Ketchup Vacation

Yesterday was my first day of vacation and it started with an 8:00 breakfast meeting about church; the remainder of the day was spent doing serious, deep cleaning on three of the four rooms we use the most: kitchen, dining and living. Today, after church, I’ll concentrate on the bathroom.All this is prompted by my sister’s once-a-decade visit that begins tomorrow.  My sister and her boyfriend will not be staying with us. They bring their own home (read more about that here), so having the house spotless is not really necessary, but it is kindly to try to limit the amount of cat hair they will have to suffer while here.

While I won’t be going anywhere during this vacation, I feel like this is a “spiritual ketchup” vacation–one where I catch up on all the things I’m sorely remiss in: like sleep, dental appointments, haircuts, cleaning out cupboards and closets. You know the drill. This is the kind of vacation that will help me get my spiritual house in order, not by seeing new and inspiring things (unless you count the back and bottom of the refrigerator), but by getting my physical house in order. I’m feeling the need to clean out the clutter for good. Unfortunately, I have kids.

Fer instance, when I think of my youngest, I get the mental image of Pig Pen from the Peanuts cartoons. But in my image, she is not trailed and consumed by a cloud of dust and dirt, but by a series of gadgets and gizmos and, well, can I say it simply? crap?  She is a crap trap.  Add to that the fact that she is the recipient of hand-me-down clothes from not just her two sisters, but the neighbors and some cousins. She could clothe an entire village out of her closet–and that doesn’t count her drawers.  So, one of my efforts over these few weeks will be paring down her clothes collection to that which is required and adored–all else goes to that unnamed village.

I don’t want to spend the entire two weeks cleaning, though. I want also to have meals and/or drinks with people I haven’t seen much of lately and who I miss woefully. I also plan to get some exercise and hopefully build a routine which can be sustained once I return to work. And I plan to write. And to cook–and to learn to cook one new thing or one new WAY to cook.

And, though I have been directed not to by many people, I will, most likely, work a little. I will not respond to email during this time, though those who would require a response know how to get me if they NEED me and I trust them to use their judgement on when I am NEEDED. But there are some projects that need to be done but also need me to be away from the office, in comfortable clothes and with a cuppa* near me, in order to get them done. But I’m not as committed to this course of action as much as all the other stuff. Work and my relationship to it, is part of my spiritual development and if I can do a little now to provide a buffer when I return, I have no issues with that.

All that said, I’m grateful to my husband and those kids who helped to get these rooms clean yesterday. It is a great start to two weeks off, knowing that this work is done. And as I write this long list of “to dos” I realize that what I really want to do is plan each day so that they all have the following components:

  • writing
  • walking
  • preparing food
  • eating food (and hopefully with good company)
  • cleaning something (this cupboard this day, that closet the next)
  • laughing
  • praying (which is, truthfully, part of the “writing”)
  • church volunteer work
  • maybe some work work

*Note that I didn’t say what’s IN the “cuppa”. 🙂


About TinaLBPorter

I write poetry and blog at And I'm thrilled to be writing with you.
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3 Responses to Ketchup Vacation

  1. uuMomma says:

    That would be lovely, MsKitty. And Kari … steal away!


  2. mskitty says:

    Hey, I wish you were out here for your Ketchup Vacation, so we could get together with Kari and schmooze!


  3. kari says:

    I am stealing this! “Ketchup Vacation!” THAT’S what I’m having! Thanks!


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