Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tiny Umbrellas

I am not now, nor have I ever been outdoorsy. I don't really ever have intentions of becoming such either. It's not that I don't love the outdoors, because I do. One of the best parts about living here in Colorado is that there is always something to see. The seasons change, and the scenery changes right along with it. The mountains are beautiful no matter the time of year. We live thirty minutes from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, and try to get up there at least once a year.

Nature is amazing. It is overpowering sometimes with beauty. The colors, the smells, many of which just cannot be fully enjoyed through a picture or a television program. They must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. To see animals in their natural habitat. To sit and watch the motion of a river, peaking with snow melt run-off. To marvel at the wonder of an eagle flying overhead. And sometimes, when the air is perfectly still, to see a mirrored reflection across a lake. It's magnificent.

I enjoy nature, for sure. I just don't want to live in it. I don't necessarily mind camping, but I don't see the great appeal in it either. For me, it is just living outside somewhere. It's not by any stretch of the imagination a vacation. I still have to cook, still have to clean. And everything is tremendously more dirty than it would be at home. I can appreciate nature during the day, even into the night. But that doesn't mean that I want to sleep out there.

I like to hike too. My husband will beg to differ with this. But the truth is that I like to hike. I just don't like to hike with him. Tom doesn't see the purpose in a leisurely stroll. He doesn't want to take breaks to admire views. He gets in the zone, and sees a goal. And he won't stop until he gets there. It's like he puts blinders on and just goes. He slows down for no one, and it's not much fun to hike with him. He thrives on it, and can't understand why other people aren't the same way.

He used to hike a lot, even go backpacking. Since I am not a fan of camping, and not interested in hiking with Tom, the idea of backpacking is not even on my radar. I'm sure that there are sights that can only be seen in the back country, and they are beautiful. I'll take your word for it. I have no interest in carrying my stuff into the wilderness. None.

I don't like to fish. I don't like to sit and watch other people fish. I especially hope that no one catches anything when they do go fishing, because I have no desire to clean, cook or eat any fish you can catch around here. Just not interested.

Tom knew these things about me when he married me. He knew full well that my idea of a vacation involves a beach or a pool, and someone bringing me drinks with tiny umbrellas in them. I haven't had that luxury in many years. I long to feel the sand between my toes. To sit, and do absolutely nothing, but soak up the sun and read a trashy novel. My idea of a good time does not, in any way, involve lanterns and sleeping bags.

I camp because I should, because it's something I am supposed to do. We didn't go last year because I was very pregnant during the summer. Tom is itching to go. If we get a trip together, I will go. I will go because the kids like it, and because my husband loves it. I just hope that someday in the not too distant future, there is a cabana with my name on it. And a drink waiting for me. I think I've earned it.

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