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Vacation Planning While God Laughs
I feel a little twinge of guilt every time I see a gas station advertising regular at the low, low price of $3.99.9. Or more.
It might be my fault.
Last winter, you see, I made some summer travel plans. I consulted websites. I got books from AAA. I MapQuested until my computer developed repetitive stress injuries. And when the dust settled, I settled too - on a motor trip to the East Coast; a motorcycle ride on what's left of Route 66; maybe a hop over to Kansas City for some barbecue, or a jaunt over to Gettysburg to tour the battlefield, or even a run down to Memphis to see what was going on at Graceland, thankyuhveramuch. But (and you knew there was a "but" coming, didn't you?) I had failed to take into account a wise old saying: If you want to make God laugh, make plans.
Well, evidently, I really cracked Him up. Gas prices shot to $4, making gasoline almost as expensive as bottled water, and there went my summer travel plans. And the laughter boomed down from the heavens.
Oh, well. They say travel is broadening and I'm broad enough already, right? So I guess I'll just have to make summer plans that keep me a little closer to home. I think a lot of us are going to do that - stay home to watch the grass grow, mostly because it's too bleepin' expensive to run the lawn mower.
I thought about spending the summer just sitting around the house watching television, except for the times I'm sitting around the yard reading comic books. Then I remembered that I did this one already, the summer between third and fourth grades. Also last year.
Now it's true that my house could use a little work - a few dabs of paint here and there, a couple of shakes that need replaced, that sort of thing, but you know, it's nothing that can't wait until fall. Of 2009.
As you might have guessed, I am not one of those people who looks upon summer as an opportunity to get a lot accomplished. I guess I'm still in school mode: You accomplish what you must in fall, winter and spring so that you can have the summer to goof off a little. That's the theory, anyway. Truth be told, I never got all that much accomplished in fall, winter and spring either. I've always believed that goofing off, done properly, is a year-round pursuit.
Seriously, though (well, sort of), I do think there's something to be said for the stay-at-home (or goofing off, if you prefer) summer. We've all been through summers that were full of Things To Do, Places To Go and People To See, with every space on the calendar filled in with a trip or a project or day camp or summer school. And what happens? You get to the end of summer and you've been so busy that you need another vacation to rest up from the one you just had.
Hey, you know what? If my little mistake that caused the $4 gas forces people just to stay home and get some real rest, instead of running themselves ragged, then I've done us all a favor. That's how I'm going to look at it. And now I don't have a reason to feel guilty, do I?
I think I just heard the laughter again.
© 2008 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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