Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Surprise her. Or him

Many years ago, when our daughter was 2 or 3 years old, it struck me that my wife was feeling pretty stressed. What I did next has stayed with her and me all these years. Let me recommend this course of action to you, when you see your spouse feeling weary.

The thought popped into my mind to take my wife away for a short vacation. And I mean short: We didn't have lots of vacation money. I looked around for what for us would be an exotic destination, but close enough that it wouldn't cost a lot in gas and meals.

I'm not sure how, but I came up with Danville, Va. It was just a few hours away. It was across the state line, which was exotic enough. It had a section with old houses, where we could just walk and enjoy. I learned that it had a museum of the Confederacy, which for us meant indulging our enjoyment of history. And I found a good hotel whose rates were modest in early spring.

My little daughter and I called ourselves "kidnapping" Mom from an appointment that she had that  morning. We drove up to Danville, which straddles the Dan River, along back roads lined with trees just beginning to show their spring buds. We packed a lunch, I seem to remember, but otherwise we ate at local places that didn't charge chain-restaurant prices.

We left early enough in the day to see a good portion of Danville's sights. We stayed only overnight, but that gave us enough rest to take in more of Danville the next day, including its quaint downtown.

It ate up just two vacation days, but that was plenty to absorb a lot of at-home stress. It was time very well spent!

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