Before leaving on our holiday, I deleted my Facebook page.
Constantly reading environmental alerts pulled me down and sucked far too much time. I don't intend to return to that universe. Without such a distraction, I can be concerned directly with my own affairs instead of anyone else's opinion of what I post. I left the computer at home, too.
Manitou was beautiful: the frozen lake, lined with shrubs descending its surrounding slopes, was surprisingly like home, like our hills, like coming home to soak in the warm salt of the earth, erase accumulated stress in our bodies and recharge.
During the crazy-busy week preceding our holiday, there was no oohh-ahh anticipation of our great adult getaway. Instead, in his pre-holiday anxiety, Farmer threatened on a few occasions to simply stay home.
"Fine, stay" I told him. "I'll take your mother and go without you."
But when it finally arrived, all the ducks were in a row: childcare, fed cows, weather, clean roads and a working vehicle. My eldest daughter stayed back to do chores. We were set.
People who vacation regularly understand well what we have only once tasted: that space in which to talk; that quiet absence of any other concern depleting patience or pulling us away from true communication. It is priceless. I get it; didn't get it before, but I get it now.
In a longer column I'll discuss the rare treasure of Manitou Springs Mineral Spa; for the present, I'm still digesting the concept of the holiday experience.
As we left Manitou, Farmer spoke about next time. This was before we faced the battle of getting home.
Farmer braved blizzard conditions, then freezing rain in his new Chevy.
Yes, the holiday was everything I'd hoped for. It was getting home that exhausted us.
Getting to our first holy holiday place required overcoming great resistance to the idea of leaving. How did we ever release that laughable control over our lives here? This miracle get-away happened in a tiny window before calving, between bus runs, just before bedding plants and in the last space Farmer could possibly be away from weekend duties at work.
Holiday was a worthy battle, perfectly timed, with all stars lining up just right to eclipse work.