Is it Raining on Your Vacation Parade?
By Adina Morris
Did you make good on your intentions yet? So on our trip up to the Catskills this summer I reminded everyone about how we set intentions on our way up so that we enjoy our vacation to the max. When it came time for me to state my intentions, I kind of drew a blank. Now don’t get me wrong, I have lots of things on my fun to do list and on my work list, but for some reason, those intentions were not working for me. So I took a pass and said I was still formulating my intentions.
We arrived at the colony and the ground was muddy from all of the rain the east coast got drenched with in recent days. After we unpacked, we took a look at the forecast. Rain was on for the next few days. Ugh. Any normal first response is great, there goes our vacation!
However, it took me down memory lane as I reminded myself of a wet vacation many summers ago before I was married.
A good friend and I were living in a rental apartment in Brooklyn after we graduated from college. We were both working jobs 8:30-5:30 plus overtime. Our first summer of real work and no vacation was approaching. Ugh. We both found out that July 4th weekend we would have an extended vacation available. We both grabbed at it! Now what to do with it?
We decided we needed an escape from the city, but on a budget! We found a Kosher Dude Ranch not far from Albany, New York where we could spend Shabbos at the hotel, all meals provided, separate swim plus horseback riding, cow milking and crafts. We were super excited! Well, my friend was not excited about the cow milking. Chavaya I said! It will be an adventure. We had never done anything like this before! And we were committed to having a great time!
July 4th weekend came around after much planning of our itinerary and transportation.
Apparently it was not a direct bus route to the ranch. No matter, we were committed to having a great time! (This kind of became our mantra for the weekend) We finally get there Friday afternoon and we start to enjoy what we can before Shabbos. It was a quaint ranch with a very nice atmosphere and staff. There were other families there for Shabbos, however, we were the only single young ladies there. No matter, we were committed to having a great time! Shabbos was relaxing, although we got a bit sunburnt after falling asleep on the porch outside our room reading. No matter, we were committed to having a great time! Sunday was our big day, as Monday was the long trek home. We had plans for horseback riding and cow milking, swimming and crafts to make. We woke up Sunday morning to the loud sound of rain panging on our roof. Ugh. Our one big day to do things on the ranch and it’s pouring cats and dogs!
I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t keep up the positive attitude anymore. I was totally miserable and wouldn’t get out of bed. My friend came to the rescue, as all good friends do. She reminded me that we came here to escape the city and relax. And we have been, all weekend. Yes there were some mishaps with our transportation, but we got there! Yes, we didn’t have as much time to do things before Shabbos, but we have Sunday! Yes we were the only single people there in a crowded dining room full of families and couples, but a very nice couple asked us to join them at lunch! Yes, we got sunburned reading outside Shabbos afternoon, but we were relaxing! So now it is raining, so what! We can still do things! We can go to the barn and still make the time for the cow milking and then let us see about swimming, horseback riding and the crafts. She pulled me out of bed, I being very tempermental. But we went. I did get to milk the cow! She took pictures from afar. The rain eased up enough and we did go horseback riding even though it was muddy. Swimming turned out to be only in the indoor pool for separate hours, lucky us! And the crafts, well, it was us and all of the 9 year old kids making shrinky dink keychains. This is a family friendly dude ranch after all!
We got to do everything, even in the rain. It took me awhile to get in a good mood again, but I wouldn’t have gotten there at all if my friend hadn’t pulled me out of bed. I remember as we were travelling back apologizing to my friend for being a damper on our vacation. She said not to worry, as all good friends do. She continued, we could be mopey about the weather or anything else for that matter, but it wouldn’t have made the trip any better. So she felt you might as well make the best of it.
She was quite insightful. There we were, two single women working in the “real world”, and continually working on our inner world. Yes, we hoped to be married soon, although neither of us were dating anyone at the time. But we were making the best of it, no, we were making the most of it! We were going on vacation and doing the things we wanted to do. We didn’t let our status stop us or inhibit us. And when we made plans, intentions, and a monkey wrench of rain was thrown into the mix, we sang in the rain, we played in the rain and we learned not to let a little rain get in the way of enjoying our vacation. Because as she said, moping about our reality doesn’t make it any better. However, how we respond to our reality will make all of the difference.
Intentions are great. Without them we don’t get very far. However, it is important to remember that after all the planning, when we are in it, how we respond to all that happens is the most important part, because that is what we will remember most.
I still remember the trip with fondness. We always said that we would come back together with our husbands and families.
After we both married and had children of our own, we looked up the dude ranch to return with our families, but unfortunately it had closed. We still talk about that trip, but what brought me back to it last week was the rain on our parade due in the Catskills.
My friend’s positive attitude still lives on as I finally found my intention for this summer vacation. My intention is to not just make the best of it, I want to make the most of it, rain or shine! I will let you know how it goes;)