Week away brings productivity, pleasantries

If you missed my face and message in this space in last weekend’s edition, I will add you to the vast list of three people who made that known to me — Pauline in New Manchester, (thank you for the phone call on Monday, the day of my return when I probably would have preferred not to); Arlene in Wintersville, (thank you for the kind note); and Better Half, (are you crazy??!!)

I yelled at the latter individual, who kept looking through the newspaper to find me when here I was seated right next to him at the kitchen table.

“Helloooo!! I’m on vacation!!” I scolded my husband when he vocalized that where-are-you thought, reminding him that the whole point of time off is certainly not to work in exhaustive advance to compensate for absence.

He gave me that, OK, OK, hands-up-in-the-air, sorry-I-mentioned-it look, waving the imaginary white flag of surrender, indicating he was not only wrong in this particular case, but he was dead wrong.

Of course any good vacation has a healthy mix of productivity and pleasantries in my opinion.

Work outside the office is a good thing.

I had my to-do list that included cleaning the barn, knocking down some cobwebs and giving the “kids'” stalls some TLC. Organized tack. Washed winter blankets. It’s amazing how a freshened space suddenly seems sooo much bigger. Maybe I should try this in the house sometime, I thought to myself. Or maybe not.

I did make headway indoors on what I call “mom boxes,” more evidence that my mother was inclined to not part with the past. That made me happy, though, with discoveries that included some really cool costume jewelry; my first-grade report card that noted I needed improvement when it comes to following directions; and old cookbooks. Two were printed in the 1930s, another in 1950 titled “Family Fare: Food Management and Recipes.” It was stamped “Compliments of Wayne L. Hays, Your Congressman.”

The recipes called for “fat for frying” or cook X number of minutes but noted no temperature.


I flourished in my flower beds until I came across a baby snake. I wasn’t all that startled until Better Half mentioned its parents and older siblings were probably bigger and could be nearby looking for baby snake, reason enough to weed at a later date.

It was a good week being off.

I finished one book and started another.

Jogged at leisure. Hugged the horses and relished the therapy sessions, trotting off into one sunset or two.

Ate out at every opportunity, although I am mourning the absence of buffets, grounds for gluttony.

I shopped for things I don’t need and reveled in the company of one who forked over hundreds of dollars for a special pair of boots. Giddyup!

I gazed at morning and evening skies with newfound appreciation from the vantage point of the back porch.

Honestly, I’m glad to be back.

But, honestly, I’ll be happy to have another week off, too.

Maybe by then, I’ll have four people miss me.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)


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