Monday, June 10, 2013

Vacation Blues

Days like today I truly miss FM most.

My immediate relatives have taken an infamous family vacation for as long as I can remember, and even further beyond my memory’s capacity.  We have photographic evidence of my rather pregnant mother in the humid haven that is the state of Florida the fall before I was born, and the physical record continues to this day of the various locations we have ventured to all throughout the eastern U.S. In recent years my younger sister and I have invited our significant others to make a splendid sixsome traveling about, creating chaos.  FM has had the opportunity, and, many times, the misfortune, of being asked to join us on four of these frustratingly interesting maniacal journeys! 
FM's first vacation with us to Vermont in 2009.
This week we are on such a trip in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, although our party has slimmed from an even six to an unbalanced five weary travelers as FM completes his AIT training elsewhere.

We have made the short expedition up to this area on more occasions than I care to recollect, most recently just two summers ago when FM and I drove from our shared apartment in Albany, NY to connect with the rest of our party. It is the return to this area, and the traveling northward on the same route I normally ventured upon to get to our former humble abode, that has made me take a step back to realize how much our lives have changed since that summer in 2011, most especially in the past few months.  
He braved 8 hours stuffed in an SUV with my family to get
to Virginia to pretend to crush grapes at Busch Gardens in 2010.
We have only been here three days, but it seems as though wherever I turn, each touristy attraction we visit, there is a constant reminder of traveling without FM.  From taking in lunch at the Sonic Drive-in that FM and I would often treat ourselves to on our return to Albany, to the sculptor’s mountaintop cottage where the infamous Lincoln Memorial statue was carved reminding me of FM’s surprise “postcard” last week, to the retreat home of Edith Wharton who originally resided in Newport, RI, one of our all-time favorite Gilded Age vacation spots.  It seems like FM is everywhere but nowhere.  
Our first trip to Newport, RI together in 2009.
The return to Newport in 2011.
Thankfully the Berkshires have upgraded the number of cellular service towers since our first few visits here, which allow me to continue calling FM every night.  At least I can carry on sharing this vacation adventure with him even without his physical presence.  And I have agreed to send him a picturesque postcard in return for his earlier last week, although mine will be the simple piece of cardstock with an inscription on the back.  But, as we all know, it is still not the same as sharing the experiences together.
Sliding down the Berkshires Mtns, MA in 2011.
These are they times when being the one left behind hurts most; when something you typically tackled together suddenly becomes a reminder of how much you must now attack alone.  I know FM is just as upset, if not more, that he cannot be with us this trip, even if it does become a comparable circus by week’s end, which makes it all the more disappointing thinking about laying out by the pool and taking in the sights while his only chance at a summer getaway is a titillating pass to the PX.  
The traveling six in Shawnee, PA in 2012.
But, I firmly believe what does not kill us will only make us stronger, as will this separation, and any others in our future, make us that much stronger.  So, here’s to remembering those great times, the famed family vacations that have come before, and subsequently stayed long after in our memories, and for those that are inevitably yet to come. 

FM, you are loved and missed greatly, by me, of course, but especially by EZ and NB who are now sadly outnumbered by females! 

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