Three days off in a row, just in the nick of time. I'm on fumes. Thank god I don't have far to go. We have a little cottage near Lake Huron and it's a blessing that the cellular service is bad. It takes a while for me to stop flitting from activity to activity and worrying about what might be happening at the shop. I have an inner junk mogul that thinks we could be wildly successful if I could just control that bum who wants to have fun and relax, all that mamby pamby talk about balance, whatta wimp! It's when I start to lose everything, or break things and just plain fall apart from exhaustion that I will finally stop and take a break. Truth is I'm more effective if I would quit acting like everything is a crisis to solve immediately. That cottage was the best thing we ever invested in and it has saved my life. Instead of two new cars in the driveway, we have a small, old-fashioned stone cottage. Of course it's furnished with everything found, recycled and reclaimed and it couldn't be more charming, if I don't say so myself. I've learned to live with a certain amount of disrepair in the interest of a better family life. Our son runs free like we did as kids and Rick putters around on assorted ongoing projects. It's the first weekend we've been able to get away and since it's only a summer place, we have to open it up after the long winter. The weather is absolutely gorgeous and rather than embark on a major cleaning project, we unpack, turn the water on and I head out to round up manpower to get my little sailboat in the water. As the salvage slave is always trying to prove, you don't have to have a lot of money to live well. I bought that Sunfish knock-off years ago for $100 and it was rough looking then. I leave it on the beach all summer long and when it cracks somewhere, it gets the only fiberglass patch I have patience for i.e. full of sand from the get-it-back-in-the-water-now beach repair. It should have a paint job but I couldn't care less and it shows. I can carry my sail, rudder and centerboard down to the beach myself, drag it into the water and I'm sailing on Lake Huron like the big guys. I was absolutely thrilled to learn this weekend that I could sail lying on my back, feet steering the rudder and catching some rays. The lake is so big, there was no risk of running into anyone even on a holiday weekend, damn I shoulda' brought beer! Sheer heaven. To think we waste so much time and money on things that just don't matter. Neither Disneyland nor Club Med can hold a candle to the vacation we have every weekend and it costs nothing extra to share it with friends and family. Everyone pitches in and with the talented chefs in our social network, we have 5 star meals prepared in our 1940's kitchen complete with a 70 year-old stove. We pull an old 8' folding table out of the shed, some flea market bought bistro chairs and set the table with vintage enamelware, tablecloth and napkins and mismatched silverware and glasses. If I'm really feeling it, I light candles and cut some flowers from the yard or the wild ones growing on the lake bluff and make an arrangement. Save yourself an expensive trip, you can live like Europeans always have. Afterwords, we might head down to the beach to watch a spectacular moon rise off the lake, light some fireworks or throw a sheet over the clothesline, pop some popcorn and have an 8mm film festival from Rick's vast collection of old movies. It all packs up in an hour and we're home in 90 minutes. I slept more this weekend than I have in 2 months and I'm actually looking forward to an action-packed week with movies to supply, interiors to design and new ideas of stuff to make with the treasures I found at the country flea market this morning. You'll be happy and "get rich" real quick if you quit equating it with the pursuit of more money and start enjoying life's simpler pleasures.