Sometime around mid-July, I came home from work and found Bill seated at the snack bar.

He greeted me with “August or September?”

With nothing more to go on, I picked September as it sounds cooler than August even when it isn’t.

“We’re going on vacation,” he announced, “because this might be the last time I can go.”

We considered several dates and finally agreed on August so as not to get stranded by early snows in the high country.

And with our departure date getting ever closer, he is in full prep mode.

Fourteen nights of confirmed reservations in New Mexico and Colorado, check.

Three a.m. departure on day one, check.

Where we will stop for lunch on that day, check.

Lists of places to go, what to see and things to do, check.

If he hasn’t already started, I expect he will begin packing clothes any day. 

He’s gone shopping twice for “essentials.” It’s the way he rolls.

I, on the other hand, have been known to grab clothes out of the closet and pack a suitcase on the way to the airport.

I am trying to conform.

He’s given me several items, saying “You need to pack these.”

I’ve dutifully taken custody of them and they’ve made it as far as the vanity in my bathroom.

I love his enthusiasm and I share it.

But after 30-odd years a newspaper reporter, I do my best work against a deadline.

Vacationing when one is a senior citizen is different than when you were a kid. And not only because back then your parents did all the planning and packing.

This was driven home about a week into our vacation prep  when Bill said, “I’m giving you information on who you need to contact if anything happens to me. And I need a list from you, too. Just in case.”

Just in case.

That’s the reality check when you’ve reached a certain age and dare to leave home and go on vacation.

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