“Go! Try it! You can always come home.”

I can’t count how many times my mother said that to me. For years, she wanted me to become an airline attendant or the next Julie on “The Love Boat.” She wanted me footloose – meeting people, eating great food and staying excited and interested.

When I told Mom I applied to the University of Maine at Farmington because they had a performing group that went on USO tours, her first words were, “Go! Try it!” Not a word about my major or costs. (I got into TDX and performed for troops in Thailand, Japan and Korea.)

Planning a cross-country trip? “Go! Try it!”

Driving to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival? “Go! Try it!”

When I secured an administrative position in the public schools that included a pay increase, I bought a time share. That’s when Dad chimed in. He and I were shooting pool in their cellar. “Go when you have the money. Don’t wait until you retire. You might not feel good enough to go. Go when you can.”


My parents modeled living as debt free as possible. If you didn’t have the cash in hand, you couldn’t afford it. I knew that paying for a vacation ahead of time, I wouldn’t let that money go to waste. It was also an effective mechanism against workaholism. The mantra became, “Someplace warm during the week of Thanksgiving.” (No one misses the special education director that week.)

Saint Martin is hands down my favorite. Rosemary and I have traveled to New Orleans, our mainland favorite. Tenerife, Quebec, Arizona and more.

River cruising has become our preferred mode for vacations in recent years. Mom and Dad would have loved that! The Netherlands during tulip season. The Amazon River in Peru. (The piranha didn’t eat us. We ate the piranha.)

As worn-out body parts get replaced and wounds heal, plans for a few weeks in Provence are in the making. Half the fun is dreaming and planning.

I can feel Mom’s encouraging push, “Go! Try it! You can always come home!” And being the dutiful daughter, I will.




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