Around the World in 80 Days by
(306 Stories)

Prompted By Family Feud

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I seldom saw my parents feuding,  but there was one thorny issue they couldn’t agree on.  When my mother retired after years of teaching she wanted my father to retire as well so that like many of their retired friends they could travel freely.

They had traveled a bit over the years – across country,  to Mexico and Canada,  to much of Europe,  and to Israel – but not to Asia or Africa or Australia,  and my mother wanted to see all those places.  She wasn’t hoping for a grand tour,  she told me,  just two or three small trips a year for a week or two each.  In fact she had dozens of itineraries planned so that they could eventually travel around the world,   not in 80 days but over the next few years.

But she couldn’t convince my father,  so one day she enlisted me to work on him.  I empathized with her desire to travel,  and as my dad was in his  late 70s and had a long and rewarding career,  it seemed plausible that he’d be ready to retire.  And so I sat him down with all my arguments and talking points at the ready,

But my father wouldn’t budge.  He loved his work and loved his patients – he was an old-fashioned GP who removed splinters,  set broken bones,  took out appendix,  and even delivered babies.   He told me he wasn’t ready to take down his shingle and give all that up,  he wanted to die with his boots on.

And although I had seen the situation from my mother’s viewpoint,  I now saw it from his as well,  and so I told them. they’d have to fight it out themselves.

My father never did retire and indeed he died with his boots on;  and my mother never did get to Asia or Africa or Australia.  But they thought the world of each other,  and that’s all that really mattered.

– Dana Susan Lehrman 

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Travel, Marriage


  1. Suzy says:

    Lovely story, Dana, and if that was the only “feud” your parents had, it must have been a great marriage! Seems like they could have compromised though, and taken a few short trips a year even without him taking down his shingle. My father, on the other hand, who was the same kind of old-fashioned GP as your father, was very ready to sell his practice and retire by the time he was 70. And they did go to Asia and Australia after that!

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    Very nice description of a happy marriage, though you gave two opposing points of view quite well. I can appreciate both and they did travel some, though not to the far-away places your mother yearned for. One of my mother’s sisters was married to an old-fashioned GP who NEVER took a vacation and she never traveled, but they had a vacation home that wasn’t too far outside Cleveland and that became their refuge. It’s all in your point of view, I guess.

  3. Dave Ventre says:

    A lovely story, Dana! Having a career that fulfilling is something I cannot imagine. Your Mom clearly recognized how much of him was bound up in being a doctor!

  4. John Shutkin says:

    Beautiful story of a beautiful marriage, Dana. And, indeed, given that beauty, I would ventire to suggest that this did not even qualify as a “feud,” just a “respectful disagreement” of a loving couple. That said, I finally retired at the end of 2019 and we immediately went on the New Zealand cruise my wife had long been asking for, so I ultimately avoided even the disagreement.

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    This is such a sweet story, Dana. Although this ongoing feud was never resolved, it looks like your parents had a wonderful marriage.

  6. Khati Hendry says:

    Such a sweet ending. They were able to figure out a way to compromise, and still loved each other. We might write different scenarios but it seems to have worked for them, and love is the most important. Always.

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