Yes Dear’s parents just got a huge windfall of back pay for VA benefits and a few other things.
So, now you figure, they have enough to pay off their bills, and the money they owe Yes Dear for her having to help take care of them the past eight months per contract?
Nah. That’d be too easy. Besides, that’s a whole other rant that I’ll tackle some other post.
They are going to use it to go to Walt Disney World for their 50th wedding anniversary in a few weeks, after the 4th of July. And taking Yes Dear, daughter PBJ, almost-adopted AJ, and nephew JJ.
Damn, that’s a lot of J’s in there, isn’t it?
Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand the concept of wanting to do something big and special with a sudden windfall, especially considering that they likely won’t be around much longer. I wouldn’t begrudge them of this opportunity. But the logistics are going to be daunting, and they’re expecting Yes Dear to plan most of that part of it.
And did you notice that I’m nowhere on that list?
Before anyone points out how screwed I’m appearing to get in this deal, let me ‘splain a few things.
First and foremost, my work schedule and lack of allowable vacation time make such a vacation an impossibility for Yours Truly. I have a grand total of 28 hours of vacation time left this calendar year, and being a weekender those particular work days take 12 hour bites out of that time. Nothing I can do about that.
Second, and almost as important: do I really want to go on vacation with such a dysfunctional crew, with the high potential for drama and associated logistics nightmares?
My inlaws aren’t in the best of health, physically or mentally. They get around with great difficulty, require a whole town’s pharmacy equivalent of medication, and don’t take very good care of themselves in the health or hygiene department. They are forgetful, can get quite stubborn over silly things, and often change or renege on previous plans and deals within a moment’s notice. Refer back to previous bit about owing their daughter money.
Yes Dear is going to try to keep her wits about her and her lip buttoned, because she knows she isn’t paying for the vacation. Yet she’s also aware that she’s totally at their whim and mercy, something she spent years escaping.
Originally they wanted to rent an RV and drive from Arkansas to Florida. That got vetoed because of the cost, time constraints, and the fact that Yes Dear was the only person going that was fit to drive one. Her dad’s driving skills have diminished to the point where we’re concerned even when he takes short trips into town.
So the current plan, as proposed, is to fly to Florida, and rely on ground transportation and lodging as per package deal to get to where they need to go and stay where they need to stay.
After a few days, FIL will rent a car for Yes Dear, PBJ, and AJ so they can drive to Georgia and go pick up daughter Panda Bear and two grandbabies to bring them back to Arkansas for a couple weeks. We had planned on getting her out here already before the whole windfall and vacation thing came up, so we had to improvise.
FIL and MIL will fly back to Little Rock with JJ. Hopefully that won’t turn into a disaster.
And there are no nonstop flights from Little Rock to Orlando. Or from Memphis either, at the times and dates they want to go, which would’ve been our alternate choice.
So they’ll likely have to change planes somewhere. Two slow and elderly adults, my wife and 21yr old daughter, an almost 3yo toddler, and an ADHD 11yo who has problems listening and following directions.
And, not being as frequent an air traveler as I used to be, Yes Dear thinks that one hour is sufficient time between flights while changing planes. Those of us more experienced travelers can immediately see the folly there, especially while traveling with the above crew. I’m working on all my guile and charm to convince her that two hours, not one, should be the absolute bare minimum layover time, and even that can disappear rapidly once you factor in potential delays, check in times, finding and getting to gates, elderly parents wanting to eat and go to the bathroom, dealing with ADHD nephews and crabby toddlers, etc.
What could go wrong?
So I think I’ll enjoy my week with the house to myself, even though much of my time will be taken up by working and sleeping. And praying that everybody makes it through the vacation safely and without killing each other.
And I’m truly happy for JJ that, with the crummy home life he has, he’s getting the opportunity of a lifetime that he may well not ever get again, not as a kid. A trip to Disney World. On a plane. How can an eleven-year-old not love that? I hope that he has a wonderful time and wonderful memories.
And that he doesn’t end up at the bottom of an alligator infested pond with a cinder block tied to his ankles. Because he can get that way and try your patience, especially as of late.
One of these days I’d like to take my own family to Disney World, or maybe on a Disney cruise. Just me, Yes Dear, AJ (when he gets a little older and can enjoy it more), and PBJ if she’s still living here and not tied down to a job or school. I might even consider slipping in one of the nephews if we could afford it. Since JJ is getting his chance this time, likely candidate would be L’il Buddha (since he’s close to AJ’s age), or perhaps even Mark if we could convince his dad to spring him. But I’m a firm believer that for maximum enjoyment and minimum drama that family vacations should be done with as minimal family as possible, and only those closest to you.
And, to tell the truth, I’m often happy just visiting family (MY family) on vacation. Like our trip to Texas over Christmas. Remarkably stress-free, and my favorite memory was falling asleep in my dearly departed dad’s old recliner to the sounds of rain tapping on the windows on Christmas Eve.
So I’m not going to be too broken-hearted to have to sit this one out. Besides, Yes Dear promised that once the new year rolls around we would all find a way to go on our own family vacation. Hopefully we can still afford one then.
But I’ll still be a little nervous, fearing for their safety and well-being (particularly that last item). And I hope they don’t come home even more stressed than before they leave.
Will continue to update on this topic as events unfold. Stay tuned.