Vacation re-entry can be rough sometimes. First the annoyance of modern day air travel is enough to wipe out any acquired vacation serenity. My husband, John, couldn’t suppress ‘moo’ noises as we lined up in a crowded jet way waiting to board our plane. Usually I manage to take a 'don't sweat the small stuff' attitude to life's little inconveniences, but this recent return to "reality” was a challenge.

First, we got home very late on a Friday night, rumpled and sticky, to discover we had no hot water.

Then the kids zeroed in on our nine-year old television, looking forward to shaking off the remnants of jet fatigue with a South Park episode or two… and it wouldn’t turn on. It just stayed stubbornly black while the stand-by light blinked at us in an alien code.

Soon after that, I heard my daughter let out a groan. "I can't get online!" The internet was out. Becoming a Luddite suddenly had a significant appeal.

least the phones worked so my kids could text or even *gasp* call their
friends instead of updating their status on Facebook, and my husband could get
online at work. I had been off-line for two weeks so a few more days
didn’t bother me.

At 2AM, after three hours of trying to get our household appliances to come back to life, we gave up and prepared to go to bed. God was having his little laugh and we were too tired to mind that much. Water was warmed up on the stove (the gas was still working) and carted up to the tub like in the old days. There’s something luxurious about taking a bath that way rather than taking a mindlessly quick shower.

The television was missed the least. On vacation we watched no television, just the occasional movie on DVD.  Instead, we played lots of games – Scrabble, gin rummy, gang solitaire, ping pong. We listened to music, read and talked. It was nice.

So back at home rather than get stressed out, we relaxed with the confidence that these little annoyances were really first world problems that weren't going to kill us and would be fixed soon enough.

Until the next day, when John’s car didn’t start.