Tuesday, May 12, 2009


O.K., now what I really intended to write about yesterday, before my mind veered off in a totally unexpected direction, was the conversation that transpired after Dr. S asked “How are you doing?”

As always, we begin talking about how life is going because he really is interested.

“Are you going anywhere this summer?” he asks.

I inhale, as one does just before beginning to respond, when he proceeds to answer his own question, “Oh, I guess not after last year's trip.”

I’ve been seeing him so long now that he’s beginning to converse like me.

And, he’s right. Rod and I have been exploring options, even considering renting the cottage that was one leaning fridge, leaky ceiling and broken step up from camping. One of my fav cottage experiences by the way – very Walden Pondish.

“We’ve pretty much decided that we might just stay at home; tell everyone that we’re going away and then not answer the phones. Since we both work out of the house this is a really, really bold step for us. To have our house just as our home for a week, well that could be amazing cuz sometimes it feels like it’s business 24/7 and the only way we can get away from it is to literally get out of the house. So, if we told everyone we knew we were away it wouldn’t be so difficult not to answer the phone.” I replied.

“Oh, a Staycation” he said.

Brilliant! I love this word and was so pleased that another made-up, new word has been added to my favourite word list.

Hmmm… I'm thinking. He’d said the word with such authority. Maybe it really is a word. And, as I was driving today I vaguely recollected catching bits of an episode of Brett Butt’s Corner Gas in which he says he’s going on vacation but stays at home and sends post cards from his “trip”. Sounds like a staycation to me. It’s just too good not to be a word.

And, sure enough I googled and this is what I found for staycation. It is a neologism. Now, I know that you now know what a neologism is cus you just had to click on that one too. But, I just had to write that word cus I love it and I love that there is a word for the process of newly created words that are on the verge of becoming recognized as words by the general populace. It's magical!

The key issue for our particular form of staycation is – can we stay at home and not answer the phone or the door?

This will be easier for me than for Rod. For most of my childhood Mom stayed at home alone with us 5 kids for weeks on end while Dad made his living as a traveling salesman. During these times she didn’t want any of us to answer the door for any reason.

So, it usually went like this - a knock would occur and suddenly the yelling and carrying on of 5 rambunctious kids would stop. We’d drop down to the floor and hide out of sight because the caller would usually peer in the picture window to try to see what had happened. Luckily the drapes, though sheer, did provide cover.

It became a game really, like playing the urban, home version of COMBAT. Some of us would go on a reconnaissance mission bravely crawling on our bellies to peek out and see who was there, despite the shout-whispers coming from Mom (who was hiding behind the louvered kitchen doors),"You kids stay where you are; keep down. Get away from the window." We'd then slither back to her and report on our findings so that she could decide whether to answer or not.

When I thought about it I was a little confused and saddened, after all most of the people we were evading were traveling salesmen out there trying to make a living; someone like my Dad. Were there families dropping down and crawling on their bellies all over Canada when he came to call? I was relieved when I discovered, as I got older, that he called on drugstores, hair salons and beauty schools so this was most unlikely.

So I am highly trained to ignore knocks on doors, doorbells buzzing and phones ringing etc. Hell, I can go on staycation even while you’re standing next to me. Rod, he’s an amateur.

I’ll have to get him into training soon as we plan to go on staycation sometime this summer, but you won’t know we’ve been there til we get back only there’ll be no going and no coming and don’t expect any postcards either.

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