My mum always said that the first year she was retired, there was no way she was spending the whole winter in Canada.  (She actually said something with more filthy language, but I won’t repeat it here. The winter can get to people.) True to her word when my mum retired this year she promptly booked herself a beach house in the Dominican Republic for a month, right in the middle of this winter.  Then the campaign began.  She got my sister to agree to go with her for a few weeks, and then started on me. I declined.  Actually, I didn’t decline, I flat out said No.  Absolutely not.

I told her that I already had to be away from the 15th to the 20th of February, because I’m teaching at Madrona, and that I had to be home for the rest of that month because I’m hoping to be around when Katie’s baby comes.  I told her that I was away so much for work that there was absolutely no way to justify being away for play.  I told her that I felt okay about being away from my family when I was earning money, but that I wasn’t okay with being away when I was spending money, and furthermore – we couldn’t really afford it, especially if we were talking about spending it on only one member of the family.  I told her I was glad my sister was coming, that I hoped they had fun, that I would try to go another time, and I tried to bury the conversation.

My mum countered with some good arguments. She said that I hadn’t had a proper vacation in fourteen years. (This is true.)  She said I could go for the first week, and still go to Madrona. (This was also true.) She pointed out that since I would just be paying for the flight, it was even the cheapest vacation I could hope for. (Also true, damn her.)  She said that I was a valuable member of my family, and that this was a good idea, and that she didn’t think anyone in the family would mind me doing it for myself.  (I didn’t think that would be true.) Finally, she said that if I was thinking about doing this with her at some time in the future, I might want to take a look at the birthdate on her passport.  (Also true, but I don’t like to think about that. My mother will be fit, alive and travel-able forever.)  Then she let me bury the conversation.

At Christmas, my mum played dirty pool.  I hadn’t told Joe that I’d been invited, because it was so completely out of the question (in my mind) that there was no point in bringing it up.  I’d made up my mind anyway.  Suddenly, we’re all washing dishes in the kitchen, and my mum turns to Joe and says "Joe, don’t you think Stephanie should come to the Dominican Republic with us?" and Joe turned and gave me a look. It was that "Oh, so it’s like that again?" look that he gives me so often, and without missing a beat he turned to my mum and said "Absolutely."  Just like that, without knowing when, or for how long, or anything about it. 

I was furious.  I don’t know why, but I felt tragically misunderstood by him in that moment, and as soon as we were alone that night, I brought it up.  I told him about the money, and the time and the guilt and that it was a TERRIBLE idea, and said I couldn’t believe that he had sided with my mother – that she was a force to be reckoned with at the least of times, and now this?  Now I was going to have a big fight with my mother, and he’d destroyed at least half of my very good arguments.

Joe, the way he does, let me run on.  He listened carefully, and then thought for a minute, and chose his words carefully.  "Steph" he said.  You’re batsh*t insane."

I stared at him. He went on.  "You’re nuts.  It’s a vacation.  People take them all the time.  It’s good for you. You’d love it.  You’ve never done anything like this, and you should go, and it will be amazing.  Leave.  Book a flight.  Leave."

I asked him about the kids.  "I’ve got it." He said.
I asked about the money. "We’ve got it." He said.
I asked about the time not working and how it made me feel guilty. 
"You’re not getting it." He said.

Right after that they all ganged up on me, and the bottom line is that even though I still feel funny about it, I’m leaving for the Dominican Republic on Monday.  When next you see me write, that’s where I’ll be blogging from, and so today I’m packing two suitcases.  My flight leaves Monday, and I arrive home on the 14th, and I have a 10 hour turnaround before I’m out the door to Seattle in the morning, so I’ll come home, put down one suitcase – have a little sleep, and then go out the door with the other.  

I’m not so sure I’ll be good at this, and I still have terrific guilt I don’t understand, but I’m going to try. 

I’ll have the blanket with me.

383 thoughts on “Packing

  1. Good for you! Don’t blog when you’re there. It’s called a VACATION. We will be around when you come back, rested, refreshed and happy! Have a wonderful time and pack a floppy hat and sunblock. Joe and your mom are right. Enjoy!!!!

  2. Dear Lord, Woman! GO, HAVE FUN!! Everyone deserves it once in awhile! Shut off the computer and do this strange thing called, relaxing!

  3. Everyone deserves a little time away. Your family will never begrudge you for 1, relaxation time (which of course includes working like crazy on your projects) and 2, spending time with your mother (which as you said may be limited and is therfore precious… more precious than most people realize).
    We all only have a certain amount of time for the people we love… no one can be everywhere at once. You love your family, you love your work. They are equally important and deserve the same amount of time.
    And you…. all women need a little “me” time or we end up going postal… no one wants to see you go postal.
    Enjoy your trips.

  4. Well done ! Drop the guilt and treat yourself like a valued employee (of your own company). Enjoy your extended family. Relax about your immediate family. Have fun in the sun.

  5. Knowing you, you’re not going to stop working while you’re there… but at least you will be in a tropical location! I hope you enjoy and relax at least a tiny bit!

  6. Vacations are essential. Seriously. And it may even help with that batsh*t thing. Relax. Breathe. Let go. Enjoy.

  7. You will be a better teacher, wife, mother, and daughter after you take care of yourself. My mum is long gone; please treasure this time that you have with yours. This is a trip you will never forget. Live the moment.

  8. Your are a best selling author and lecture who works around the clock year round. Enjoy your vacation.

  9. Enjoy it, have fun, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you to be sure to pack the blanket and it’s necessary yarn in your *CARRYON*. Just in case, yknow.

  10. At the end of your life you will never wish you spent less time with your mom in the Dominican Republic. Or on vacation. Or whatever. Have fun! Remember sun screen!

  11. Go for it! Have a lovely relaxing time with your Mum – You will regret it if you don’t – Mums, unfortunately, don’t last forever.

  12. I have the same guilt/money fears that you have, but sometimes it’s okay to do something for yourself and for your mother. Your children are old enough to survive without you near them for a short while (ahem, Australia?) and you deserve to take some time and enjoy the vitality that you have. Joe will take care of what is necessary, and you will certainly not feel guilty when you’re back to doing laundry and dishes again. So go enjoy yourself, and treat your family to a refreshed and happy You when you get back.

  13. Go! Have fun! Don’t feel guilty. Don’t feel like you have to blog, or share pictures later, or whatever.
    Enjoy yourself, enjoy being with your mom, enjoy your vacation.
    Madrona will be fine, the family with be fine, the blog will the fine.
    Have fun!

  14. I understand how you feel, but I also totally agree with Joe. You’re batsh*t insane. You work very hard. You work at home where you’re always tempted to do more work, even in the middle of the night. You often succumb to this temptation. Go. Enjoy.

  15. Don’t blog while you’re on holiday – we can cope for a little while without you. And I’ll second what others have said – cherish the time with your Mum

  16. Have a great trip and don’t worry about anything. You deserve it. You have done so much for so many and now its your turn. HAVE FUN!!! We all love you and all that you have written about and showed about knitting. Enjoy your mom too!!

  17. When your mom and husband agree with each other, you’re dead meat. They’re both right, too, so have fun.

  18. We are trained to give and not think of ourselves and treat ourselves. Dammit, you are worthy. You are loved. You DESERVE a vacation. Relax and enjoy your family while you can. While you are used to running retreats and conventions, when was the last time you just attended? Just to be Steph and not the Harlot? Go just be.

  19. The problem of having such a generous and loving heart is that you don’t know how to let go and treat your own self well. You are right to be going. You are blessed to have a mother and sister and you should bond with them. That’s important too. Plus, I’ve been to the DR and the people there are super nice. You will have an amazing time. You’ll come back feeling so good, you won’t mind (right away anyway) that the house is a wreck!

  20. GO!! YOU WILL LOVE IT!!! We take a week long vacation in Mexico every January. It is great to get where it’s warm, and do absolutely nothing but relax. I have knit on the beach many times!

  21. Dear Ms. Harlot,
    I am a great admirer of your work and have been for some time. I have gotten the impression during this ” some time” that you work very hard. A rational person might tell you that, since you work hard, you should get to play hard. Or at least get a proper vacation. What said rational person has forgotten, is that ” Stephanie” is in fact not a name, but rather a designation of a type of person. Allow me now to share some observations I have made over the past 25 years about that designation.
    1: Stephanie = banana sandwich. End of story.
    2: Every Steph I have ever encountered has been so driven to work hard and not let others down that the sense of guilt overrides ones own ability to see when time off can be taken. Or should be taken. If you have ever found yourself dying of an upper respiratory infection and said ” I can’t miss work today, there is no one who can cover me” knowing full well this isn’t actually true, you may fall into this category.
    People who force you to try and relax really do love you, even if they just don’t understand.
    In short, enjoy your damn vacation. I know this is hard to believe but it’ll all still be there when you get back, and probably all in one piece.
    Yours truly,

  22. I second what Ellen said. And, your “children” are adults. Given this opportunity they wouldn’t think twice about saying yes.

  23. That is fantastic! (sometimes the weirdest things make me tear up and this is one of those times.) You are teaching your daughters a wonderful lesson, (and setting a great example)that as a woman you deserve the break that you would gladly give someone else. Try to enjoy yourself. I’m guessing that once you see and feel the sun it will take away a little of the guilt.

  24. You are harder on yourself than anyone around you will ever be, so it can be hard to rationalize that you need breaks too.
    Something that might put it in a different perspective. You wouldn’t judge or think less of the people who are going to Squam in June. It is work for you (and hopefully fun work at that), but for most of the people there it is a vacation from home, family and the day job. If we can take the time, then you should be able to take some time too. Heck, if you weren’t your own boss, you would probably have less problem taking vacation.
    Enjoy your trip! Hope you love the Dominican Republic!

  25. Think of it as a week of public service.
    Your mum is ALWAYS right. Have a wonderful time knowing you are making her so happy. She was family first. You’re just giving her her fair share of your time. You might even stop feeling guilty and have fun. Which she will enjoy.
    The kids will learn knew skills and become more self reliant and gain an appreciation for everything you do for them.
    You can dream up some summer patterns while you are there if you start to feel bad about us. No bikini’s please.

  26. I am glad Joe talked some sense into you, that is why you two are such a good team. It is all about balancing each other out! Have a great time with your mum and sister- and RELAX! you deserve it!

  27. Have a fantastic time!
    I’ve just been reading the entire back catalog of your blog and if I’ve learned nothing else its that you hate cold and winter – you should totally do this without even thinking twice about it.
    And as someone who suffers with the same kind of guilt I will point out (and as no doubt you would point out to me) you will be more good to the people around you who depend on you if you stop and take care of yourself every so often. And that includes taking vacations.

  28. It’s a good thing you came from a brilliant gene pool!!! Hmm, what is Steph’ supposed to learn this year!!!
    Go – have fun – spoil yourself. Learn that it’s good for everyone else, too!

  29. If the shoe was on the other foot, wouldn’t you say those exact things to Joe?
    Okay then. Enjoy!

  30. Stephanie:
    There is nothing as wonderful as stepping off of a plane, feeling a breeze coming, and realizing that you needn’t cringe, or bury your face in your scarf. Enjoy being barefoot and seeing the sun when it’s warm out. The one thing that gets me about Vermont winters is the greyness. Sun only means that it is really, really cold out.
    Come back with lots of color ideas for Tina.
    And maybe you could just tell Presbytera what was the deal with that skein of yarn before you go.

  31. Have a wonderful time! You deserve this!! You’ll be refreshed and ready to start a bunch of new projects, right?

  32. I can imagine the guilt playing into not wanting to go, you have given it A LOT of thought but you will have a great time! It sounds Joe is awesome to understand your guilt but it’s February and Toronto. I lived in TO and I know when February rolls around, any heat and sunshine would be welcomed and appreciated!

  33. When Joe (aka “the god-like man who loves you to bits”) asks you what The Blog thinks about your vacation, you can tell him that The Blog agrees with him. If you can’t manage to enjoy the vacation for yourself, then think of it as a gift for your mom. It’s a blessing that you’re able to go – you will never regret having spent this time with your mother and sister.

  34. It’s a vacation – shouldn’t you be taking a vacation from the blog too? (And I say that knowing how much I will miss you. You don’t know. But I know.)

  35. If it helps, think of it as allowing your mother and Joe to give you a gift, which they clearly very much want to do.
    Also maybe think of it as an excellent time to get inspired for warm weather knitting, which is coming, I promise. It’s research.

  36. i hear the equatorial sun can be harsh on the skin of we folks of the irish persuasion. bring some sun block. reapplication is key.
    and do at least one shot for me!

  37. YEY Joe…..what a smart man you have!! ENJOY your vacation with your Mum Stephanie…time is precious. Leave the computer O-F-F (please!!) We will miss you BUT we’ll be right here when you get back!! Who knows…there might be a really cool wool shop there…LOL!!!! Have some fun…(:

  38. Go! Relax. Be warm and enjoy your family. We all want you to go so we can live vicariously. Don’t blog, just take pictures to post. Remember a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Bon Voyage.

  39. Enjoy your vacation, just remember to move the knitting around once in a while so you don’t end up with a funny tan line while relaxing on the beach. This will be a vacation you’ll always remember, alone time with your Mom is something to be cherished. Enjoy and don’t feel you have to post a blog while you’re gone, we will all enjoy your pictures and stories just as much if not more when we know you aren’t in the middle of your vacation 😀

  40. It’s hard to be idle, hard to be un-goal-oriented, when you’ve been all or most of your life, since childhood, goal-oriented, task-oriented and productive. Even in retirement, as your mom, is, it’s hard for her to be that way, w/o lots of connections, so of course you know you’re doing your mom & yourself & your family a great favor to show you can enjoy out-of-your normal circumstances. A challenge, but one I’m sure you can rise to. Great post!

  41. Why not ship your workshop supplies to Madrona, then fly from the Dominican Republic straight there.
    You’ll miss out on 10 hours (assuming landing is on schedule) to get home from the airport (during Toronto winter), discover the family didn’t lift a finger while you were away, do 2 loads of your essential laundry, and race back to the airport. You’ll also miss out on the chance to pay for two flights in the same 24 hours.
    Mind you, you’ll also only have one flight on which to knit. That might be a downside.

  42. Good for you and good for your family too! When you come back you will be happier and more functional. Have a wonderful time.

  43. Dear lady, let go of the guilt. It is a useless time suck of an emotion and does no one any good. And, honestly, I couldn’t think of someone that could use a vacation more than you. And if it makes you feel better, blogging is like working and you’ll be doing that while your there, right? 🙂 Have a good time. Wear sunscreen.

  44. I’m hearting Joe at this moment, too. Well said by your other half.
    Now please fill us in on the best umbrella drinks in the Dominican Republic, okay?

  45. I don’t get it. I’d understand guilt if you were an utter slacker… Then again an utter slacker probably wouldn’t feel guilty.
    It’s a mystery to me…
    I hope you have a good time in spite of yourself.

  46. okay, so here’s the thing – I had the same issues in trying to decide to go to a Knot Hysteria retreat. I went. It was a good decision. One I’m even hoping to repeat at some time (maybe even in summer, should there be an opportunity). You can do this!

  47. Have a terrific time! This is the dry season in the tropics and the sun is intense, so you will definitely need plenty of sunscreen.
    So, how many other projects are you bringing besides the blanket?

  48. I used to have a ‘travelling job’, and for about ten years I was on and off the plane – and away from home – a lot. I think travelling for work like that can make it hard to do yet more travelling for holidays. When I am planning a fun trip my brain understands that I am going to enjoy the time away, the change of scene and the people I will spend it with – but my subconscious is yelling at me not to crawl on yet another plane going away from home. When you add that resistance to all the other reasons for not spending the time and money, it can be really difficult to wrap your head around the whole vacation thing. Totally worth it in the end, sure, but difficult.

  49. Go on, Stephanie, and have a good time. Leave the guilt here in third suitcase- you can always unpack it and indulge in it after Madrona. Here’s to a fast-paced, interesting February for you!

  50. Well, I think The Blog unanimously agrees you should (a) have a vacation, and (b) ENJOY the vacation, so maybe the following bit of justification will help alleviate the guilt associated with the former so you can accomplish the latter (justification is my specialty):
    Technically, your “job” centers around knitting (writing about it, doing it, planning it, teaching it, etc, etc, etc), so if you are going somewhere where you’ll have huge chunks of uninterrupted time to knit, you’re working and therefore should not feel guilty. Even if you don’t knit much while on vacation (ha ha), I can almost guarantee you’ll see a boatload of things that will inspire your knitting in the future, so if nothing else it’s definitely job-related research. Then there’s the “mother/wife” aspect of things – if you go absolutely freaking psycho-nuts because you never get a break (the gaping pothole in the road of the self-employed), you’ll feel like a lousy mom and wife, whereas if you take time to refresh and relax and recharge and rejuvenate, you come back with that much more to give your family, so therefore you’re doing this for them as much as for you and should not feel guilty. 😉
    Of course, if you’re anything like me at all, all the logic and reason in the world does absolutely nothing to diminish the persistent nagging of female guilt (ever notice men don’t generally suffer from this?)…

  51. If you can’t do this vacation thing for yourself, at least do it for your mother — try your best to pretend you are having a very good time. Ditto for when you call home — Joe won’t want to hear that his airfare was wasted on you and he should have gone himself. Have fun and make lots of great memories with your mom and your sister — they will keep you warm when the winter of the soul comes.

  52. So if it’s hard to take the time off & enjoy it for your own self, might I humbly suggest that you do it as an excellent example for your kids? An example that says people (especially people who work incredibly hard) deserve some down time, free time, play time?
    Go enjoy yourself & hope the travel goes utterly smoothly.

  53. You know that saying, “live every day as if it were your last”? Well, I lost my mom eight years ago and my dad two years ago – believe me, you do NOT want to have any guilt about not going when you had the opportunity.
    So enjoy yourself! Have a fabulous time! Relax! The world will still be there when you return. 🙂

  54. Good for you. I’m having the same problem, though, except I said “yes” to my mom from the beginning and have felt guilty about not working for two weeks but spending the money ever since. But when else will I get to go to Europe on vacation with my mother? Neither one of us is getting younger, and there will never be a “perfect” time for vacation.
    Best of luck and enjoy.

  55. Someone needs to say it … be thankful that it was only a conversational subject you were burying.
    Go, relax and enjoy – visit, eat, drink and play.
    by the time you have unwound it will be time to go home and start all over again.

  56. Have a Fantabulous Time. Seriously. And don’t let Guilt take one iota of fun from you… ::wags finger::
    and enjoy the sun…. : D

  57. Funny you should post this today. I just started reading The Enchanted April – and taking myself on vacation has been on my mind lately. Have a great time, and I’ll start planning my vacation.

  58. This probably doesn’t need to be said, but do bring more than just the blanket to knit on. I mean, what else are you going to do down there but knit and relax and knit and drink coffee and knit and drink beer and probably eat some delicious food. The blanket’s gonna be done the first day.

  59. bring Joe back some of the Brugal Rum … it is Yum! (it is great, even if he’s not a rum drinker! You can bring back 4 quart sized bottles, and 50 cigars, if you are so inclined, or I think instead of the rum, you can bring back about 20 cans of their Beer — Presidente is a good beer!) Have fun – it is my favorite place in the universe (and I am missing the fact we are not there right now – but loving the reason I am not there — so it all works out in the end 😉
    Lay on the beach, soak up the rays, and love the “down” time!

  60. I totally get the furious! “Don’t you know I’m trying to be a team player here! How could you go around me on this?” 🙂 I hope you have a lovely, relaxing girls-only vacation.

  61. I was just there in November and LOVED it!
    Go for a walk in the morning and look for someone on the street making what looks like empanadas. Ask if they are “yanikeke”. Then order one! My favorite was hard boiled egg, cheese and vegetables. I also really liked the Museum of Modern Art in Santo Domingo. Drink Presidente with a “vestido de boda” – literally meaning a “wedding dress”, but refers to the layer of ice on a nice cold bottle of beer. You can also get wonderful fresh mango juice at many colmados (corner store). As you can tell, I love good food 🙂
    OH! And if you are in Santo Domingo on a Sunday night DON’T MISS the music at the Monestario de San Francisco. Go, dance in the street, drink a beer and have empanadas from the street vendor.
    You will have an amazing time!

  62. Good for Joe! The vacation isn’t just for you, it’s for all the people you are crazy around. Think of how much you’re helping them by being less crazy. 🙂

  63. I know those arguments almost too well. Fortunately, sometimes I end up with a vacation (or some other luxury) and sometimes the arguments win. It keeps my life in balance. Enjoy the vacation, but please don’t pack the guilt all the way to the DR

  64. Bon Voyage! Enjoy your time over there! And relax! Have some Mai-tais while you’re there and knit on. See you in a week!

  65. Stephanie knitting in the Dominican Republic. This is all good. She will be relaxed. She can knit to her heart’s content. People will attend to her needs (no endless picking up, cleaning, cooking, tending to others). She will rest, sleep, eat, drink (and I think those are tropical) and be warm.
    By the way, with the birthdate on the passport, good choice. Mothers are the best.
    Whole-heartedly approved.
    (Can’t wait to see the blog)

  66. I, too, have only recently learned about vacations! To be fair, this is because I am 24, and have only had a full-time job for eight months (don’t laugh!). But I was able to take my first real vacation a while ago, and now all I want to do is take vacations. Seriously. The only problem with vacations is that they are addictive and always too short. You don’t have to do anything but knitting for a whole week!

  67. Just think of it as required research for a new blog post – Knitting in Tropical Climates: What you need to know. That way you are doing it for the blog – hell this should even be a tax write off for you.
    Have a blast – I look forward to funny, sunny stories.
    I am heading to Cuba for 2 weeks myself – 1st socks in travel bag. So I maybe available for comment if required in the above noted Tropical Climates post : )

  68. The Domincan Republic is AWESOME, i’ve been there 3 times. Provided you pack enough knitting supplies you are going to have a GREAT TIME. Also you totally deserve it and so does your mom. She needs a little Steph time too. Someday in the future you too will do the same (perhaps not the D.R.)with your kids. And won’t that be great.

  69. I live in Austin, if I got the chance to spend time in a snowy place in August I’d be on a plane in no time. Still, I get it; it is hard to be taken out of your comfort zone when you aren’t working. But it will be good for you.
    Have compassion for yourself so you can have it for others. Do some yoga on the beach, wear plenty of sunscreen. Spend time with your mother. Have fun. We’ll be here when you get back.

  70. YOU DESERVE A VACATION!!! This strikes me as very interesting because you have very strong beliefs about women having equal opportunities, power in the household, etc. (which I agree with, and think you are a wonderful role model for!) yet you have never let yourself take a real vacation?! I believe it is very important for women (and men, but perhaps women feel more pressure not to?) to allow themselves to take a break when they need one and not feel guilty. I hope you have an AMAZING time and it changes your mind about your own double standard (yourself vs. everyone else) about vacations! 🙂

  71. I can’t really speak from personal experience, but from what I’ve been told, one is better able to be a good mum when one takes time to relax, refresh, and renew. If you take this time to be with your mom and take care of yourself, you’ll come back better able to take care of everyone else.
    p.s. Joe is right.

  72. Think of it like you’re doing this for your family, not that you’re treating yourself any differently. That will make it easier to grasp. Once you’re there, treat it like a long bike ride…settle in, relax your body, and enjoy the scenery. Mom’s play dirty pool. It’s their way. Learn something from this….it will likely be useful to you later with your kids.

  73. work hard, play hard – that’s a motto to live by. (albeit it took me 20 years to figure this out properly) Have a safe trip and enjoy the time with your mum.

  74. I’m just like you about vacations. Beach vacations especially. But you will find that a beach is just a terrific place to get some knitting done. Enjoy!
    (And that’s a pretty nice guy you’re married to.)

  75. Your Joe sounds like my David. Smart fellow. Have fun, wear sunscreen, and enjoy that impossibly clear blue water. You won’t regret it!

  76. Steph,
    Your Joe sounds like my Jaison. He’s forever reminding me that I’m batnuts, for which I always knew. But he’s right, you do need some time to yourself. Knit on the beach! I’ve always wanted to, it sounds wonderful. Soak in the sun, drink something tasty, and knit till you can’t knit any longer.
    But I will say, I’m going to miss you horribly and be almost as jealous as I miss you.

  77. Holy hell, I wish the biggest bitch I had with my spouse right now was that he made an end-run around me in order to force me off for a vacation without him or any of our 3 kids! Get on the freakin plane WITH knitting, WITHOUT guilt and have a blast. Don’t mean to be a downer, but my mom and my sister have both been gone for years, and I’d give just about anything to be able to spend a week with them. Life is short, girl. Go have fun.

  78. My goal in life is to live with no regrets. If you didn’t join your mom on this trip you might regret it when your mom is gone. Sadly parents don’t live forever. When our son asked us to visit him in Peru we went. What if something had happened to him and we didn’t go?
    No guilt! Relax and enjoy this special experience with your mom.

  79. have a WONDERFUL time! and you’re a gorram genius to pack 2 suitcases. i must remember that logic and forthought (during a time it will actually apply). 😉

  80. You have given quite a lot to the world of reading knitters (the last book was the best yet,and that’s saying something) and even more to your family.
    Joe and your mum ARE RIGHT. You are not a bad person if you do something for *you*.
    Go. Get a sunburn and end up with sand on the blanket.(Because you know you’ll try to knit on the beach. You know it.) It’ll be wonderful.

  81. Steph, you know how you always say that it’s not fair that men get praised for doing their chores and no flak for not doing them, while women get no flak for doing their chores and flak for not doing them and the world is all sexist and it’s not fair?
    This is the other side of the coin. That guilt? Let it go. Enjoy the moment. You’ll catch up with the rest of your family when you get back. They’ll manage the household without you for a bit, and miss you, and be extra appreciative when you get back. You could even drop a hint or two about wondering what it would be like to come back to a clean house (for a change) and see what happens (well it’s worth a try).
    And plus, you’ll be nurturing some other family relationships while you’re away.
    At any given time, you’ve given up working on any number of other things. That’s the way life is, in a fully lived life! (Look at me, I’m commenting in your blog and I could be doing any of several other important things … but I digress).
    I heard a woman being in interviewed on the radio yesterday – she says she will do her best in life, and if she makes mistakes then she will try to correct them. But she won’t go around being _afraid_ to make mistakes.
    Good luck with all that … it takes a bit of practice but it’s worth it.

  82. I did this too! It’s called Squam. 🙂 I still can’t believe I’m spending all that money on *me* and no one else and leaving him alone with all 3 of them! But I have a good man who sees me too. 🙂

  83. Go, have some rum straight or in mixed drinks, dance the merengue, have fun.
    Yes, wear sunblock. I am a native of Puerto Rico but after years “up north” I burn like a mofo, don’t want to even think about what the tropical sun will do to your skin if left unprotected.

  84. Enjoy yourself! I am very jealous (not of the tropical beach, I prefer Northwest beaches) of the time you get with your Mum and sister! I am missing my own Mum like crazy while she is away :(. So enjoy your vacation and we will see you at Madrona!

  85. Go ~ relax ~ enjoy!! Enjoy the weather, read a book & spend some quality time with Mum. You both deserve it. We’ll be here when you get back.
    [let Joe update the blog while you’re gone]
    Oh ~ and finish up that blanket so Katie can wrap her baby in it for its first trip home.

  86. I am beyond jealous of the blanket, and the fact that you will be knitting it on the beach…
    Bring back some pics

  87. Since Joe has already said it, it does not need repeating. What does need repeating is advice about sunblock. Plus a hat, a big floppy brimmed one.
    Plus, just think about getting to discover what they knit with where you are going. Wool? Bamboo? Silk? Something you have never heard of (gasp!)? Adventure calls!
    And yeah, don’t blog. Disconnect from all that for a bit. Power down.

  88. If it will make you feel less guilty, I’ll go in your place and you can come to VT and cover my 4 am to 3 pm shift. I would be an excellent daughter and let your Mum spoil me rotten.

  89. You aren’t flying to Seattle from DR with your spare trousers in the bottom of your suitcase? Or do you have to deliver the baby blanket between trips?

  90. Go, enjoy, drink it the green landscape and lots of alchohol, knit and you know what do something I wish I had done, record a conversation with your Mother, I miss her voice the most.

  91. Go, have a wonderful time, and leave the guilt at home, with the snow!
    I know whereof I speak. I also am a mom of three girls, but right in the midst of the raising (ages 6 to 14) so I felt I couldn’t leave two years ago when my mom and my sister took a roadtrip vacation. I said ‘next time, when they’re older, and I can afford it.’ But sadly Mom passed away last year, suddenly, and I missed my chance.
    Don’t miss this chance, and don’t let guilt spoil it.
    Bon Voyage!!

  92. Are you so control-obsessed that you seriously think you MUST be a slave to your work and family or everyone will be disappointed and mad at you? You need a vacation, you need anxiety counseling, and might I recommend using a stress thermometer? You can find them on Amazon very cheap and they are helpful. In other words, get out of your own damn self-absorbed head and start interacting with reality.

  93. Sounds like YOU need to have a blankie to hug! If you don’t think you deserve at least one vacation in 14 years, who DOES deserve it! Use imagery to send that guilt off!

  94. Sounds like Anonymous needs to concentrate on his/her own personality disorders, which are obvious with that comment.

  95. Have fun! Don’t blog it’s a vacation! We will survive! You took the blanket, that’s enough!
    If your guilt gets the best of you, buy thoughtful souvenirs for everyone. The rum idea would be great for Joe and I bet he would share a wee nip with you.
    Don’t forget the sunscreen and a large-brimmed hat. Bad sunburns are the pits! And have some fun!

  96. I wonder what kind of fiber is to be had there?? bamboo and such? Might be time for a little yarn crawling as well. Have fun! ….. and work on the blanket. 😉

  97. And it might be a good idea for AnNonymous to try interacting with a manual on civility or, failing that, at least to take responsibility for her rudeness and use her own name.
    — Susan Ramsey (doing as I would be done by.)

  98. Have a great time! After the first day or two, you’ll get it. Start by stepping away from the computer. Don’t blog. We’ll be fine. We love you.

  99. Go. Enjoy. Spend some quality time with your mum, you both deserve it.
    …And if you still feel guilty then I’m sure you’ll find time to write the pattern for the blanket whilst sitting on the beach and maybe then you can convince yourself that you’re working so you can let yourself enjoy it.
    Me? I’m just eaten up with jealousy, but hey ho, I’ll get over it ;0P

  100. Enjoy! You totally deserve it! It’s like us coming to Port Ludlow—spending all that money on ourselves—it’s a good and healthy thing!

  101. No, you really shouldn’t go. Really, you shouldn’t. I shall selflessly volunteer to go instead – I’ll practice drinking more beer and coffee and saying arse and losing dpns and your mother and sister will never know the difference – even though I will be missing an important appointment with the oral surgeon and tons of long meetings at work and, with any luck, the only decent blizzard we’ll get all this winter.
    Seriously, I’d do that for you, Steph.

  102. I’m sure you love what you do, but if you are blogging while you’re away, that’s not a vacation. We’ll be here waiting for you when you get back, have fun!
    And Joe, what a dude!

  103. Oh, fun, a vacation!!! As much as I would love to see your blog posts from there, I really do think you should simply be on vacation and not even blog. We’ll all be here when you get back!

  104. Dear Anonymous! Obviously you have never met Steph or you would know that all of your comments are so far from the truth! How about not reading her blog anymore? I’d say go be rude somewhere else, but no one deserves your rudeness. Perhaps you need a timeout?
    Please just go away.
    Thank you.
    Tamara Scott

  105. Oh! Sorry for the duplicate posts! Patience is not one of my strengths and I hit the post button too many times! Oops and sorry.

  106. My father-in-law is dying this week. That isn’t a tragedy, he lived a long and full life. But you will not ever regret spending a week with your mum while you can. And someday, a very long time from now, you will hope for your daughters to make that same decision, despite their families, their work and their finances. As you have always done, be a good role model for them.

  107. I find that on the few (two?) times that I’ve gone off on something resembling a vacation by myself leaving behind my real life…I worry and fret like this all during the build-up.
    BUT, as soon as I’m on that plane, I find that the fretting goes away. And that while I’m gone, all the silly things I was so worried about seem, in fact, really, really silly and I realize I should do something relaxing more often.
    Then I come home and forget the learning. But I still remember having a really, really good time doing nothing but whatever I feel like doing!

  108. Would it make you feel better to remember that by going you are being a good role model for your daughters? Don’t you want them to know how to be good daughters years from now when you want them to go have fun with you?

  109. Go Stephanie! Enjoy the sun—warm your bones—knit what you want—have a fantastic time! And I second whoever said hang the blog for a few days—we’ll still be here when you come back.

  110. I hope that every minute of it is wonderful and you and your mom and sister can enjoy your time together.
    Wish you safe travels, clean airplanes, good hot coffee and relaxation. Don’t worry too much about us, we’ll be here when you get back.

  111. I am a little teary about all this, for the following reasons:
    1)That Joe – he is a good man. I also have a good man like that – it is important for women like us (professionals, who knit and parent and work and have a hard time just “being”) to have men like them – we are blessed.
    2) My dad passed away in December. My husband’s mother passed away less than a month later. I hope that you have many years for vacations with your mother to look back on this first one – but I do not have these people here with me anymore – and I am so grateful for whatever time I had with them – this time with your mother is good.
    3) Why do we still feel the need to be the one to sacrifice, when everyone around us is telling us that we can enjoy something special? If you figure it out – please blog it – we need to get that part of some of us fixed.
    Have a wonderful, glorious vacation! You deserve it.

  112. Just to be clear. You are packing 2 bags, one for the D.R. and one for Madroons so you don’t have to spend any of your 10 hr turn-around packing for an entirely different climate? OR 2 bags for the D.R., one full of clothes and one full of knitting (baby blanket et al)? I can’t imagine 2 bags of clothes for the D.R. since warm weather clothes take up so much less space than cold weather clothes.
    Just wondering.
    Enjoy it as much as you can, both the Dominican and Madronna (where it will no doubt be raining by then).

  113. Just checked Ravelry and there appears to be one knitter in DR – the mod for the group. Maybe you could have a 2 person knit night!!!
    In the meantime, enjoy! Like the Blog has said, lots of sunscreen and extra knitting – if thee’s only one knitter, there probably aren’t a lot of LYS’s – but you never know, you might find yarn in the markets. Have fun, I envy you.

  114. OMG!! So, so great! I know how you feel about the guilt thing, but you DO have the blanket and a little downtime in a warm, tropical place will be bliss and permeate all the rest of your life with Peace. Trust in it…

  115. Fourteen years? Seriously?! Joe’s right, batsh*t insane. AND (I’m sorry, but) your mom’s right. You need it, you’ll enjoy it, and you’ll treasure it. Have a wonderful time!

  116. Good for you…. have a fabulous time and, to quote the name of my favourite yarn store here in Atlanta, eat, sleep, knit! You’ll be so refreshed, even the perils of flying in February won’t throw you! I also second the many who urge you to spend this time with your mum, I lost mine suddenly last year and what I wouldn’t give for a vacation (or even a snowy day) with her….

  117. Go and enjoy. This is a gift to yourself, your mum and your family, so enjoy it and let the guilt go. The fact that everyone around you can see how much you need to press pause on your daily grind just shows how much they love you and want you to treat yourself as well as you treat them.
    Pack light (more room for yarn), bring your sunscreen and make some memories. Cheers!
    ps and a big ol’ raspberry to anonymous

  118. I hope you have lots of fun with your mom and sis. All those other things will still be there when you get back. I started to join in the chorus of don’t worry about the blog, but decided to ask for pictures so I could live vicariously through your travels! Have fun.

  119. You have a very rare and wonderful husband (I’ve got one like that, too)! Bless him for telling it like it is and enabling you to have a vacation.
    We won’t worry about you too much, if you’re not blogging regularly while relaxing by the water.
    Enjoy yourself – you deserve it!!!

  120. Silly woman! GO! how often do you think regular working moms get offered accommodation on a tropical isle with people they love and enjoy spending time with?!? For the love of all things knitted, if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for those of us who can’t do it at all and will live through you vicariously! GO!! JUST GO!! ..but post lots of pictures for us! 😉

  121. You will LOVE it, Stephanie. I had a holiday in Barbados 20 years ago and can remember almost every detail of it still. You will come home refreshed and raring to go – promise. 🙂

  122. Take a true vacation and keep your laptop off! We will be here when you get back. And have fun.

  123. I have found that the problem with working from home (both as a mom and for your so-called “real” job) is that every minute you’re home, you feel like you should be working. You are always at work–literally, in your workplace. Therefore there is no idle moment of the day free from the guilt of not working. That is the guilt you’re feeling: you’re still home. The only way to leave the guilt is to leave the home (and leaving home to work does not count!). It’s really hard to make yourself do it, but I think you’ll find it’s really, really worth it.

  124. Sorry Stephanie, I totally agree with Joe. I was just thinking about this yesterday. My Mom & I always thought we would get a chance to travel together after my father passed away from a long illness. My Mom was six years younger but it seemed like we would have plenty of time. But then I broke an ankle badly (think 6 months in a wheelchair, 10 months off work, & having to move back in with my parents bad). My father died died from his illness 10 days after I moved in. And my Mom’s health was never good enough to travel–so tell your Mom that I said she & Joe were not only right, but absolutely correct! And go, enjoy, have fun, relax–you deserve it for all you do for your family, your friends, & the knitting community!!!

  125. DO NOT BLOG while you are on vacation. If I were you, I wouldn’t even take my computer (maybe they won’t have wi-fi anyways). There’s a book that’s called “When I Relax, I Feel Guilty.” Relax and please don’t feel guilty.

  126. What I learned from my colon cancer battle two years ago: Life is short and can change in an instant. Spend time with your family and loved ones. Enjoy every moment in your life as much as you can. Don’t sweat the small stuff and honestly, it’s ALL pretty much small stuff. In other words, go to SD with your mom, have a blast, and tell us all about it when you get back.

  127. So long as you have your knitting with you, you’re working! It’s funny, but just today I was wondering if I could even tolerate a lying-around sort of vacation once the kids are grown. I can’t bear to be without a (self-imposed) schedule. Tell us how it goes!

  128. I suspect it might be more than guilt that you are dealing with, having been there myself. It might also be the recognition that things are changing, that time moves on. This means your mom is getting older, which is never an easy thing for us to contemplate. It also means that you have moved past the active stage of parenting and are now entering new territory. It can be quite confronting to think that such a thing as taking a trip like this is even possible, when a few short years before it wouldn’t have been. I hope you have an amazing time with your mom, and that it is a very restorative time for you. No guilt allowed!

  129. Having just taken (and thankfully brought home )my 86 year old with it mother to the local ER after a scary, leg needing stitches fall this AM. Please go visit your mother, enjoy the time away and revel in a loving family who loves you as much as you do them.

  130. Hey, Steph, I’ve been to the DR about 12 times- in the mountains and on the beaches- you’ll have a blast-warm sun, warm water, the occasional dance party- and they have lovely amber and Larimar jewelry. Oh, and the plantain. And fru-fru (sp?) drinks on the beach. Have a wonderful time- you deserve it.

  131. Good for you! Excellent, most excellent! I hope you have an absolutely smashingly wonderful time. Everyone deserves a vacation, and life is way, way short!

  132. Dude. There will be palm trees, sand, warm water, and big fruity alcoholic bevvies. What’s not to like?
    Also – you should snorkel. Trust me on this one.

  133. You do need a holiday – the sign was that you needed the blog to point out how to rescue the centre of the baby blanket. You’re a better knitter than that and you know it.
    We never know what tomorrow might bring, seize the moment and enjoy it.

  134. Do it! You are so valuable to your family that this is an easy and sensible investment to make! Enjoy!

  135. Go! Rejoice! Revel in the sun, the sand, the peace, the time with your mum! And think of all the extra knitting time you will have! You are blessed…..

  136. My parents were meant to be indestructable and immortal, but then 2 months ago I lost my father to cancer. No one can ever replace him, and in his final days he said, as I was working from home while caring for him: “you give to much of yourself to that place. You need to rest and enjoy the important things in life. Why are you here, working, when you should be enjoying yourself?”
    2 days later, he was gone.
    Don’t give too much to your work. As wrong as it feels to take time just for you, you have to. Although I know you love your work, you seem to me to be the kind of person who really values what’s important in your life. Don’t forget that you are important too. You enjoy your vacation, and enjoy the spare time to knit on that blanket which will be precious and beautiful. Take the time to recharge and relax!
    I want to see a picture of you, enjoying yourself, and some more of your blanket. Your stitches are beautiful!
    I’m sorry I signed up too late to take your classes at Madrona 🙁 Maybe next time!

  137. I would give just about anything to spend one more day with my father, my mother and my dear sister. All taken from me too young and too fast. Never never put off spending time with those that you love. People should not have to live with the regret of putting it off. Relax, knit,ignore The Blog. All will be here when you return. Enjoy. You will be better for your wee vacation and so will your family and friends.

  138. Go go go go go It may take you 48 hours to unhook but then you will just be amazed by the release and relief.
    Try it. You’ll like it.

  139. My Mom asked me to go with her and a couple of friends to Toronto to see Phantom and some other things. They would be gone for a about five days. It was a bus trip. I mentioned it to my hubby. He said go. I said no. For many of the same reasons that you provided. My Mom went. She had a blast with her friends. It was the summer of 1997. My Mom died in March of 1998. To this day, I wished I had gone.
    Go. Have fun. Enjoy the moments and the laughter and the tears (don’t all families have laughter and tears . . . even if the tears are from laughing so hard). Get some rest and sun. Enjoy your Mom. Tell her, we send our love and wish her (and you) many more days in the sun.

  140. Whoop Whoop! Rip it up in the DR – actually I guess I should say knit it up – and get some sun. You totally deserve this.

  141. I can’t wait to hear about it! My older daughter is going to the DR in March — first time out of the country. Of course, she’ll be staying in a place more along the lines of a camp, helping someone build a house to replace the shack made of odds-and-ends they found. But, anyway, the more I hear people talk about their experiences there, the calmer I’ll be when she takes off. Maybe.

  142. Good for you, everyone needs a vacation once every 14 years! I hope you take a break from blogging if you want to while vacationing. Enjoy yourself making memories!

  143. Let’s do this:
    1. You will call me and tell me what was wrong with the first ball of yarn of the blanket.
    2. I will call you a slacker in the comments, thus persuading you to skip the vacation in order to work.
    3. I will go to the Dominican Republic with your mother, congratulating her on raising a daughter with such a strong work ethic.
    4. You will finish the blanket AND the gansey by the time we return.
    5. I will never again be able to call you a slacker.

  144. I agree with Joe…. you are being bat crap insane to not let yourself enjoy this time with your mother and sister. Go forth, teach your daughters that they deserve to treat themselves well in life.

  145. I totally get your guilt – I would have it too. And I don’t understand where it comes from either. Good on them for making you go – have a great time! (Looking forward to living vicariously through you next week!)

  146. Sounds like you will have plenty of time to knit! Bet you’ll finish the blanket and have time to knit something else too. Have a fabulous time with your mum and enjoy the sun… you’ll feel so much better when you return to the dark and cold.

  147. Hooray for your Mom and Joe. Have a wonderful vacation! I’ll wave to you at Madrona and give you a hug if there’s time. Sometimes it is good to remember how to relax.

  148. Please go and take pictures! All of us in these northern climes need a nice sunny and sandy picture of the blanket to warm us up (even though it has been warm in these parts – 32F)!

  149. Steph, you’re batsh*t insane. Look out the window… grey, overcast skies, snow up to your a**, go to the Dominican Republic…
    Do you think your mom would adopt me?

  150. We expect pictures of you on a beach, in a bikini, with a tan. Obey. And, of course, you need to have a manservant fanning you with a palm leaf.

  151. Love it! Great story, think of all the great stories we’ll be reading about you knitting on a beach… with a beer… and your mum… Enjoy. You do deserve it.

  152. How much knitting will you pack for your “merveilleuses vacances”, you know, in case it out right sucks (blerph,cough, ahem, sputter, right….) in the Dominican Republic.

  153. Have a fantastic trip and enjoy it for me also. It was -23 C. this morning. Have some serious fun!

  154. I totally get what you mean. My mom did the same thing with a vacation to Freeport! Nothing like ganging up with the husband, eh?

  155. I’ve always wondered why I feel a strangely stressful sort of guilt, almost to the point of shedding tears, over the idea of doing something totally for myself (anything more elaborate than enjoying a bubble bath). I think it’s a side effect of being a mother.
    Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy it. I agree with the pleas to skip the blogging. Enjoy the time with your Mom and sister. We’ll all catch up with you later!

  156. I also have a hard time spending money on “just” me. Missed a sister week in Michigan because of my guilt (I am Irish/Catholic) didn’t tell my husband about it and he told me I was batch*t for not going. Still not sure I could do it, glad Joe and Mum ganged up on you. Enjoy and I will look forward to your blogs from the warmth.

  157. Vacation sounds wonderful, but a 10 hour turn around? Why did you do that to yourself? Being rushed is the worst thing for me. Enjoy the sun!

  158. Oh have an amazing time! Just got back from the DR myself. Knit on the flight down, by the pool, on the beach! However did not knit on the flight home as they did not allow knitting needles or yarn on the plane!! Since we always travel carry-on only I had to pay $29 to have my knitting checked! Suggest you bring a book for the flight home.

  159. You have choices:
    a) Go and enjoy yourself.
    b) Go and be miserable, and make everyone else miserable. If anything goes wrong (it rains one day, lunch is late) say, “See, I shouldn’t have come.” If nothing goes wrong say “The sun is too bright. The water is too wet. See, I shouldn’t have come.”
    I recommend a, but b does have one benefit…you might not have to face this situation again. But I’m not absolutely sure you have b in you.

  160. The Blog is wise. Heed the Blog. If you don’t feel like relaxing, then pretend to relax (I’ll admit to having trouble imagining you ‘relaxing’). Make memories and share laughter.

  161. Stephanie: Consider the baby blanket FINISHED! Do a nice simple crochet around it – or do a few more garter stitch rows. DO NOT TAKE IT WITH YOU – IT IS DONE AND NEEDS TO BE GIVEN TO THE RECIPIENT BEFORE YOU LEAVE!!!
    Go and enjoy a real vacation with sun and warm. It will do wonders for you.

  162. I’m very happy for you. Have a wonderful time. Relax and enjoy the weather, the environment and most of all, your mum (and sister)!

  163. Everyone deserves time off now and then. Yes, even a super mom/wife/knitter/author. And I hear the Dominican Republic is LOVELY. And–there won’t be any snow!!

  164. My husband pouts and make a HUGE fuss if I go anywhere without him. Thus I never get to my local knit night,let alone a week vacation!! consider yourself lucky and now that you have made the decision to go, you need to make the decision to enjoy yourself.

  165. You’ll love it. We spent a week there driving around and staying in small hotels. There is so much to see- it’s a beautiful country!
    Plus, this is a great time of year to go. Have a great time!

  166. Stephanie – As I am sure you already know – You have a great husband. Joe is a keeper.

  167. Steph – pack some cotton yarn – the humidity might be a bit much for working with wool. And the Carribean (sp? you know what I mean) is HEAVENLY in February. Try snorkeling.)

  168. I’m pretty sure my mom and my dad had this exact same conversation when my mom was invited on a big Girl’s Vacation with her sisters.
    She had a blast, and I’m sure you will, too!

  169. Just take pretty pictures of the Dominican Republic and post them. You should be relaxing, not blogging!

  170. Have fun! Everyone at home will be fine and happy that you’re having a terrific and inexpensive holiday. Forget the guilt and have a blast!

  171. Just make sure to pick up the right suitcase on your way back out to Seattle after 3 hours sleep!
    My husband and I are picking up and going to Costa Rica for 3 weeks quite soon. It’s a little crazy, especially as we’re both artists (theatre!) and earn arts-industry pay, but we’ve never done anything like it either. I’m looking forward to it like crazy!

  172. And did you say, “Joe, honey, you are so right.” because if not, I think maybe you should. because no one on earth has to feel guilty about taking a vacation, ok? And there is a strong possibility the world will not stop turning without you pushing, altho the blog world will be extremely dull.

  173. Steph…go. Hug Joe and thank him properly (wink wink, nudge nudge), and go RELAX with your mom. It’s so worth doing just to do something for YOU instead of for all of us! 🙂
    But…I like the idea of flying straight to Madrona, because then you don’t have to make quite so sure you mark the suitcases clearly to ensure you don’t take Dominican Republic to Madrona…! (I know I’d come home, fall down, get up, grab same suitcase, and split…)
    Hugs and go have fun!

  174. Have a wonderful time! Even though it’s lovely here in New England, I am jealous that you and your Mum are going. I hope you have a wonderful time and appreciate the wonderful gift your family has given you 🙂

  175. Here’s what I ask myself when I’m trying to figure out what the ‘right’ answer is to something tricky: What would I advise my daughter to do? Usually the answer comes through loud and clear. My guess is you would advise your girls to leap on the plane to D.R. and not think one guilty thought about it. So do that.

  176. Go for it!!! Have an AMAZING time!!!! It’s something so many of us should do but don’t. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

  177. “Finally, she said that if I was thinking about doing this with her at some time in the future, I might want to take a look at the birthdate on her passport. (Also true, but I don’t like to think about that. My mother will be fit, alive and travel-able forever.)”
    You already know that your time with your mother is precious. If you need an excuse to vacation, just tell yourself that spending time with her is more important than work. You know that if she were ill, you’d be at her side in a flash. So why not when she’s healthy and wants to have fun?
    My mother died when I was 26. I’m in my 70s now, and I still miss her and the years we didn’t have. So go on vacation with your mother whenever you have the chance, and may you both enjoy many years of sunsets on the beach, laughing at winter.
    And turn off your computer! A vacation is not a project you need to report on. Pay attention to your mother and your surroundings, not to The Blog. We’ll be here when you get back, and all we need to know is that you had a lovely, relaxing time.

  178. The Blog says Go for it! Have a wonderful time (and try to not think about the Blog being lonely for you…we’ll just be happy to have you back all relaxed)

  179. I’m sitting here on vacation in Tahiti (actually on Cook’s Bay on Moorea next to Tahiti) laughing at your hesitancy. Go, woman! Enjoy the sun, the sand, the breeze, and the rum. You have a wonderful family who loves you and wants to see you spoiled. Let them.

  180. SusanOD @ 6:55pm said it much better than i could. i’m just going to second what she said, and now you have TWO wise old ladies giving you good advice.

  181. I hope during your airplane flight you’ll be able to drop the guilt and just enjoy the vacation.

  182. Go, before I go in your place!!!
    Seriously, you’re always taking care of others, and you can’t be at your best as a caretaker if you don’t take care of YOURSELF first every once in a while. Go, enjoy it, take some massive SPF, and build a special memory or two 🙂

  183. If it were a friend who was in your situation, you would probably say, “Of course you’re going and don’t feel guilty. You deserve a vacation.” I say follow hypothetical advice. And think of this trip as an opportunity to do “recon” for possible knitting designs and book chapters in the future. Hey, does that mean some of your expenses might be “business related”? 😉

  184. That sounds great.
    Once I see it all out there in print I’m not even jealous of you like I normally am when people tell me they are going on vacation. Like you I don’t see myself going on any vacations any time in the next decade (and haven’t had one in 14 years, basically since I lived with my mother).
    I hope you soak up lots of vitamin D and have a healing time.

  185. Go. Enjoy.
    My mom and I planned to take a trip on the train to Churchill to see the Frozen North and the Polar Bears. It would have been epic, but we never got to take that trip and now she’s gone, I’m planning the same trip on day with my boys.
    Carpe Diem. I’m not kidding on this one. Just go.

  186. Good for you. Go and enjoy the sun, you work damn hard and keep us all entertained in the process. Besides, I’ve never been there, you have to tell us what it’s like. Enjoy!

  187. Dear Blog, A Blogger posts in part for the comments. If no comments appear from The Blog, the Blogger may take a vacation.

  188. Have a blast! Rest, relax, sleep, knit, watch the birds, enjoy. I’ve been to the Dominican Republic – it’s warm and lovely but be cautious. Be cautious and safe and you will have a lovely time – and you will get over being angry as soon as you see the warm, welcoming water and sand!

  189. You deserve a vacation! I have a similar issue. I will (eventually, with much nail biting and angst) take a vacation but I hate hate hate spending money on myself. I always feel guilty. Mah Hubster has started a designated yarny fund for me since I don’t like buying things for myself. Sounds like you have a winner too!
    Of course I used to work for an airline. As soon as you posted I immediately routed YYZ to SDQ in my head and started calculating knitting time.

  190. Hope you have a great trip. I am 50 and the last vacation was 25 years ago, so I understand about the guilt. You work so hard for everyone else don’t you think it’s time you let your brain go into neutral.Have fun!

  191. Consider the time with your mother a gift to you both. Remind Joe again that he is a man amongst men. You are blessed with family and friends and the ability to provide for both and yourself by following your heart. Think of the example to the young women in your life. Once again Rams and Presbytera offer the wisdom of reason.
    And she or he who chooses to remain Anonymous really needs to remember their manners. I’ve been to the DR many times -enjoy.
    Bonnie aka Knitsiam

  192. Well deserved. Lay there (on the beach) and think of England (Canada). I’m rooting for you.

  193. My, my! The Blog certainly has a lot to say on this subject! Most of it is right, of course. Listen to it.

  194. You know what’s wrong with this vacation in the sun idea, don’t you? It will become an annual event.

  195. Go. Enjoy yourself. Do. Not. Feel. Guilty. Good things, good opportunities and fun times are provided to us for us to enjoy.

  196. I had to force my husband into taking vacations about 20 years ago, and teach him to leave work behind. He still thanks me for it every year and often during the year – without being prodded! See, it’s THAT powerful. If a husband can acknowledge it year after year without nagging or hints, you know its something worth doing! You need to start taking vacations and not putting everyone first.
    Try this little experiment when you get there. Put your feet up and do whatever you want without worrying about anything for 10 minutes. Then check to see if the universe exploded. It won’t have. Then do it for 1/2 hour. universe will still exist. Point this out to yourself. See if you can work up to a whole day.
    Biggest hint I can give you: UNPLUG. People were offline their entire lives and lived. Its amazing I know but they did

  197. hmmm… posted earlier today. but cyberspace seems to have eaten it? oh well! it was just to add my voice to the chorus of voices calling out “Go!” 🙂

  198. Your job, should you choose to accept it, will be to leave your guilt on the seat next to you at the airport in Toronto, and enjoy every second of the sand between your toes. Good for you! Remember: Life’s only short once.

  199. Our family- sitting around a campfire with a bottle of champagne and an anniversary cake singing happy anniversary to my parents. Mom has an astounded look on her face- “how did you get all this up here.” Dad is smiling- really big. Our family- Dad is dealing cards like a dealer from vegas-even though he can no longer dress or feed himself. Everyone is in front of the woodstove- Jim is playing his guitar & we’re all singing- some offkey. My folks are gone- memories are here. Go make yours.

  200. You go with your Mum…do NOT feel guilty! Lay in the sun and take care of yourself!!!
    MOTHERS know best, Stephanie.

  201. YAY someone finally realizes we deserve special time too. You are so lucky, I have had it twice in my 40 years of marriage. Go for it! Enjoy it!! Don’t let the “jewish mother” take over.

  202. I hope this s the 1st of many trips you enjoy with your mom! Relax, enjoy and share the adventure when you get back home!

  203. Steph,
    Consider this research time. Breathing air, meeting people, eating food, experiencing weather and taking in the scenery and colors of another part of the world will enrich you, your writing, and your knitting. It is all a plus. Aren’t you enriched by your workshops in locations throughout North America?? And no one can take those experiences away from you. Add one more. What’s the problem? We are all serious about the sunscreen!!!!

  204. Have fun! But I think I’d like you to blog just once, when you arrive, so I can relax knowing you got there safely.
    signed, worrywart

  205. Teaching, baby, money versus a holiday with your Mom! I think you need to reset your body/computer and give yourself a chance to remember that there are other things in life.
    My older sister went on ‘one of these holidays’ with her daughter, and when recounting the tale would always begin with: May I start by saying, it was ‘not’ the sort of holiday I would have had with my husband …” Well, no kidding.
    Do they have mosquitos there? Do you need to take some plug-in repellent?
    Soak-up the warmth, let it permeate your soul.

  206. I think you should leave your computer/ipad at home. We’ll be here when you get back, ready to enjoy your photos and funny stories, and especially to see the finished blanket!
    Enjoy your time off with your mum and sister!

  207. I am writing this from Maui where we have been vacationing for the better part of a month. It costs a fortune to be here and it is SO worth it. We are in heaven…. I will point out that your mother WILL NOT be here forever. I speak from experience. Have a wonderful time!

  208. Enjoy. I had a similar reaction before agreeing to go on a Mediterranean cruise with my 87 yr old mom last year. She died 2 weeks ago. I’m SO GLAD I did it….

  209. Someone once told me that for a leader to be a *good* leader they have to take time for themselves every once in a while. When a lot of people are relying on you, it’s not only okay but necessary, that you take care of you so that you have the reserves to give 100% to what you’re responsible for.
    That conversation has always stuck with me, and, strangely enough, the wisdom I totally understand and believe to be in it seldom actually gets put into play. It’s hard to be a mom, much less a working mom, and get time for yourself. It’s hard when you’re in a situation where money is an issue and you have to count every penny because you know it’s food off your family’s plate or an extra day of phone or heat. We are the last because we necessarily think of everyone else first. But, you know what? You lead your family. You lead a lot of people who *aren’t* your family. And it’s okay to do something for yourself.
    My opinion, as anonymous as it is in the whole grand scheme of things, is that you most likely deserve it and it’ll probably be like the first time you go out after having a new baby: It’s scary and guilt-ridden, but then all of a sudden you think “hey! this is nice! and fun!” and you’ll enjoy yourself and you’ll come back home rested and raring to go and you’ll do even better because of it. Have fun on your trip! I’ll make sure to take some time for myself this week too in your honor 🙂

  210. I really can relate to not having a vacation, sigh…Have a really wonderful time for yourself (and for me. 🙂 ) Bon voyage!

  211. Steph, what I wouldn’t give to spend a week with my Mom! We all hope you have an utterly fabulous time and great adventure with your mother and sister. Leave the blog until you get back. And ditto what rams said!

  212. Enjoy this wonderful gift of time with your mom! Create some fabulous memories to share in the future! You will be glad you took this time to be together! Have fun in the sun and bask in the warmth of a mother’s love!!

  213. Go. Have fun! Pack up some sun and sand and take it with you to Seattle. You’ll need it. I know. I lived there 27 years.

  214. Once you go on vacation, you’ll wonder why you haven’t gone every year. Next year, you can take Joe with you.
    Enjoy yourself. (Pack some Pepto-Bismol!) And don’t forget your sun block.

  215. Yay yay yay!!! Go go go! You deserve it, your mum deserves it, everyone wants you to have it, and the blog says so. So there! 😉

  216. You go and enjoy your vacation. As a mother you should know that mom is always right.

  217. gentle tone of voice, here. martyrdom is unbecoming, especially when self declared. it is hard for us moms to realize, but they are fine without us, and when we cannot be made happy by simple lovely things, like a beach vacation with our own mom in the middle of winter, well then, we become more of a burden to our families, not less. it is so lucky to have a mom you like, that likes you, and wants to spend time with you. lie changes in a heartbeat. people die. they get old. they leave us. cherish the sun filled week with a mother who loves you just as much as you love your own children.

  218. thank goodness, you do push it pretty dern hard. if it were Joe or the kids you would definitely send them off. warm winds, little sun – that is good.

  219. There are two reasons you’re feeling guilty:
    1. You can’t bring the cat and the neighborhood squirrels along; and
    2. You don’t think Joe will be going.
    What your mom and Joe aren’t telling you yet:
    1. The cat and the squirrels will quite enjoy a week or two without some madwoman called “The Harlot” around to disrupt their daily routines; and
    2. Joe doesn’t need a suitcase of knitting to go — just enough room for a pair of flip-flops, a bottle of sunscreen, two pair of skimpy Speedos in his size, and his toothbrush. Hint: He’s already packed his stuff in your luggage — try the compartments labeled “Angora,” “Qiviut” &/or “Down from Moose Colt”.
    Go. Enjoy. Ravish Joe when you see him in those Speedos. Send the cat and the squirrels a postcard. Have fun!!!

  220. Wear sunscreen AND park yourself in the shade. Knit. Have little umbrella drinks. No posting except for photos to make us slightly jealous.
    REST. Sleep. Read. Have fun.

  221. It sounds like a fabulous idea to me and I hope you have a wonderful time, you absolutely deserve a holiday/vacation, absolutely.

  222. With all the people in the world eager to apply guilt to so many other people why oh why would you offer to do it to yourself?
    Come back with something totally bizarre; a tan.

  223. Absolutely agree with all the other posters that you should grab this opportunity with both hands – well, maybe not BOTH hands, you’ll be needing some digits available for yarn and needles, won’t you…
    Stephanie, I’m a couple of years older than you (just a couple, mind, and you wouldn’t know it to look at me, ahem) and I have never been afforded an opportunity like this. To be honest, the women in my family have never gotten on that well with one another (my Mum still phones me to moan about my sister and I’m 100% positive she then phones my sister to moan about me!), so you’ve got that to treasure, too. You’ve brought your girls up to be independent young women, let them show you how great they are when you’re a bit further away than usual. If the baby comes while you’re away, well, the baby comes – not too much anyone can do about that I guess.
    WeTheBlog are now putting you under an immense amount of pressure to drop everything and RELAX – please try to ignore us and go ahead and do just that – we will love you even sporting a tan!

  224. Bon Voyage! You need a drink in your hand and your toes in the sand. Give the self-guilt trip a vacation and enjoy yourself! Jeez.

  225. Everyone needs a vacation occasionally. Go and love it. Live it. Be it. This is an opportunity andif you’re going anyway you should embrace it with gusto. Blessed be…:)k

  226. When you come home for the turnaround, be sure to pick up the right suitcase for Seattle.
    Do it. I’ll come to Canada and house-sit for you for a week to get out of our unseasonably warm spell. We get so little “winter” as it is, and spring wants IN crazy early this year. I love Spring, but I dread her crazy-ass sister Summer who follows, and who comes for longer and longer visits each year now, it seems.
    So GO. I have heard about these “vacation” things. My least real one was about as long ago as yours. People do it all the time.
    And please send pictures of a place that is really nice and warm like it’s supposed to be, with cool ocean breezes, instead of an unseasonably icky place. Must be nice.

  227. Stephanie!!! I am disappointed in you! You have made the cardinal feminist mistake: you marginalized yourself! You work hard for your family 7 days a week 365 days per year, and you deserve to have some time to unwind and be yourself without a single demand being placed upon you. It is amazing how this can recharge your soul and enable you to attack the demands of your busy life with even more enthusiasm. If Joe or your children were offered this opportunity you would totally encourage them to go for it. I’m betting that after you experience this vacation you will sign up for a once-per-year revisit! Enjoy yourself, and DON’T WORK while you are there!

  228. I have never been adverse to vacations and have taken many, even some budget ones with the kids when funds were tight. That being said, you will have a wonderful time with your Mom. I took my Mom to Albuquerque, NM for the balloon festival one year. She had been battling cancer (for the 2nd time) and felt well enough to make the trip. I flew from NY, she flew from Washington and we met out there and had a fabulous 6 days (including much sightseeing, a balloon ride and wonderful memories).
    She passed away 6 years ago and I never regret that trip. Take advantage now, while you can.

  229. I’m glad you’re going. Writers should travel, and you have a secret weapon: you can travel WITH YOUR KNITTING. Go to the Dominican Republic, learn new things, see what they are knitting down there, and blog about it. And enjoy yourself as well 🙂

  230. You deserve it; go and have a wonderful time. And even if you still can’t wrap your head around doing it for yourself, enjoy it for the sake of spending this wonderful time with your mother.

  231. After my father died, my mother asked me to travel with her. We have had week-long vacations in the U.S. Maybe I could get your mom to talk with my mom to expand our travel horizons. Regardless of where we go, these trips bring us closer. Have a great time.

  232. The time you have on this earth is what you make it – so make your vacation what you want it to be.

  233. Oh, Steph, do be a little kinder to yourself. As I have grown older I have realized that guilt is a terrible self-imposed, wasteful imposition that you must learn to remove from your life! Have this wonderful vacation with your Mum and enjoy every second of it! You’ve earned it! And be sure to take plenty of sunblock…..

  234. O.K., I scrolled through all the comments, and what I am going to say will just be an echo of everyone else, so why am I bothering? I’m hoping that the sheer volume of comments will convince you to let go of any lingering guilt. Go and have an experience that you will always treasure with your mum and sister. You will never regret it! The Blog clearly is giving you its stamp of approval.

  235. I can so relate to the comments about your Mum. I have the same sense of denial about mine and the same wise hubby who says to spend time with her whenever you can because she really won’t always be here.

  236. Serves you right. I am doing exactly the same thing–going to AZ for a week with my brother and family–first time ever AND I am going to have a
    GOOD time.

  237. Sounds like your family loves and appreciates you. Take your sunscreen and be forewarned that if, under some strange circumstance, you actually relax, you may become addicted to it and crave a little “vacay” every once in a while.

  238. Your mom and your sister will have a better time with you there.
    Joe will be happier knowing you’re having a good time.
    The Blog will be happy thinking of you having this time to yourself.
    People at Madrona will get an even better teacher when she arrives all relaxed.
    Have a wonderful time!
    And, don’t forget to put sunblock on your feet!

  239. Completely understand your guilt. Am a specialist in it myself. I’m facing my first week-long vacation (means completely unscheduled time!!!) in many years at the end of February. Not sure if I’ll know what to do with it, but I’m gonna try, aided and abetted by my family. GO!! Enjoy, only blog if you want to NOT if you think you should! (And like many of us, my mum’s been gone for a while. Treasure yours!)

  240. I wonder if there are yarn stores there … with fiber combinations and color combinations by brands you’ve never seen before ….

  241. I wonder if there are yarn/knitting stores in the Dominican Republic? Just think of the adventure!
    Have a wonderful time! Cherish, cherish this time with your mother.

  242. I’m so surprised — I just read all the comments, but nobody said my first thought after reading your post: you facilitate “get away” vacations for hundreds upon hundreds of women each year: Rhinebeck, Madrona, Port Ludlow, and, of course, the Sock Summit. You work really hard at each of these events so that all of us can have a great vacation with our friends and family who knit. You must go on one of your own getaways — it will help and it’s only fair.
    My comment is too serious; I like Presbytera’s better. I hope that wool blanket doesn’t overheat you on the beach. Have fun with your mom. I’ve loved all the trips I’ve taken with mine.

  243. Joe’s right. Never argue with your Mother. Just ask your daughters. How many times have you told them those exact same things? (Well, never to argue with their Mother.)

  244. Why do you think Craig sends me to Sock Camp every year (except for the year we couldn’t really afford it)? He needs a vacation from me and knows I need a vacation from my life. Enjoy your trip and all the knitting you’ll get to do before going back to your regularly scheduled life.
    Have a good week and then have fun in Madrona. Say Hi to K.T. and Lisa for me.

  245. WooHoo for holidays… don’t you dare blog… just tell us all about it when you get back… have a lie on the beach for me…

  246. I really hope you get there and do whatever you darn well please for as long as you darn well please in that time, all the while, becoming increasingly aware that your taking a break may have made your entire family a little bit better for a whole lot of reasons. Enjoy!

  247. By the way, check the weather before you go. It’s pretty much always the same, but it will reinforce how BLOODY HOT it is still.

  248. You will never regret time spent having fun with an aging parent. This is precious memories-time-in-the-making, for which you will be glad – for the rest of your life. Trust me.

  249. ” ‘Steph’ he said. ‘You’re batsh*t insane.’ ” GUFFAW! Have a blast, dear – enjoy!

  250. Stephanie, here I sit in the Dominican Republic on a beach chair reading your blog. the weather is great but a little windy and the cervesa is fine. Hope you will have as good a time as I am having.

  251. Joe so has your number! Lucky you. Have a wonderful restful time and screw the guilt.

  252. WHY do women feel guilty about doing something just for themselves?!? WHY is it wrong to have fun without your partner, children, pets????
    Go, enjoy being your mum and sis and HAVE FUN!

  253. Take care of yourself! I’m with your Mom and you wonderful Husband! Tell them both, from my little corner of your blog reading fans, that they are terrific! Have fun and no guilt!

  254. Well done, Stephanie! Remember….you’re vacationing for all of us. (No pressure.)
    I blogged about “All Wound Up” last week at 🙂 Loved it!

  255. …can i come too!! PLEEEEASE!!! I’ll bring lots of yarn…I promise!
    In any case lady. Have a good time and stop feeling guilty!!

  256. Hey Steph! Maybe there is a LYS in the Dominican, that way you can tell yourself you are actually on a working vacation. Then knit your Joe a pair of socks from something you bought there, because he is a good one!

  257. Have a wonderful time! I hate to differ with the other commentors ( I confess I didn’t read ALL of them) but please DO blog, at least a little! I will miss your posts so much if you don’t!

  258. Dear Stephanie,
    When you get back from The DR, could you possibly check out my fan blog, Famous People Holding Socks? I hate even asking that because it sounds so whiny, but really, I want it to be a blog with content from any knitter who has ever gotten someone famous to hold their sock. My searches of the internet have only turned up three lonely pictures, which are dying to have some neighbors. However, my otherwise invisible presence on the internet means that I can’t contact the right people to get submissions.
    So, if you find the time, could you maybe point some people in that direction? I’d love to see it become A Thing that I don’t have to beg people to pay attention to.

  259. 3 lessons I learned while in the DR.
    1) They grow and make the most amazing coffee. They “grind” it by pounding the beans in a mahoganey bowl with sugar cane. When it’s brewed it has the gorgeous and slightly sweet flavor. Certainly you of all people couldn’t say no to some of the best coffee in the world?
    2) Food always tastes better when there’s sand between your toes.
    3) “Cuba libre por favor” (yes, Brugal rum is the tastiest)
    Cheers and enjoy all the stress releaving sunshine.

  260. I agree with Joe and your mom.GO! HAVE AN AWESOME TIME!Take a few projects with you,we all have a few on the needles ready to go,AND LET YOURSELF HAVE A GREAT TIME DOING WHATEVER YOU WANT!

  261. Joe’s a good man–go, dear Harlot, and write when you return. Take sunscreen and some lovely knitting.

  262. Stephanie,
    I hate to say this but listen to your mother. I look back and wish we had taken my grandmother on a cruise when she wanted to go. She’s almost 91, recovering from a broken hip and back to living in her own condo, but is not up for traveling. I am grateful my mom can travel just fine but my dad is no longer here to travel with her. So go, enjoy and don’t blog except to tell us that you’re safe.

  263. Don’t take wool on the beach! You’ll never get the sand out. Pack some nice cotton – maybe even some crochet in case they won’t let you take needles on the plane.

  264. Steph, GO,enjoy all the sun, shopping, good food, drinks, laughter.
    25 yrs ago, my husband came home from a business trip, he stopped at a yarnshop in VA, saw the sign for a trip to Wales. Pushed me into taking the trip. Now all these years later I have taken trips for the “Love of Fiber!” all over the world. About, five yrs ago, I met a Jewelry designer from Conn., since then we have travel to all kinds of areas.
    My family loves it. At Christmas dinner, my Granddaughter in law’ said ” Well, Gram where are you off to this year?” At first it surprised me, but I loved it.
    Yes, This year it is ‘Italy’ and Mayanmar (Burma) Sometimes, one does feel a bit guilty, I just realized ‘I’m a Fiber Gyspy’ with a taste for life.
    Pushing 79 in Oct., with all these memories to enjoy, when I stop.

  265. My jealousy has begun. I adore the beach. I just spent one day shopping with my mom and my daughter…and now I want more time with them. At the beach, at the mall, anywhere and everywhere.
    Not to idealize it, ’cause they make me batsh*t insane, but they are mine and I adore them.

  266. Safe travels. Beyond the guilt factor, you don’t have forever with your mother. So, spend time with her now and enjoy the hell out of it. I can’t get to Madrona (again) this year. Drat. But, if there’s a particular beer you’d like or if you need a chauffeur for a private Seattle LYS tour, I’m your woman!! Or if you just want to check out my lovely neighborhood, Ballard. If you haven’t seen the Ballard Locks yet, you need to come for a visit. Cheers.

  267. You deserve this vacation – your family is supportive and it will be incredibly special. Don’t miss your flight! Have a wonderful time and if you get a chance, be sure to look under the water at the beautiful fish.

  268. Oh for heaven’s sake, GO! If all I had to do was pay for a flight for a otherwise mostly free vacation, I’d be all over it! All that lovely knitting time … enjoy it, and safe travels!

  269. They’re right – you deserve it. Joe sounds just like my husband. He lets me rant, then asks if I’m done. It can be even more infuriating when he does that.

  270. I knew by the first paragraph I would comment and tell you to go. I’m commenter #350+ so the odds of you reading this are slim, but I’m glad by the end you decided to go. It’s not like you are going alone. You are going with your mother!!!! When mothers ask for you to be somewhere, you go! Unless you hate your mother, you go! Funny, I would have been just as sneaky as she was. My thoughts were to ask your husband and then I’m reading how she sprung that on him wiht you there!!! LOL I like your mother!
    Now go and enjoy this short period of time to be with mom.

  271. Sometimes you just have to let things go, all the worries about work, money and life in general. Take the trip as a chance to relax and to have some quality knitting time (and to spend time with your mom!!). Enjoy the sun, have a beer or two and let things go!

  272. Go, have a wonderful time! You totally deserve a break. Plus February is always the worst winter month.
    Just try not to drop your knitting in the sand; it’s a bear to get out.

  273. Vacation has only a few requirements
    Don’t get dehydrated
    Get to the plane on time
    Anything else is optional
    The blog will be here when you get back, feel free to share or take a break

  274. Go & enjoy yourself! Not going would not only deprive you of the rest & relaxation but also deprive both you & your mother of some wonderfully enjoyable memories. I am probably just about the same age as your mother & Occasionally my partner & I have planned extended family vacations – once with both daughters, son in law, & the fantastic grands to Carlsbad Ca (home of Legoland). We rented a large 4 bedroom house (also large family room & loft on the 2nd floor near the bedrooms) that came fully equipped with toys & games (we had also brought some of our own along.) Another time we spent a long weekend in Bodega Bay Ca (where Hitchcock’s The Birds was set) minus the single daughter in a similar but somewhat smaller house. Sometime in the next year or so we plan to visit DC where the other daughter lives & at some unspecified time we plan on visiting Orlando. We do everything at a slowish pace because the grands get tired if we overdo & I confess I’m starting to need more downtime too. But these are memories I treasure & I think the progeny may also.

  275. They have good beer in the D.R., Steph. Also rum. And as a former denizen of the northern Midwest, I can testify that a little warm sun in February does absolute wonders (I’m lucky; I have a sister in Arizona). You’ll do this again, and next time you’ll take Joe with you.

  276. OK – I haven’t read all the comments, but, as a mom who has gone away for 2 weeks for work (to Canada in October, actually, and I can SEE why your mom is going somewhere less frigid) I have a small suggestion to make. Instead of going home to sleep, book a hotel room close to the airport. Have your loving family meet you for a nice dinner / breakfast / whichever meal best suits all the schedules, bringing your new suitcase and taking your old suitcase with them. That way you will not be tempted to do any housework / kill your family for totally neglecting housework in your absence in your 10 hour layover.

  277. Stephanie, get a grip! You’re doing this for your mother and your sister (assuming she’ll be there at the same time) and yourself. See – you do have a reason you can hold in your head (and heart) for going.
    Have a great time!

  278. Have fun! Enjoy the company. Enjoy the sunny weather. Enjoy the food (Is there Dominican beer? Find that out!). And as long as you promise that it will relax you, you may even knit a bit 🙂

  279. These close ups of your blanket make me want to reach into the computer and grab the needles and start knitting. If you don’t give us the pattern soon – well, I can’t be held responsible.

  280. I am so glad you are on vacation with your Mum. My Mom passed away 7 years ago and I still have fond memories of the vacation I took with my sister and Mom the summer before she got sick. It was the beach and I celebrated my 50th birtday there. I would give anything to go on a trip with her again.

  281. Woman,do you ever need a holiday,(and is guilt about women doing something for themselves really an example to set your daughters?). The world will keep turning without you, Joe and the kids can cope without you (no, really). So go spend time with your Mum while she is here.Nothing, sadly, lasts for ever.
    Don’t blog but do knit. Have fun!

  282. My mom has been gone for 9 years this May. I’m thrilled I spent as much time hanging out with her as I did when she was here. Be gentle, loving and kind to yourself: 1) enjoy time with your family, 2) Don’t blog or work AT all for the entire trip, and 3) use LOTSA sunscreen (it’s MUCH closer to the equator down there!).

  283. Dear Stephanie
    I am from the Dom Republic, but I live in Cleveland, OH. I hope you have a great time, we are very nice people and welcome everybody. Enjoy the beach, the weather, our food, and our hospitality.

  284. Everyone deserves happy vacation time with their Mum. After all, wasn’t it just a couple of years ago that Joe went away with his Mum? So, of course he would think you’re insane to not go with yours. Enjoy time away with your Mum and having a respite from Winter. Blog pics when you get back. 🙂

  285. Have a fabulous time! We go back to visit my husband’s family, and it is wonderful to lie on a beautiful beach in the winter. What part did you go to?

  286. That’s brilliant, the two-packed-suitcases thing. All you need to worry about will be your knitting.

  287. I want to knit a baby blanket now. Either I have to start having kids of my friends and family needs to start reproducing. Now thatI am a knitter of course. Before procreations where in the dark ages of non knitterhood. Things have changed. I have learned the way of the kneedles.

  288. We are the blog. The blog wants to go to the Dominican Repulic for a week. Since we can’t, you must go for us. We are the blog.

  289. The Blog agrees with Joe…and your Mum.
    The Blog thinks that we can survive a week without a post from the Dominican Republic because you are on vacation (although the Blog is hoping that you do take a few pictures to share!!!).
    Part of The Blog has already lost their Mum (and their Dad and other family members)…and would dearly love to be able to have a week like your Mum proposes. Remember the tale that circulates about the unused “good slip”!
    The Blog DEMANDS that you fly to the Dominican Republic, apply ample amounts of sunscreen (and then a little bit more), and enjoy a vacation!!!

  290. Wow! Sounds like an absolutely fantastic trip, and I hope you enjoy it to the max. All I’m asking is more pictures like the one you tweeted a little while ago. That view is, well… it makes me want to take off my shoes and find some sand to run around in. Have a ball, and the BLOG will still be right here when you get back from your jaunt!
    Seriously, I have always wanted to take a vacation with my family, and now that both my parents have passed, that can no longer happen. Tempis fugit, and carpe diem, girl!

  291. By now you’re probably gone – but in case you do look at comments while you’re there – please focus on enjoying yourself. I would, if I could go somewhere warm and get away from the dirty snow piles everywhere here in Montana. Plus, I’d give anything to go on a vacation with my mom. (Excuse me, I’m getting teary-eyed. There, under control.) That last bit was not intended to make you feel the least bit guilty for hesitating to go. We all appreciate your wonderful dedication! But we also love you and want you to take this chance to enjoy some time away from the day-to-day. (Oh, gosh, here come the tears again. I’m drippy today.)
    Also, for those of us who are single, please take a picture of a gorgeous beach bum and post it on your blog when you get back!

  292. Way to go, Joe. What would you do without him?
    Don’t worry, you won’t lose your work ethic in a week. Trust me.

  293. Good for you! No need to blog for us. Enjoy your vacation. We’ll be here when you get back.

  294. I say this with nothing but love in my heart. Leave the guilt at home. It doesn’t fit very well in your bags anyway and it’s not useful once you get there. We, the blog, will get on without you (just) as you enjoy your vacation. I promise. We look forward to hearing of your sun soaked adventures when you get back.xoxo

  295. As I type this from a hotel room – that I can not regulate the temperature in, in a time zone I can not adapt to….. Joe is right – you are batshit crazy!
    Go, thaw out your toes and enjoy the quietude!

  296. Steph, I am in the vacation business. You are driving a stake through my heart! The fact of the matter is, you need vacations. Real, relax, no agenda vacations, to reset your clock. It takes more than a weekend. Second, my mom, while still with us, has Alzheimer’s. I value the down time we spent together, with real “two eyed” listening. I love that I could give her experiences to see things she could not see on her own. Lastly, there is nothing better than being somewhere completely different from your own experiences. The people, the energy, the ocean, flowers and colors are no doubt going to inform your designs! Pasatelo bien! Maria

  297. Hope you enjoy the DR — I’m heading there in April. Whereabouts in the DR are you? I’ll be in an all-you-can-drink-all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. I’ve already applied to be put on the liver transplant list. 🙂

  298. I was definitely reading too fast….in “kite surfers come out in throngs. Hank stopped periodically to survey” I read it as “thongs”!
    And as cute as Hank is with blond hair, I miss the dark locks.

Comments are closed.