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Blink, blink, blink, was that really vacation?

Blink, blink, blink.

Vacation starts.

Blink, blink, blink.

Vacation ends.

But on that Sunday night of get-set, get-ready-go, the week stretches out like an endless highway to no destination in particular, and all exits are open wth no detours in sight.

The prospect of a vacation promises ample time and opportunities galore for fun to be had, places to go, things to do, people to see. Time for all that stuff you swear you don’t have time to do otherwise.

The week is a big, blank slate and you’re in charge of the chalk.

But then it’s Thursday all of a sudden.

Oh no!! How did that happen??

But, hold on now, there’s still time. There’s the weekend, and it’s a l-o-n-g weekend, thank goodness, because, in this case, it includes Friday. Relax.

Blink, blink, blink.

It’s Sunday night, typically a “school night” for the work-on-Monday crew.

Sunday night comes with a steep pricetag, given it’s generally followed by a back-to-work scenario. Back you go. No passing go. Definitely no collecting 200 bucks.

An astute relative who knew I was on vacation observed it would be the fastest seven days ever. Agreed.

Spoken like a retiree, around whom I seem to be surrounded, being odd man out. Somebody’s got to keep that Social Security system solvent.

Fast as they go, a vacation is something I do appreciate, and sleeping in isn’t one of the reasons why.

I make no secret of enjoying the early morning hours and the chance to vegetate on the back porch, admiring flowerbeds and being amused by a squirrel and birds fighting over eating rights in the birdbath turned bird/squirrel feeder.

One morning I did doze back off and had this weird food-related dream. In retrospect, I think it’s because we had gone to this restaurant in hopes of the buffet being available again, but it still wasn’t.

I dreamed I was at my cousin’s house, and she was having a buffet. The catch, though, is that the food was in the drawers of an old dresser — the kind where the drawers are hard to open so you really have to tug at them unless you have a little WD-40 on hand. Add to that struggle the fact that there was a moat around the dresser, but me being me and generally hungry, I was trying my best to cross this ditch and open the drawers to fill my plate. I woke up ravenous, go figure.

I did not cook all week, so yes, a lovely vacation it was in that regard.

The eating out included graduation parties, feasts where I was reminded how these celebrations have morphed through the years. If memory serves me well, I got a cake and a suitcase.

Any vacation worth its salt involves shopping, and I did plenty of that, in addition to some browsing. I found myself in a kitchen and cooking type store of all places, where a customer-service-oriented clerk approached me.

“Do you bake?” she asked me cheerfully.

“Not on purpose,” I confessed, telling her I like to read cookbooks, not actually try the recipes.

She shot Better Half a very sympathetic look.

So here I am, back in the saddle again, so to speak. And I’ll see you in this space next week. Blink, blink, blink.

(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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