While Vacationing, Vacation

Recently I went to where my wife worked in a restaurant.  At first I sat down for a moment to observe the people going in and out. They were almost standing out the door waiting to be served so I asked my wife if they needed any help. She told me I could start cleaning up some in the front and start washing dishes in the back.  To say the least I’m not above washing dishes or wiping tables in a restaurant. 

 The majority of the customers were travelers.  Heading to the beach or on their way home.  Someone could most certainly tell which were going and which were coming.  Those heading south were all excited and giddy, anticipating the moment when they can first set foot on the sand, hear the roar of the waves or smell of the salt water in the air.  Most of those heading home were blistered, looked exhausted and would not only be cranky to an employee of a convenient store or restaurant but some would be cranky to their own family.

When I did get a moment I went to the drink fountain to get me something to drink. I would smile and say ‘hey, how yaw doin’?’ to some of the patrons showing my best southern hospitality.  Some would smile back and say, ‘hey’; others wouldn’t say anything and ignore me. 

When I got to the drink fountain I noticed cup lids scattered everywhere,  paper from straws lying around and ice all over the counter.  I took a napkin and cleaned it all up and wiped it all down and went back to the ’employee table’ to set my drink down. 

There was a local customer standing next to me while I was cleaning up around the drink machine at the time and I made a comment to them that if people would make a mess here I would hate to see what their home looked like.

But I began to think about it all and came to one conclusion. When people take a vacation they don’t vacation.  The first thing that goes on vacation for me is myself.  I like to get the body in a vacation mode first.  I tell the family while traveling that we’ll get there when we get there.  I usually let the seat way back, set the cruise control, find a good station on the radio and totally chill.  No hurry to get there, no hurry to get back.  Many times I would watch people come flying around me and others on the road only to catch up to them in the next town or at a rest area.

The ones I noticed this weekend were in such a hurry they will pass everyone on the road, leave a mess for someone else to clean up and almost have an attitude toward other people who are working hard wishing they could take a vacation themselves.  I even smiled at someone and told them to have a safe trip and all I got in return was a half-grin that looked more like they were trying to pass gas as they rushed on out the door.

Has vacationing become more of a chore for a family than what it really was supposed to be for? Are people not happy to be vacationing with their families anymore? Are they not happy to be sharing quality time with their kids while teaching them virtues all at the same time?  Are we as Americans in such a hurry that we don’t want to take time out of our busy schedule to make someone elses day? If it is that much of a burden to not take the time to speak kindly to people and somewhat clean up behind yourself then I would suggest you to stay home.  I know no one is perfect. Kid’s will make a mess.  Adults will make a mess.  My home is far from perfect and it does look lived in. My wife and I’s pet-peave is the kitchen.  Neither one of us can stand a dirty kitchen. 

When you vacation take the time to make a friend everywhere you go.  I like to leave people with a smile because I don’t want them to forget me. I also want them to have the kind of day I plan to have–a good one.

And remember: your attitude and actions in public reflect of who you really are at  home. Have a great day and a safe trip while traveling.

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