One would think that an empty nest couple with a travel trailer would plan outings over the summer months instead of staying home. While we do fit the category, we can’t take a vacation. It’s not about the price of gas or the price of meals. It isn’t because of having no place to go or finding the area already booked. It’s about an elderly relative.
Dementia: Our elder suffers from dementia. It isn’t getting better, though the progression has slowed down somewhat. The problem is that a dementia patient needs a routine and they need routine visits from loved ones. We can’t take her with us, so we can’t go.
Doctor’s Appointments: We also have to provide rides to and from the doctor and take her for routine tests. We have to give the medical team information and respond to any changes in treatment or conditions. That’s hard to do if we’re on the road somewhere. Emergencies can and have happened, and like all emergencies, they don’t come with an appointment.
Stress: Vacations, especially the ones we like the best, help to help the stress levels. We both work from home and the temptation to go ahead and get this one last thing done often means we work longer hours than planned. Getting off by ourselves *without* a computer is important.
The Plan: Several historical societies in our area have come together and made a little booklet called Passport to History. The booklet gives information on all of the historical sites in a four county range. Each site has stamps that go on their page in the booklet.
We have already been to several. They include California Missions, historical Ranchos, museums, a small airfield and libraries. At the missions there are various rooms set up to show how life was lived in the region. There are bunk houses, kitchens and areas set aside for doing things like laundry.
Some of the sites have docents in period costume who explain what went on. Some have live events…living history days…where there are people actually doing the tasks that would need to be done at the time.
These sites are within a day’s drive. We can get there, tour to our hearts content and get home in one day. It gets us out of the house, away from work and it helps reduce stress. It doesn’t take a lot of gas, and it leaves one weekend day for us to visit our elder. We may not be able to have a vacation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun.