My sister took a picture of the waiting room of the oral surgeon’s office where she’d brought my niece to have her wisdom teeth removed. “I could live here,” she remarked, “look at the TV, the couch... It’s all so clean.”

And I got it. My other sister chimed in, “I could sleep on the floor.”

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Now, mind you Budget Voguers, this was not the Ritz Carlton, not a Marriott, not even a nice AirBnB. This was a waiting room.

Alas, any place is looking inviting these days. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been inside my four walls a lot. Quite a lot. It’s a pandemic, of course, and it’s a wise idea to stay put. But sometimes, well, even a waiting room looks exotic, tranquil — a lovely reprieve.

I’ve occasionally found it necessary to escape my family and my four walls. Early last summer, I stayed in a tiny house up in Maine. It was glorious. Away. Just me. I think fondly of drinking a cup of tea way up north, sitting around a fire, no dishes in the sink. Just me, a book, a bathing suit. Peace.

And I’ve taken my Budget Vogue self out to dinner. Recently, I got takeout, sat in my car and looked at the waves while eating my scallops. Delightful. The car was warm; I got a different view, watched as people walked by. I feigned I was watching a movie. Granted, there was no plot, no action, but the scenery was lovely and I made up my own story as I watched people take pictures of the surf, the sunset, the sky.

It’s good to get away — even a small local reprieve for a night, a day, an hour. I have a friend who stayed at a bed and breakfast located right down her street. She walked. “It was just good to get away,” she remarked. No flight, no long drive, simple.

And do you, Budget Voguers, have the chance to leave your own dwelling for a night or two, an hour? A day? I hope you do.

There are places, undoubtedly, right close by that will serve you well, your psyche well, chase away your winter blues — if only for a moment. The beach is lovely this time of year: no need for sunblock, lots of parking, easy to socially distance.

And if not a beach? Perhaps there’s a waiting room close by, with a TV, a couch, and clean. Sounds glorious to me.

Stay safe, Budget Voguers, stay well inside and out.

Susan Dromey Heeter writes and teaches on the Seacoast. Contact her at