We aren’t backpackers. We aren’t hikers, mountain climbers, white water rafters or campers. Maybe, just maybe, we’re zipliners. We like air conditioning, iced tea with lots of ice, salad with dinner, fluffy bath towels and 600 count Egyptian cotton sheets.
Oddly enough, we don’t care for sightseeing. We force ourselves to go to the Minnesota State Fair, every three or four years, rarely trying any of the overpriced, unhealthy “things on a stick.”
We seldom go to the movies, instead preferring to watch it later “On Demand” in our own time, sitting in our comfy chairs while enjoying a low carb, gluten free homemade dessert.
But, we do like the laughter of our grandchildren running wildly through our house, the smell of my mother’s recipe for pot roast slowly baking in the oven on a cold day, sitting at the end of the dock watching the bottom feeder fish jump into the air on a warm summer night before the mosquitoes start biting.
We love entertaining family or friends for brunch or for dinner, serving foods we know they’ll like, befitting their “diet of the week” or special dietary needs. We love the ease we feel whether preparing an awe inspiring gourmet meal or simply burgers on the grill.
We love the well-fed and appreciative smiles on our guests faces as they finally go their way, giddy from the copious glasses of good wine, good food and the constant laughter.
We love nature; the cardinal alighting on a branch, the white albino squirrel leaping from tree to tree, a miniature red cedar sapling growing in the stone patio or the spunky yellow day lilies that bloom every year with so little care.
We love the fluffy white pillows created from the falling of fresh snow when we know we can stay inside, feeling that special sense of comfort that we Minnesotans somehow find so familiar and peaceful.
Maybe we will, depending on the crowds, our mood, the weather, the convenience. But, we’ll walk with the locals and their chickens along the road in Tuscany to the outdoor market each day to buy fresh brown eggs and freshly picked brightly colored pesticide free produce.
No, we’re not backpackers or sightseeing fanatics. We’ll be two 60 something retired people living an ordinary life, that are easily entertained by simple pleasures, many of which will change, many of which won’t be available and many of which will be new or different.
As long as we can breathe the fresh air, be a part of Mother Nature’s bounty, mingle with the people and their way of life, have a comfortable place to sleep and a couple of comfy chairs or sofa, we’ll only enhance the joy we’ll have carried along with us, not in our overloaded suitcases but, in our hearts.