… or how to enjoy life.
Being on a long vacation is nice. Having next to no plans for the vacation is even better, especially when one can afford to. This is the situation I have put myself in these days, and I enjoy every minute of it.
This is not about what I can afford economically, as I do not have fat bank accounts or rich sponsors – only lots of time on my hands. It is all about allowing myself to let life flow naturally by, without me being all that much in control or hung up on details that may disturb my peace of mind.
It is natural for us humans to at least want to feel that we have some degree of control over our lives. Giving up the sense of being in control, is kind of scary. Thus, it has taken me quite a few years to get to the point where I can choose to let life be in control of itself, with me tagging along without feeling any fear.
These days I am pretty much within my comfort zone no matter what life brings, and it sure feels good not having to make detailed plans beyond what is absolutely necessary. What I manage to do any given day, gets done, and the rest simply isn't something I feel the need to worry about.
proud of my wife.
This year Gunlaug gave up the known comfort of home on the farm in Southern Norway, to follow me across the pond for the winter. She has never been this far from home before, and I am really proud of how she handles the journey into the (for her) totally unknown.
Apart from the long and tiring flight across the Atlantic – that nobody likes, Gunlaug so far likes everything about being here in Florida with me. She walked through the front door of my “vacational residence” in North Weeki Wachee, FL, in the evening after the long trip, and – according to herself – felt right at home.
Gunlaug also almost immediately said “yes” when I suggested that we should fly back
to Florida again after spending only a couple of weeks in Norway in February – when our
stay here is over.
This clearly says that she already prefers Florida over Norway this time of year. Neither of us like
snow all that much anymore, and luckily there's not much risk of having to battle that white stuff here
in Central Florida.
Today Gunlaug has been busy doing something she is very good at: pruning and trimming bushes in front of the house. About 18 months since I was here last – health problems prevented me from traveling as planned last winter, and although my local gardener takes care of the lawn there is plenty to do with all that grows around the house.
No roses on those bushes at the moment, but I expect them to be covered in red during the winter
– like on this picture taken in 2012. The Camelias in the back yard have plenty of buds now, and
will most likely be in full bloom in a couple of weeks. Gunlaug will love it.
We have of course also bought some new plants at the local nursery, to complement what has survived
since the last time I was here. Drought, and those sub-zero winter nights we have here now and then,
have as usual killed off some of the more delicate plants.
Making new plants survive in (for us) foreign soil and climate, is a trial and error experiment on our part. Luckily Gunlaug knows a lot more about gardening and plants than I do. Chances are we will have more success now that she is in command, than I have had over previous years.
time-out while the winter lasts…
One week into our vacation as I write this, and months to go until the summer kicks in for real in Southern Norway. We definitely can get used to this “snowbird” style of life – spending summer in Norway and winter in Florida.
I bought this place in Florida back in 2010, to be able to go on longer vacations – mainly for health reasons – without breaking my pretty limited retirement budget. Now, with my wife at my side on this side of the Atlantic Ocean too, getting the best out of both parts of the world as we grow older, makes more and more sense to me.
I sure am glad Gunlaug sees it the same way.
These days we are taking it slow here in Weeki Wachee, and we pretty much ignore all that is aimed at
attracting tourists and/or event-shoppers in our area. We choose relaxation with a cup of coffee,
in the Florida-room at the back, or in front of the fireplace (yes, my house in Florida actually
has a big fireplace), over most other activities that are available to us.
In short: we are on vacation…
Weeki Wachee 27.nov.2014
28.nov.2014 - added "traveling pattern" in side-notes.
06.dec.2014 - added image of Gunlaug in Florida-room.
last rev: 06.dec.2014