By tomorrow, we will have spent six of the past seven days out of the house we now call home. All of this time away from Beacon Hill Friends House comes courtesy of, well, friends of another sort.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday we were in New Hampshire with Mystery & Dee, friends from college in Indiana.
There’s no road to their place, known in the local lingo as a “camp.” Mystery picked us up in their skiff, its 9.9 hp outboard skittering us across Lake Massasecum in no time. One of the pleasures of life in these 60s is reconnecting with adults we knew as children of friends. Fun to hang out with Sarah and her friend, Jackie.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we’re with Jean and Fran and Corinne. Jean and Carol are friends from high school in Kentucky.
Their place on Cape Cod is fully accessible by car, but turning right instead of left out of the driveway puts you on gravel instead of asphalt.
Both are great spots for doing nothing, perhaps the best activity of all among friends.
For a while this afternoon, I did some more of that in the hammock.
I lay back and stared up for a long time, watching a spider make its way across the rope to the bark and straight up past where I could see.
Who knew doin’ nuthin’ could be so satisfying?
Your preferred methods of accomplishing exactly nothing?
“A Year in a Room” has become my new favorite short story read.
Although I can’t imagine doing what you’re doing, I love reading about your adventures, in & out of… “The Room”. You both amaze me!
Thanks, Clare. And thanks for your tip Sunday night about a mifi hotspot. Carol picked one up at the AT&T store on Boylston and it’s been working great on the Cape. Haven’t had a chance to try it in the room yet, but we have every hope that you’ve solved our bandwidth issues. Look forward to seeing you & Eddie, et. al. on Chestnut Street soon.
A few years ago I tried to “do nothing” for 15 minutes, sitting on a concrete bench on the Wane State campus in downtown Detroit. It was agony. I kept looking at my watch. I kept watching for interesting people to pass by about whom I could make up interesting stories. I felt compelled to DO something with my time, even make a grocery list. Much less so now, as I approach 60. Like you, I watch spiders or squirrels or inch worms do their chores. Hanging out with friends, BTW, is NOT “doing nothing” — it is building relationships and sharing stories.
I can picture your struggle on that bench at Wayne State, Susan. I also had a hard time actually doing nothing, almost to the point of a nuthin’ doin’ attitude about doin’ nuthin’. Point well taken re hanging out time with friends. There’s doing nothing special, I guess, and then there’s hardcore doin’ nuthin’. I’m intrigued with the idea of getting better at that second thing.
Nicely done. To repeat (keeping the record complete, I suppose) the question I posed on FB: Who does the chores when you’re gone?
Thanks, Tom. BHFH has a resident chef who prepares five dinners a week. He also buys enough food for us to make our own meals when he’s not cooking. So if we’re going to be away on his nights (Sun-Thurs), we just sign out in advance. We do have dishcrew duties one night each week — and with a little help from friends in the house Carol and I both managed to finagle Monday night duty this week. That made possible our trips on either side of Monday.
Love the posts, and I;ll leave comments here in the future.
I am truly enjoying your reflections….and while I/we miss you lots are thrilled for you…Bill, it is hard to imagine you doin’ nuthin’ but happy to know you are at times……
Thanks, Marti. Trying hard to pick up that skill… Looking forward to getting you & Keyonté to Boston for a visit!
My way of doing nothing: Lying back-down on a worn bench, in the vast Vienna Central Cemetery (Europe’s largest), looking up through the monumental ancient trees sighing in the wind, at the blue-puffed sky, and listening to the spirits whisper back.
I’ll be back in Vienna in a couple of weeks, Anthony, (teaching at Fh-Wien), and — after reading your comment — am definitely planning a visit to Zentralfriefhof for some time on a bench. Hope to see you, too!
Hi Bill and Carol. The blogs are wonderful; so much fun to read ! When we talked last wee and I mentioned how helpful Carol`s blog re : `letting go of things` was such a help to me, (K week) I dId not anticipate how many more times I would refer back to the read for re assurance as my life finds me in that same present place ! thank you, Carol . (my house sold in 12 hours) time for a new chapter, but I would need more space than you have selected,.. but then, you describe it as such a fun adventure, it gives us all something to think about ! sorry to have missed everyone last Sunday, but my neighbors and a few friends arrived here unexpectedly late sunday afternoon w wine and munchies ,after hearing my news! `talk later, Jeannie
Thanks for your note, Jeannie. Very glad you’re finding A Year in a Room useful. It’s going to be fun comparing notes about our mutual transitions to new situations. And congratulations on selling your house! Hoping for similar results on ours in St. Pete.
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