Much Needed Time Off (the art of doing nothing)

Paul was off from the day job December 23rd to January 2nd so we declared that Stefania Wine was closed for business that week too.  Even though Jaye put in a couple of days baiting gophers and running a couple of errands, we were shut down.

We stayed in the Bay Area, visited with friends and family and even drove over to Half Moon Bay and Pillar Point to fetch crabs off the dock.

The key challenge for us both was to sit still and vow to ignore the numerous tasks that have accumulated during the year.  Sure the outside of the house needs a fresh coat of paint, and the citrus need pruning as do the roses, but none of those are critical have-to’s that we can’t insert into the calendar for this year.

Instead of chores, we spent a lot of time on the deck reading back issues of National Geographic that stacked up during the last quarter and bird watching.  Each afternoon the robins would invade a neighboring tree, and the cedar waxwings made an appearance along with red headed finch.  Our annual visitor “Frederick” is a yellow warbler and the past few years he’s been back with a mate.  Then later, just as the sun was close to setting, Phoebe came by to bug hunt.

Once the sun went down, the back got pretty chilly so we grabbed a couple of throw blankets and fired up the propane heater.  It was mild enough that we stayed out there pretty late one night, Paul grilled a steak and we ate by candle light. By the time we headed back indoors, it was well past 10 o’clock.

I had one chore that was necessary, putting the Christmas tree away.  After that, it was off to Ranch99 to fetch groceries and pick up Dim Sum for a late breakfast.

The reason I’ve been able to post up several blogs in the past few days with so many photos is that over the course of several days and evenings spent watching football, I finally organized the digital pics from 2011.  I had to buy a new desktop computer last Spring and that’s when my files went out of control.  Some were still on my phone, some on a travel camera, the rest on the laptop, etc.  I corralled them all onto the portable back up drive and organized them.

Paul played chess on his computer, I started two knitting projects, we read books and magazines, bbq’d and opened some great wine, entertained friends and family, drove to the coast for lunch, did a little bit of shopping, did a lot of unwinding.  It was the best vacation in a long time.

As we reflected on 2011, we both realized it was nice to stay home for a change and do nothing.