Practice

The title for this week’s Blog is not a reference to the punchline for the joke about the tourist who wants to know how to get to Carnegie Hall.

Though the sentiment is identical.

At a time of brow-knitting difficulty in every imaginable facet of life – from the simple and mundane to the complex and extraordinary – practice seems a worthy activity to be pursued energetically.

Warm weather ushers in vacation-time. Ever a Boy Scout, it behooves (my Mother’s word) me to prepare for vacation.

Accordingly, I’m adopting the practice of practice.

To practice for vacation, first I stopped getting up early. Ordinarily, I rise at 3:30 a.m. on weekdays. Now, while vacation practicing, I loll about until, oh, 5.

Reading the daily newspaper requires practice. Again, ordinarily, while I like to purchase the newspaper when not vacationing, I don’t always read it.

Oh, sure, I turn the pages. Even in the Sports section where the stories found there hold no interest for me as one is indistinguishable from the next.

But vacation means reading, not simply turning. In other words, my lips will get dry and finger dirty – I’m an active reader, you see.

Drinking coffee from china or porcelain, instead of paper or styrofoam, is another vacation ritual to which one must accustom oneself. I perceptively point out that there are no sip lids on ceramic mugs. Including a little sugar becomes a vacation treat.

It’s a full life, you understand.

Eggs are yet another matter entirely. Typically, eggs are a once a week indulgence. Vacation means near-daily consumption. Who cares about cholesterol, anyway?

So, too, ice cream. Once a day is surely not excessive.

Waiting in line for ice cream insists upon practicing patience. Because you know those in front of you have to try virtually every flavor before making their selection. Of course, one DOES get ice cream, finally.

Patience must be practiced in other contexts. With other drivers, for example. While on vacation, what’s the rush? Though, as every schoolboy knows, the road is in fact (or at least should be) mine, all mine. Vacation automobiling means extending extra courtesy to other drivers, though they may not deserve it.

Being audibly and visibly exasperated at nimrod drivers incapable of maintaining the speed limit on near vacant roads does not count as part of losing one’s patience.

Exhausting though all this may seem, practice surely ensures both accuracy of arriving at Carnegie Hall and enjoying vacation.

Otherwise, we’d call it “work.”

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