How did you spend your vacation?

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 23, 2007

One of the most comforting things to learn after returning to work from vacation is that your office key still works.

In other words, my boss decided not to place me on a permanent vacation.

The week away from the day-to-day rigors of helping to publish the news was welcomed. I needed a break, as we all do from our labors. So, with my work battery recharged, the time has come to get back to my daily chores.

My first order of business was to pen this column, much earlier than normal. With the recent addition of Jennipher Dickens to our newsroom, we made a few changes. My column will now appear on Tuesdays. Since the News-Herald and the Gates County Index share the same editorial page on their respective Tuesday and Wednesday publication dates and since my new county government beat will focus on Gates County, it stood to reason that my column appear in both newspapers.

Meanwhile, Jennipher’s column will be published on Thursdays. She will take over my old government beat in Bertie County.

To be honest, I was ready to get back to work. The vacation week Deborah and I experienced was a worldwind of activity, so much to the point where it simply became too much to handle.

Last Monday we found out at the last minute that the rowboat which was to take us on a romantic cruise down the Potecasi Creek sprang a leak. Much to our dismay, the cruise was canceled, so I spent the day cleaning out and reorganizing our storage barn while Deborah worked on preparing for Vacation Bible School at her church this week.

Tuesday went according to plan. I made the drive to Pinetops (the Northampton County community, not the Edgecombe County town), picked-up my sister and we drove to Roanoke Rapids to visit with our uncle. Deborah stayed at home and worked on Bible School stuff.

Wednesday was a big travel day for Deborah and myself. We pampered ourselves with a luxurious trip to Windsor (NC, not England). There, I toured the United States Post Office (to mail some bills) and then joined my lovely wife at the Sign Shop where our niece works.

After a short motorized tour of Windsor’s downtown historic district (which meant we drove north on King Street), we stopped in to visit Deborah’s sister at work before embarking on the next leg of our tour.

From Windsor, we traveled by motor coach (okay, it was Deborah’s car) to Williamston where we picked up U.S. 64 and headed west. With the mountains about 300 miles in the distance, we exited at Bethel and, yes….you guessed it, struck out for G-Vegas, better known as Greenville (NC, not SC).

Deborah and I, the country hicks we are, were on our best behavior in the big city of Greenville. We acted with sophistication as we visited such high-class establishments as Lowes Home Improvement, Best Buy and Target. For dinner, we dined on a huge buffet at Golden Corral. We even used clean plates upon returning for seconds and thirds, although the original plate they gave me was licked clean.

We were so tuckered out from our Wednesday excursion that we decided to rest up at home on Thursday. There, I braved the 100 degree heat and worked in the yard while Deborah continued designing, drawing and piecing together Bible School stuff.

Huge thunderstorms over the deep south on Friday canceled my flight to Atlanta to catch the Braves game. Instead, I used the opportunity to go stand in line to obtain the new Harry Potter book. That was almost as eventful as standing in line for my new I-Phone.

Saturday was Danielle’s 22nd birthday. Deborah and I had planned to rent a limo and whisk her away to Chubbies in Ahoskie to dine on Cajun ribeyes. Instead she opted to visit with her boyfriend, leaving Deborah to work some more on Bible School stuff.

For me, I went to the Shrimp Feast in Woodland, but rushed home so I could catch Dave Beckham’s debut on the American professional soccer scene. I thought soccer was a team sport. The cameras however kept focusing on Beckham on the bench, where I lost count of how many times he took off and re-laced his cleats, as well as panning the stadium for celebrities.

Sunday, as it was intended, was a day of rest, but that all went for naught when our TV went on the blink which sent me into a fix-it mode (a plan that didn’t work) while Deborah finally finished preparing for Bible School.

So, how did you spend your summer vacation?