Ho Hum


We’re home. We’re well.  And we don’t have to go anywhere!  Boy, does that feel good.

Once in a while a person is entitled to a nice quiet day.  Although I say “quiet” with a chuckle as we met a new RV park neighbor today in the pool and I swear she has to be the original Chatty Cathy!  Man, can that gal talk.  Still, it was nice to meet a family member of the pipeline crew. And we got to talk about food.  They are looking for good, and new-to-them places to eat in the area.

Longevity affords one the opportunity to “play” at being the local expert on things — it’s an “honor” I look at with skepticism.  You see I’ve been recommended to go do all sorts of things over the last 6 years, and to eat at all sorts of establishments as well… most of which would not recommend to my worst enemy.  Taste is a very personal thing; and evidently what tastes good to me is not the same things that taste good to someone else.

I got to thinking about little aspects of RV’ing and travel and retirement.  While RV’ing and being retired I suspect that on average we ate out at restaurants once per week, on some weeks perhaps a second time.  While road tripping in the car you end up eating-out every day at least once.  In some form or other.  We often take advantage of a motel’s continental breakfast if offered.  A bowl of cereal and a container of yogurt (instead of milk), or a made to order waffle with peanut butter or cream cheese on it holds us until our next meal nicely.  And seeing as we customarily only eat a second meal — mid to late afternoon — that enables us to hold our restaurant dining down to once a day most of the time.

Still, it feels wonderful to be back  home where we can enjoy our own cooking.  And not have to deal with menus, and wait staff, and inferior food.  After all, in these days of portion controlled food and restaurant supply houses what you’re getting on your plate is more than suspect, and most of it isn’t likely to be fresh.  At home we control the preservatives by not buying foods containing them.  At home we control the fats and flavorings.   My kitchen cabinet might be filled with flavorings, herbs, and spices but at least I get to use them as liberally, or as sparingly as choose…. not someone else.

Personal choice.  It’s a first world “problem.”  We are blessed by living in this country in almost innumerable ways and sometimes I fear we fail to appreciate just how special the blessing of choice can be.  So many around the world have so little choice about where they live, what they do, what they eat, how they eat it, who they eat it with, or without, or why they are eating it at all, or at this moment.  Food is extremely culturally based.  Breakfast in Japan is very different from breakfast in Norway.  Culture, nature’s bounty, economics, and convenience all play a part in what we eat when.

I’ve been thinking about this because our daughter recently wrote her own blog post about dealing with time, and how generationally different things are going on at different times in life.  After reading that my mind has been off on quite a separate pathway thinking about how making choices impacts our ideas of time.

During our working life so many of our choices are made for us.  The time to work, the time to quit working. Subtracting that time one is left with the rest of their life — to be portioned out in carefully controlled segments that allow all the things one wants to accomplish in life: family, recreation, worship, self-improvement, etc..  We can choose ourselves into a frenzy if we wish; and many of us do.  And having done so we get to thinking that we have no choice about the matter — but that’s only because of choices we have made previously.  We rather become the captives of our own choices.

The change of life initiated by retirement is something I’m still marveling at.  I make no pretense of pretending I use all of my retirement choices wisely.  In fact there’s a part of me that wants to be more productive in retirement and chafes at the bit of idelenss.  But then I run out of energy and realize there’s a reason life slows down after retirement.  A very good reason.

However, having a ho-hum day is a good thing. They are days when your brain can wander and play with permutations of ideas.  In the days when I was doing a lot of driving I used to love long driving days because I’d get into something rather like a trance state where I was focussed on the road but my brain was a million miles away and doing really productive thinking.  Nowadays I don’t need to get into the car, nor hear the rumble of the tires on the pavement.  Just being at home can offer the same period of idea incubation.

From those incubator moments come good news for the future and plans and purposes….  I like my ho hum days.

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