After setting our breakfast plates next to the sink, I eagerly snatched my notebook from the table and curled up on the loveseat. I said to my daughter Tammie, “All right now, we wanted to do some writing while on this vacation. The time to get down to business has finally come. What shall we write about first?”

Still sitting at the table where only moments earlier we had shared an omelet, Tammie turned to look at me and said, “I have two books filled with writing exercises. What are you interested in, working on conversations, or building suspense?”

Uninspired, a sudden feeling of distaste for doing writing exercises washed over me. Looking at the kitchen counter, I said, “Oh look, I should have washed the breakfast dishes before sitting down to do any writing.”

Jumping to my feet I quickly began the cleaning chores. I thought to myself, “This is typical. I always have a hard time getting myself to actually sit down to write! Once I start, though, I love what I’m doing and don’t want to be interrupted.”

For years my daughter and I had talked about taking a vacation where we could spend some time writing. Here we were actually doing it. We had a lovely cottage on the side of a bluff, surrounded by a vineyard, but now I didn’t feel like doing a what amounted to a school assignment!

Finished with tidying up the kitchen, I sat down at the table across from Tammie and said, “Why don’t we start out with some fun things like writing a pantoum and some haiku? Then, after that I’d like to write an article for my blog.” Finally inspired, we put pen to paper.

An hour later my daughter and I read to each other what we’d written. Glowing with accomplishment, I suggested, “Why don’t we go for a walk now. After all, we’re on vacation…”

Tammie said, “That sounds like a great idea! When we get back to the cottage, why don’t we watch a little HGTV? After all, we’re on vacation…”

Laughing, I echoed, “That sounds like a great idea!”

Neither my daughter nor I regularly watch television. When we arrived at the cottage and discovered that it was supplied with cable, Tammie had to translate what HGTV meant to me. Home and Garden television is devoted to shows about people buying homes, renovating them and beautifying yards and gardens, one of the few things that I’d ever want to watch. Having a companion to watch it with sweetened the deal.

We spent the afternoon snuggled on the loveseat watching people shop for homes. One couple wanted to buy a house designed to give the feeling of living on a beach. The wife kept repeating that she wanted a ‘beachy’ décor. Every house the realtor showed, didn’t look ‘beachy’ enough for her. After the fiftieth time she had said that word I turned to Tammie and said, “She sounds so ‘beachy’.

Tammie laughed at my pun, but said, “Did you hear what the monthly loan payment for the houses they’re looking at would be? I’ve just realized that I could buy a nice condo and actually pay less per month than I pay to rent my third floor apartment!” Scrolling through her phone, my daughter showed me townhouses and condos currently for sale in the area where she wants to live. She’d been inspired to buy a home!

Since it was Friday, we decided to spend a few hours in La Crosse and then to stop for a meal. After a relaxing shopping spree, Tammie and I decided that it was time to return to Stoddard, the small town near our cottage. Situated along the Mississippi river, the picturesque little town of about 775 people has a popular supper club. By the time we arrived at Rocky’s Supper Club, the place was packed, but after only a short wait we were shown to a table. The menu offered broiled fish smothered in blue cheese sauce. We couldn’t resist such a novel meal.

An hour later, as we slowly drove back the winding roads to our cottage, we enthused over the delicious meal. I announced, “The next time we have a family meal at home on a Friday, I’m going to make blue-cheese-smothered fish!”

Tammie said, “The sauce was lightly toasted. I wonder what ingredients they used.”

Sighing contentedly, I said, “Don’t worry. I’ll figure it out,”

After a short pause, I commented with a chuckle, “We went on this vacation to do some inspired writing. So far we have been inspired to buy a home and to make gourmet meals, instead!”




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