I’m fortunate to have a job with paid sick leave and vacation days. We can accumulate unlimited sick leave, but vacation time has to be used within a given period. Some coworkers lose days every year. Not me. Forfeiting paid days off is against my religion.

Nobody does my job when I’m out, so long breaks often make me sorry I took off. Using vacation days throughout the year around weekends and holidays works better. Teaching duties limited my ability to take off as much as usual, resulting in vacation days I need to use.

Campus is practically deserted this time of year. The last week of June and the first week of July are a good time to take off. With vacation time, three weekends, and the holiday, I’m off for 17 days.

Woo hoo!

Flying holds no appeal. I’m not afraid of crashing, but the thought of being stuck for hours on the tarmac in a hot plane — again — induces panic-attacks. Throw in dealing with airport security, seats made for people half my size, and catching a bad cold every time I fly and I’ll pass.

Sticking to familiar routes enables me to drive where I need to go around town, but vision issues rule out any road trips. The odometer in the car I bought new in 2015 has yet to hit 22,000 miles. Until self-driving vehicles come out, I’m not likely to buy another either.

Toodles travels fine, but disrupting her routine messes with her diabetes. I rarely leave my little dog for more than a few hours and am reluctant to board her someplace or leave her with friends. I’d worry about her too much to enjoy the trip.

Don’t feel sorry for me. If I really wanted to go somewhere, I’d find a way. The truth is, there’s no place I’d rather be than home, sweet home.

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