Empty House, Full Mind

Views of life from the empty nest


No one who knows me would ever, by any stretch of the imagination, describe me as “outdoorsy.”  In fact, I am very much “indoorsy.”  From my love of reading to my amateur passion for interior design, my aversion to the sun and my great appreciation for air conditioning, its pretty clear that I belong inside most of the time.  I have tried over my lifetime to become more appreciative of nature, of hiking and water sports, but its been more or less a big fail every time.  As a child I went away to summer camp every year for eight weeks, and though I swam in the lake when I was supposed to, I was never, ever able to get up on waterskis.  My humiliation knew no bounds.

Once, Peter and I went on a walking trip through Napa Valley, which was a fantastic experience…except for the walking. The food was incredible, the hotels were luxurious, and of course the wine was, well, intoxicating.   I was terrified the day we were to hike 2 miles to the top of a mountain – not a terribly steep or difficult climb, but nevertheless I was overwhelmed with fear that I wouldn’t make it.  Of course I did make it, but to be honest, it didn’t really make me all that happy or proud – I was just relieved.  We sat at the top of the mountain and took in the views, which were pretty spectacular – and all I could think about was the chore of walking DOWN the mountain after lunch.  So, see, not so outdoorsy.

It’s kind of too bad that I live in Southern California. Though there’s a lot to love about it here, it is just about the most outdoorsy place there is – which for me, can be a challenge.  I love when it rains here – its a treat for me to have a day when staying in the house with a stack of magazines or going to a movie is perfectly acceptable.  I sometimes feel inadequate because of my lack of desire to get sand between my toes or walk the trails at one of our regional parks, but then I go in my backyard, sit under the umbrella, open a book, and read.  For me, that’s about as outdoorsy as it gets.


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