Sunday, February 15, 2009

Living it up -- or down

I recently heard from an old friend, a novelist, with whom I’d lost touch for years. She had quite a story to tell, including (I hope she doesn’t mind my repeating this, since I’m not naming her) the breakup of her marriage and an exciting romantic relationship with a new guy with whom she’s living in a campground.

That’s right. A campground. Of course, I dearly hope she’s not in a tent in the dead of winter. Most likely it’s a comfortable RV. All the same, it sounds … brave.

She’s bubbling with happiness. At an age at which most people are watching their salt intake, she’s spicing up her life.

It makes me feel really boring.

When I was 22, I went to Europe for a year with so little baggage, I hand-carried it onto the plane with me. When the weather got cold, I knit a sweater and bought a cape. When spring arrived, I gave them away.

Okay, let’s be honest: I had a writing fellowship, and I’d sent the money ahead to the American Express Bank in Florence. So I wasn’t exactly starving. But I had the spirit of adventure!

A few years later, my husband-to-be and I drove to Yosemite in a tiny camper that sat atop his pickup truck. It had – get this – no bathroom. Even in autumn, Yosemite gets cold, and we camped in an area (you probably can’t find these any more) where there was no one else around. So in the morning, wearing only a bathrobe, I would hop, skip and thump across the cold pavement to a cold outhouse.

I don’t do that sort of thing any more.

While my friend is celebrating Valentine’s weekend by staging a romantic tryst, I’m cozying up with my husband in our two-story house. With the economy the way it is, we’re grateful to have a roof over our heads and hot food to eat.

And above all, each other. Hope you had a terrific Valentine’s Day!


penney said...

The last time I was in Yosemite I was about 9 years old, we were there on a trip my Mom and my Aunt with her 3 kids. My Mom had a screaming fit as I went out hiking on my own and came back 30 minutes later with a snake I found it was just a king snake but it bite my arm when I caught it I was ok, I just wanted to show her the snake I loved it, she had the rangers there so they took the snake turn it lose and clean up my arm. I'll never for get that she was mad! I laugh about it now!
I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's day.

Estella said...

I am also too for the camping trip. I prefer my soft bed and warm fire to the hard ground and a campfire.

Sara said...

I have to admit my idea of camping seems to be the closest Holiday Inn - at my age - the rocks and hard ground really bother my old back.

Hope your Valentine's Day was nice - mine was.