This is where I'll be next week, reading in the hammock at the folk's cottage. That's my knobby knee sticking up; the other reader is my daughter, and behind us, down that little road, is the beach.
This is my idea of A Vacation. Although I enjoy traveling every couple of years, I don't find it particularly restful. For that, I need to go to what's known in the family as "the Shack." There is no TV. There's a radio, and sometimes we listen to the local sports guys because they're funny, and the laptop will be going because I'm deluding myself that I might actually write, but otherwise it's a reading room. Sadly, the local general store doesn't carry the big city papers, but a trip to the Big Town will solve that lack.
The Big Town also boasts a lovely mini-golf park across from a fine steakhouse (which we discovered the year the wind was blowing from that direction) and a movie theatre. It used to be part of a very small chain, and part of the Shack experience is singing the Stinson theme song (which has no words, actually).
Outside the closer Small Town, where my mom grew up on a farm, is the place where we get fresh fruit and vegetables, and especially home-made pies. We joke that our Shack holidays consist of hoisting ourselves out of the hammock, having a piece of pie and staggering back to the hammock.
We play a lot of board games, including our own modified verion of Life. For those of you not familiar with the game, your piece is a little car, and as you travel around the squares, doing things like buying a house, investing, etc, you also get married and have kids. When we play, we get to choose a celebrity spouse. I think I've been married to James Marsters a couple of times. My daughter once divorced Jamie Bamber (i.e. kicked his piece out of the car) because he kept making stupid investments and losing all the money. We also name the kids.
If we're playing Careers and somebody wins an Oscar, they have to make an acceptance speech. Anybody buying Mediterranan and Baltic during Monopoly is immediately derided as "Slum Lord." I myself aim for the light blue streets (Oriental, Vermont and Connecticut) or the golds (St. James, aka St. Jimmy's, Tennessee and New York.) And then there's Free Pork.
But most of all, we read. This year, I'm taking A Clash of Kings, Book II of A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin. I'm about half way through it now. I'm also taking Book III, A Storm of Swords, Destiny by Helen Kirkman, who really knows her Dark Ages and whose heroes are wonderful, and The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. I may not post on message boards but I do occasionally visit them, and I've seen many a fulsome post about this book.
Until later, folks! I'm off to the Land of Pie and Sloth and Much Reading. When I return, I'm planning to have Random Blog Giveaways of several of my out-of-print books.