The Science of Staycation

At the end of every day I like to record a little bit about it in my little notebook. It’s just part of who I am. I write a little about what made me smile or what was life-giving in that day.

Today one of my life-giving moments was talking to two women as we left Weight Watchers. I had not met them before today. Our WW leader made a comment to the group about our upcoming staycation and they wanted to know more. I shared with them some of my plans and, of course, they want to come.

I get that a lot when people hear what we’re planning. I’m thinking maybe this could be a seasonal business for Gene and I—Camp Garrison. Bring your family or group of friends or come alone and sit by the little lake. We’ll even throw in our two golden retrievers to complete the Americana effect.

I find it interesting that people in varying seasons of life are enthusiastic and interested in our plans for staycation. I am making many preparations so it will be fun and to provide opportunities for our relationships to grow. But the reality is no amount of planning and preparation will ensure it is a success. That is up to the nine of us. If we all lean in to each other, it won’t matter how much food I have or what activities Gene and I have planned, we will have fun.

It’s all about the chemistry of our relationships. That is why we have family-only vacations. Other people change the chemistry of our family relationships (no offense, but that’s the way it is). Our week of family vacation is the longest time we are all together all year long. It is special and foundational for our family’s story.

I look forward to sharing my plans and pictures with you afterwards. But you won’t be able to see the most important part of our staycation—the growing of our relationships.


Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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