Beyond the Byline: A vacation is what you make of it

By Melanie Mizenko - [email protected] | July 13th, 2016 2:43 pm - updated: 3:53 pm.

HANOVER TWP. — The vacation. A time-honored tradition. Some opt to go to the beach, others go hiking, some might even go to Disney World.

Not in my house.

Somehow, somewhere, the term vacation turned into a staycation at Casa de Mizenko. And it’s not us having a staycation (I would have chosen to go whitewater rafting on the Lehigh, maybe explored Jim Thorpe). My mom’s sister, Sandie, and her husband, Kevin, from Philadelphia, and their son, Rob, from Baltmore, have turned our “house on the hill” into their vacation home.

Rob labeled it a #redneckstaycation.

I knew it was coming, but a family invasion still hits like hot air when coming from a cool building. When I left for work Monday morning, the house was normal. Quiet and peaceful.

When I went home for dinner, it was like invaders from Mars. I heard them screaming about God-knows-what from my parking spot. Over the course of the day, the house suddenly went from a house of three to a house of six and two dogs. It was like they were moving in. We even added my Babci (grandmother) and Pop for a dinner or two. Sometimes, my sister’s gal pals were added to the mix.

Our house was bursting at the seams.

Maybe the adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” should really be “spending all day with these people makes the heart grow fonder.”

The real fun began at night — we’d play games, yell, scream, drink and be “shazamable” (as my uncle would say). My mom’s famous line this week when games were going too late into the evening was “I have to go to work tomorrow.”

It wasn’t all games, though. My extended family was able to do things that needed to be done around my grandparents’ house and my uncle’s mother’s house.

Stories were shared. Especially, the story that my Babci did, in fact, hit Sandie’s dog, Missy, 30 years ago. My aunt now claims she needs therapy because she’s been living a lie.

Our family vacations have never been normal. There have been as many as 15 of us living in a house together for a week in North Carolina to having a family reunion in Las Vegas for my Babci and Pop’s 50th wedding anniversary. We always come back with a multitude of funny and rather embarrassing stories. This year is no different.

I can’t say we didn’t have fun this past week because the good Lord knows we did. We laughed, my sister, Julie, and Rob, swam (in the blow-up kiddie pool my cousin bought the first day he was here); we had a good time.

Regarding the pool, my aunt said they weren’t even here an hour before Rob and Julie took her to buy the pool. They then dragged her to Five Below and purchased an ice cream and doughnut blow up.

I did miss the sun, sand and beach. I never realized how much I like the beach until this year. Last year, I didn’t get to go to the beach because of medical reasons (when you’re on chemo, you’re not supposed to be in the sun) and this year, the infamous staycation.

I kind of liked having the relatives around, though. They made our house more lively, especially a bark from my cousin (in the form of a dog), Roxy. I’m just happy my aunt didn’t wake us up singing, “Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory” like she often threatens.

8/1/2014 The Times Leader AIMEE DILGER The Times Leader AIMEE DILGER

By Melanie Mizenko

[email protected]

Reach Melanie Mizenko at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TL_MMizenko