I don’t remember many vacations where my Father wasn’t called back to work, in fact, the only time I ever saw him relax was when we went up to a rustic cottage. The rustic cottage was in the woods, on a lake with only a few other cottages, there was no telephone, no electricity, and it was quiet. My Father saw this quiet space as complete refuge from the outside world. He got up, made coffee and listened to the loons. He read books, swam, and played games with us. He loved his time up at this cottage. He knew, that if anyone needed him, they would have to make the effort to a) drive to it and b) find it. Finding it before GPS was invented too some navigation skills!

On every trip that involved a plane and going back “home”, there would inevitably be a phone call that went something like this “making this quick, under another coup attempt, must change course and come back ASAP, made reservations on next flight back, call so and so, report back to so and so…” yup. My poor Mother would be left with 3 kids, trying to make the best out of a vacation that was Fatherless/husbandless. I don’t recall my Father ever rejoining us at any time.

When it was a week at the cottage. No one ever attempted to make the drive up, because, it took too much time to do so, and required so much extra effort that they would actually question whether it was worth it or not.

Now, I think with all our advanced technology, most diplomats don’t get that week to really shut everything off and recharge. Everything seems to be an emergency now.

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