It seems everyone was apprehensive about going on a vacation this year except President Bush and me. While the world was in chaos, he fished and played golf in Maine and I traveled to Turkey and Greece in search of anything to look at that was older than myself.

I don't presume to know what kind of a time the first family had away from the office, but with me, the answer to "Did you have a good time?" varied drastically between the time I left Greece and the time I arrived home. I always send myself a card to remind me.GREECE (the last day of vacation): "Did I have a good time? Are you crazy? I am tanned, rested and stress-free. For three weeks, I have read, slept and eaten when I felt like it. I have met interesting people and have seen the antiquities of the world. I will never forget this trip."

ATHENS AIRPORT (the next morning on the way home): "Did I have a good time? Sure. Dear, you just ran over my foot with the cart. Where is Gate 41? What do you mean there is no place to turn in our drachmas? You want me to buy $41 worth of chewing gum? That Turkish coffeemaker will never fit under the seat. . . . Don't start with me. It is 4 a.m."

LONDON HEATHROW (four hours later): "We did have a good time, didn't we? The sun and all. I cannot believe we missed our connection. No sense getting tense. We've got nine hours of bad food and troll seats to relax."

DALLAS-FORT WORTH (nine hours later): "So I look like Margaret Mead with a migraine. Thank you very much for sharing that. You don't look like you've just had a vacation in . . . help me . . . Greece, either. What do you mean the luggage is lost? Is that final? What does customs want us to do? We go to what counter? We were just there. And then the shuttle? And we have five minutes to make our flight to Phoenix?"

PHOENIX (the first morning home): "Did I have a good time? What kind of a crack is that! All the clocks in the house are blinking. The yard died."

ONE WEEK AFTER VACATION: The pictures are back and are overexposed. They cost more than the national budget of Brazil. We received the card in the mail we sent to ourselves. It reads, "Having a fantastic time."

My husband looked over my shoulder and observed, "The scenery is beautiful. Where is that postmark again?"

"Syros," I said. "It's in Greece."

"We should go there someday," he said. "We never take a vacation."