For the first time in way too long I took a vacation.
I don’t mean a road trip on the way to my next home, a wedding or a funeral. For two years I saved for this leave. Even with the kids’ help my carefully planned time away from home included lots of air travel departing during inconvenient hours. Most important, it provided down-time with my darling offspring.
Since I would not be available to help gather the tomatoes, they had to be harvested before I left.
Seasoned travelers and most smart girls know to get together with friends the week before a vacation. Together you shop, update your wardrobe, enjoy a meal or two, and they share the little details that enhanced their recent journeys.
Instead, Izzy and I spent that time spreading tarps beneath tomato vines. Then we shook and cut the vines, loosing tomatoes. This also scattered THE DUST that collected since the sprinklers stopped rinsing everything clean daily. And then we drug and lifted the loaded tarps into wheelbarrows, stirring up the dirt that had been drying for a week.
Yeah. We know how to have a good time!
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12 (NIV)
Despite masks and goggles, the dust set me to sneezing, with my sinuses filling and then draining profusely. My skin also itched terribly – especially the tip of my nose. The following day, my apex nasi* became tender and by the next day it was incredibly sore. *I looked it up. It’s a thing.
And did I mention RED? Not a flattering shade either.
The day before I was to depart on the next length of my travel, despite all known precautions and remedies, the redness became deep purplish-red. Yes, a painful heat radiated from above my columella. (*It’s the flesh that separates the nostrils.)
Makeup barely concealed the colors resembling orangutans backsides. What’s more, it needed touch-ups every couple of hours…
As I boarded my first flight I felt like Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer guiding the last remaining passengers onto our plane. Still, I actually appreciated people quickly averting their eyes from my bleak beak.
During the flights I imagined AlmostSixYearOld taking one look at my face and bursting into tears in fear of this unfamiliar, scary-looking person. I could well imagine EightYearOld staring in wonder or stifling giggles.
Unfair as it was, I was determined to enjoy time with my gang – and to shop around the airports between flights for a miraculous concealer, mask or perhaps a stylish niqab. As anticipation rose, I imagined the heat and pressure on my face did also.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
To be continued…