A vacation is never just a vacation in my world…

Well, at least I had a couple of good beach days.

I mean, a vacation isn’t a vacation unless there is a shortage of gas on the East Coast, a multi-state emergency and an ailing father. Why have a boring, safe vacation when opportunities arise to push all of my 1st chakra triggers?

It seems that whenever I leave home, I enter a world crisis. My trip last October: covid airports. This trip: gas shortage/outage. The weekend Diana died: I was in Paris.

What a movie! 🤣

My ex-gf texted to say that she was thinking about me during the trip.

I know you, she said. You don’t like to control others — but external change?

I laughed. Yah, I had a moment.

It’s true. I’m very adaptable when I’m home — but in a unknown environment AND every station runs out of gas the day before I leave and when I call rural areas in VA and they’re also out and NC declares a state-wide emergency, then my human really loses her shit for a moment. It isn’t rational — because obviously I’m a grown woman with money who can take care of herself — but the child in me says, THIS IS NOT SAFE. LEAVE IMMEDIATELY! ACTIVATE SURVIVAL INSTINCT! GET OUT!!

I went through a good 15 minute panic as my friend kicked back and said, Eh, we’ll get a hotel or fly back and have someone drive the car.

I snapped. No. Not good options.

She paused and looked at me with fascination. I’ve never seen you like this before.

Guess what? I’m human. Fuck!

My friend is a Leo and we get along great. Even when we snip at each other, we laugh soon after. I told her that if we can make it through 30 hours in the car, I know I’m ready for marriage. Either that, or our friendship would split up.

My other friend said, You’re not going to like this suggestion — but call your brother.

That meant a stop at my childhood home. During my last visit, a giant boil emerged on my chin that took a month to clear. Needless to say, not my first choice — and if you’ve read my books, you are aware of my relationship with my father. I haven’t seen my oldest brother since my mom’s funeral, so it was high time. He’s on a visit to care for my dad and set up the next stage — and knew he’d be pissed that I drove past without a stop.

I called. I need help. This isn’t a joke. I need you to fill 2 big gas cans and have them waiting for me. I think I can make it there.

At this point, the news screamed that outages were everywhere along the route home, so I figured gas would be scarce, at best. We had 4 little cans that would get us to MD, if necessary — and then find gas somewhere to get us across the line to my brothers.

Don’t worry, sis — we got ya.

As soon as he said that, I relaxed. This was my big brother, protecting me. The same brother whose name caused bullies to shrink back. Of course, my other brother made sure to freak me out re: gas tanks in my car and then tried to hit on my friend. 🤣 He immediately went out and bought big gas containers and made sure I was set.

I didn’t need the gas, after all. NC was sketchy but we found a place along a country road and were fine after that. I could have chosen to skip the visit — but put aside my pride and impatience and veered off at the exit. I wanted to thank my brothers and see my dad, who is ailing and will probably not live out the year.

I’m glad I did, as short as it was. I only feel pity and sadness for the person I once considered my greatest enemy (and have the lifetimes to show for it) — and hope that he does not continue to fight death because it only brings him pain. Watching him die is a valuable lesson on how to welcome the end of this story, rather than cling to life — but it’s his story to live out. We had a moment before I left — and now we all take it one day at a time.

So maybe I needed a little gas crisis on my vacation, after all…

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