Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What Does Vacation Mean to a Retiree?

"Is there a new blog?"

That's what my half awake wife asked me at four am.  I've been up since three-thirty: browsing and deleting email, scanning FaceBook posts from my 'friends', and doing the Wednesday NY Times crossword.

Carol read an article yesterday claiming that one reason older people (me for example) are unable to memorize things as well as they used to is sleep deprivation.  Old people have trouble sleeping.  She picked up this gem from one of her saved NY Times Sunday Magazines.  She doesn't collect them per se; what she does is put them aside to read "later" which translates to, "when I'm less busy" which usually means when we are on vacation, as we are now.  She brings the saved stack along and disposes of each one as soon as she's read it.  Depending on the length of our time away from home, she may get all of them read, if not the unread mags go back with us.

 So, to answer the title question: to this retiree, vacation means being away from home, away from the place that endlessly presents me with something that needs fixing, painting, moving, tossing.  It means getting far enough away for long enough that those sights fade.  Since I don't sleep well, that fade comes more quickly than it used to; there's another upside to aging for you.  The main upside is, of course, as long as one is aging one is alive.

It's warm in Key Largo.  I heard a visitor yesterday ask a local, "When does it get cold?"  his answer, "Never." This time of year in The Keys is most pleasant because it's both balmy and mosquito free, though not completely devoid of biting insects.  Watching the sunset at our inn's Tiki bar, I was mildly fed on by a few very tiny biters, not nearly annoying enough to get in the way of my enjoyment.

Yesterday we took a walk in a fascinating place with an absurdly long name,

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park(click the name for more detail on the park)

All in all a fine vacation so far - as good as any I can remember.

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