I LIVE YEAR ROUND in an internationally popular vacation destination, but I still have to do everything that people like me do when they’re not on vacation.

“Like me” is still, barely, middle class. This means I do housework, which includes vacuuming, and, except for people employed in the housekeeping industry, I vacuum more than anyone anywhere who is on the electrical grid. This is because Rys, my hairy, younger cat, is the Esau of Maine coon cats, and I have only a Shark (not a Dyson).

And there’s the rest of a “to-do” list that comes with keeping a house and maintaining standards set by my slightly obsessive-compulsive self. Loading and unloading the dishwasher, dusting, changing sheets, cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry. There’s a long to-do list in my head, and I review it at night when I want to be asleep.

Lately I’ve allowed myself to be on vacation at home. This is not a “staycation” where I troop around, eat at restaurants in town, and take a water taxi across Kachemak Bay to Halibut Cove and Seldovia. This is being on vacation in my own house, which is infinitely more affordable.

Today I put on my summer clothes (I mean all my remaining summer clothes from Georgia —a Target tank top and a Michael Stars knit skirt I bought at Squash Blossom in Decatur, GA). I sat on my postage-stamp deck in a chair I bought at a yard sale up the street. I hiked up the skirt to get a little sun on my pale Scots-Irish legs. I took a deep breath.

It’s OK to be on vacation. Nothing bad will happen because, for a couple of hours, I read and looked up at the sky. It’s OK just to breathe.


Copyright 2017. Genie Hambrick.