Friday, August 26, 2011

Vacation in New England

My wife and I just got back from vacation in New England. I'd like to write some thoughts while fresh in my mind. My mentor Dennis Prager will always talk about his travels when he's back on the radio, and I find him fresh and invigorating.

We visited Boston, Newport and Providence RI, drove up the Maine coast to a town called Whiting, visited friends in southern NH, and ended our stay renting a place on Lake Winnisquam in New Hampshire. It was the best vacation I've ever had.

First I realize I have a great family, both on my mother's side and father's side. We lunched with my Dad's sister Juanita. In a short time, I got to know her more than I ever knew her before. My dad and dad's brother are funny, but my Aunt Nita was really funny. I really loved being in her presence.

We spent one night with my cousin Brad. He has a wonderful property in which he grows Christmas trees and he also has a spring fed large pond on his property. We played wiffle ball with his grandchild, swam, and took a tractor ride through the woods. Brad would show me deer tracks, and where deer would scrape the bark off trees with their horns. Sitting on his porch drinking a few beers, telling a few stories, and sharing laughs, well it don't get much better than that.

What I take with me most is that it's not money that buys happiness. Or things. Since I live in CA I'm removed from all my family. Being with them, being loved, laughing, sharing stories, that is what brings the most joy in life. I don't have friends in CA. When I went out with my Aunt Ouis, or Brad, wherever they went, there were people they knew and they were always saying hi. It's a bit odd, but here I'm surrounded by 22 million people but my New England relatives have many more connections than I do here.

Also, they experience life a lot more. Perhaps I'm glamorizing, maybe not. I spend a lot of time on the computer. My New England family doesn't know what a computer is. There's some bad to that, but there's some good to it too. My cousin golfs, hunts, fishes, enjoys taking care of his property, spending time with the grand kids, family and friends. His life to me is full. And New England people live for their New England teams. There is no way the Patriots would be sold to another city like the LA Rams or LA Raiders. Those people live and die their sporting teams.

Maybe because I take so few vacations my mind is opened to a life different than what I lead. Perhaps it's because I'm now more open to simple truths. I enjoyed being with my family, and I loved our cottage we had right on the lake. I wanted to fish right off my patio. I asked Brad if he'd lend me a fishing pole but set it up so that I wouldn't be able to catch any fish (since I'm vegetarian) and he got a good laugh out of that.

Hopefully we can do it again. Next time I'd like to rent a boat to go skiing and a motorcycle too.

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