You may justifiably ask – a day off from what? Aren’t you retired?
I am not sure what it is called when retirees take what working people call a vacation. Retirees look forward to their golden years, envisioning days of doing nothing, or doing anything they want whenever they want, a vacation extending for years. And that idealized image may happen – sometimes.
But life interrupts. Family, friends, and the mundane aspects of life must be attended to, preparing meals, cleaning, doing laundry, paying bills, activities ranging from volunteer commitments to golf games, babysitting, maybe cards or Mah Jongg or gardening or…
The list is endless.
But retirement definitely offers advantages over the traditional working lifestyle. It allows the freedom many 20-somethings indulge in nowadays – traveling for extended periods of time. (I did not have the funds or the foresight to do anything like that during my 20s).
Travelling and sightseeing are tiring activities. Young folks can be on the go from dawn one day until dawn the following day with no ill effects. When hub and I are on the go from dawn one day until dusk the same day we are exhausted.
Halfway through our eight week trip hub and I decide we need a break.
A day off, an entire day not driving or sightseeing or walking more than a couple of blocks.
We stayed home, relaxing at our casita – little house – in the Big Bend National Park area of southwest Texas.
We cooked scrambled eggs on the grill for breakfast. We sat on the porch of our casita, coffee mugs close by, catching up on the news, Facebook and social media happenings, reading books dragged along but not yet begun, talking with friends and family back home.
We strolled next door to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. The afternoon passed wandering around our temporary neighborhood, empty and quiet as other guests spent the day indulging in local activities hiking, eating, canoeing, eating, horseback riding, eating, shopping, and eating.
Early evening we drove to the nearest town, the ghost town of Terlingua. A thriving mining town of 2,000 from the1880’s to the 1940’s, people fled when jobs disappeared. The abandoned town began coming back to life decades later as new inhabitants moved in, mainly artists, outcasts, and national park employees.
Terlingua today is home to half a dozen restaurants, a general store, artist studios, and off-the-grid homes and campsites.
The Starlight Theater, the original town theater, resurrected as a restaurant offering music most evenings, offers the best culinary experience in the area, according to locals, Yelp and Trip Advisor. Dinner at the Starlight highlighted our day off.
The following morning, rested and re-energized, we headed out for the day, eager for action – at a retiree’s tempo, or at least this particular senior’s pace - relaxed and reasonably calm, as stress-free as possible.
Retirees on the road, rolling along, we appreciate a day of rest.