perfectly fine for me to just enjoy the fresh air, take a look at merchandise in the stores that have been able to re-open and probably bring home a few little trinkets I don’t really need but absolutely have to have. And just a day away will do me some good; hopefully it comes after a night with more than three hours and 53 minutes of sleep.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.