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Here’s how the plan was hatched

July 26, 2010

I returned home from my mother-in-law’s funeral thinking about the phrase “carpe diem,” from The Dead Poet’s Society (Nothing like dating myself). Mom has often said that she wished she could travel, and has mentioned Alaska several times over the years. My father, who passed away in 2005, was career Air Force, and always said that he did his traveling in the military. As a result, our trips when we were young involved family vacations primarily in the Northeast. As we kids grew up and went our own ways, they went further afield to visit us, in Virginia, Florida, New Mexico and Michigan.

I researched a little about Alaskan cruises and prices, then I broached the idea to my mother. I assured her that she could afford it, and that I would find the money for my fare. To my surprise, she said she’d think about it.

A little more research, a little more coaxing, and she agreed! I was surprised, since if there’s one thing my mother is, it’s  CHEAP. As a Depression-era child, she’s always valued a dollar. She thinks $15 is a lot to pay for a shirt, for example. Heck, my parents were proud of the fact that they could pinch a dollar until it . . . well, you know the saying. (You do know the saying, don’t you? Sometimes I think a family phrase is a well-known saying, and then find out that it’s peculiar to us.) Yet despite her inherent frugality (sounds so much better than cheapness, doesn’t it?), the excellent adventure was a go!

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