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Reflections May 2016

As I Recall...

Racing Away - Well, Maybe Next May...Or Some Day, Some Way, Far Away

By Jerry Ginther

One place I’ve wanted to go for many years and have yet to accomplish the trip is Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, for the famous Kentucky Derby. Every year I watch it on TV and say, “Next year I’m going to be in the grandstand singing “My Old Kentucky Home” with the rest of the fans.”

Well, post-retirement age has arrived and the spontaneous trips and desired vacations that we looked forward to taking have not often materialized. More free time and less debt being the supposed catalysts for travel and adventure have not produced the expected result. As a matter of fact, those two items seem to be the least responsible for not hitting the road more often. Now we seem to have a list of “what ifs” that gets more than its share of considerations.

Planning these excursions was thought to be part of the fun, and indeed should be, but deciding where to go is the only easy part of this fun. Planning the routing, places to stay en route, figuring the costs of gasoline and all of the other necessities takes time. Staying on a schedule is also important and includes allowing extra time for unexpected occurrences. When one starts figuring how much time to allot, sometimes halting considerations come to mind that might preclude the trip altogether. Here is one: What if we can’t find anyone to take care of our chickens for an extended period of time? Easy answer: Sell the chickens or stay home.

Okay, the chickens are getting a new home. Move on.

Now, I consider myself a thoughtful planner and usually have little trouble getting my ducks in a row. However, my wife’s list of “what ifs” encompasses so many more “unlikely to occur incidents” that I could never manage that row of ducks. Still, I do what I can to assure her that I’ve considered all of the remote possibilities even if I’m barely in the ballpark. So, I pretend to have everything under control and she pretends to buy it.

Yep, we pretty well know each other’s game.

One place I’ve wanted to go for many years and have yet to accomplish the trip is Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, for the famous Kentucky Derby. Every year I watch it on TV and say, “Next year I’m going to be in the grandstand singing “My Old Kentucky Home” with the rest of the fans.” Well, I probably won’t be going this year, either. I started to make preparations once and learned that you have to make motel reservations in January if you plan to stay within 100 miles of the track and the cost is $400 to $500 per night – and even more expensive for closer accommodations. All things considered, that’s hardly worth it for a two-minute horse race.

However, I do have relatives that live not much farther from Louisville than that, so, I may be able to arrange a visit. If I’m not successful with that, I’ll have to be satisfied with the TV coverage again. Really, that’s pretty spectacular when you consider all the narration one would probably miss being seated in the grandstand. I can remember taking a transistor radio with me to baseball games in Chicago so I could hear the announcer’s play-by-play description.

I think it would be a fun vacation to load up a camper trailer, pick up a couple of the grandchildren and hit the road for several weeks during the summer revisiting some of the places we took their parents when they were young. Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and the Grand Canyon in Arizona was a couple of my favorites. Pikes Peak and Mount Rushmore would be a couple of places of interest, too, not to mention viewing the miles and miles of beautiful scenery while traveling.

I suppose there is another approach to appreciating vacation time. One might say, “Why leave the comfort of home for relaxation and downtime to go someplace unfamiliar and uncomfortable? At our age, home is the most comfortable and safest place we could be. Just relax and think about how good it is to be home.” Certainly, there is wisdom in that assertion and I do feel like that when I return home, but I guess I just have to leave it for a while, now and then, to enjoy that feeling. There is so much to see and do in this great country of ours that a little risk and discomfort are well worth the adventure of new sights and experiences. However, as Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.”

 

Jerry Ginther has a degree in Christian Ministry and is the author of "Acquiring the Benefits of Biblical Wisdom," available in e-book format on Amazon.com. You may contact Jerry at   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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