Happy to be home after first vacation in 15 years

“My Call” by Bill Milligan

By Bill Milligan

Anyone who has ever started a business knows that small business people never have a chance to take vacations. When my wife and I started Call Newspapers, we couldn’t even afford to take Christmas off.

I have been fortunate over the past several years to be able to take time off and attend baseball tournaments and family events, but until my wife and I went to Spain last January, I hadn’t had a vacation since 1989.

It was a fun trip. We got to see a lot of history, tour a lot of old buildings I had read about in history classes and see public places where important events occurred.

One of the trip highlights was a Picasso museum in his home town, Malaga. I got to see paintings I never knew existed. They were paintings he didn’t sell — things he did for his family and things he kept for himself.

I particularly enjoyed his unfinished paintings where I could see brush strokes and images under the top layer of color. Someone corrected me when I told my wife that he re-used canvas based on what I saw there, but then a museum guard walked over and told us that Picasso did, indeed, re-use canvas.

Items on display indicated that Picasso didn’t like stretching canvas any more than I do and wasn’t any better at it than me. It was a thrill that you can only get if you get to spend a day in Malaga.

I got to see people harvesting olives and making olive oil. They warned us on the tour bus not to eat olives before they were brined, but some weren’t paying attention and everyone laughed when they stuck a fresh, bitter olive in their mouth.

My wife and I also had an opportunity to cross continents and spend a day in Morocco during our two-week excursion. At first, I was uncomfortable around all the Arabs over there, but I’m glad I got the chance to meet them and some of their families.

Like many Americans after the World Trade Center attacks, I didn’t understand why anyone would do that and I tended to lump all Arabs into a lunatic religious fanatic group.

I found they are just like us.

They have a strong sense of family and those who I interacted with seemed to have a strong sense of right and wrong. It was a relief to quit hating all Arabs.

The biggest relief, however, was getting home and sleeping in my own bed, be it ever so humble. Whether you travel a lot, or hardly ever like me, it’s always good to be home again.