A Week in the Woods

RSVP

Plan the ultimate celebration for the person you’re closest to, and tell us about it. Where is it? Who’s there? What’s served? What happens?

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Terry is the person I’m closest to, and he has a strong aversion for big parties. He’s never been comfortable  in a room full of people, and as his hearing continues to deteriorate, it’s truly not fun for him. He can’t hear, even when he puts his hearing aids in, because the background noise is such a bother.  He hates going to a party where there’s music playing, usually too loudly, in the background.  There’s no hope for him of having a decent conversation.

So the best thing I could do for him would be to book us on a trip up into the woods somewhere.  No people, no noise, no parties. Just the quietness of the north woods. I’d try to find us a cabin or lodge on the water, a river where he could fish for brook trout.  The food would be simple. He doesn’t need elaborate menus. There would be no phone, and probably no TV.  I would insist on indoor bathroom amenities, which really aren’t important to him.

If he could, he’d move to Alaska like that guy that shows up on PBS every now and then.  He’d enjoy building a cabin and going hunting and all that.  But I?  I would go stark raving MAD in that environment!  So we compromise, and it works for us. We don’t have a busy social whirl.  He could live the rest of his life with just me.  I need a little more than that.

It’s interesting to me that the tendencies we had when we were young have tended to intensify with age.  I’m thinking of his love of solitude, utter quiet, the great outdoors.  I’ve done my best to enjoy that with him, and usually I truly do enjoy it for a short time–a week, maybe two, as long as I have books.  After that, I’d be climbing all those trees looking for an escape route 🙂

When Terry was just a little boy, maybe five years old or so, he would go out into the woods behind his house, take his pup tent and a knife and get as far away from civilization as his little legs would go.  He’d set up camp and stay overnight out there all by himself (he grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan).  He says there’s a lot more to fear in the middle of civilization than there is in the middle of the woods.  I suspect his dad probably checked on him without letting him know.  Maybe not.  His dad was a woodsman, as well.

But I KNOW his mom worried herself sick over her little boy being out there alone.

Well, times have changed.  Terry wouldn’t want a child that young going off alone into the woods these days. But that’s what he loved then, and he still loves it now. So rather than a party, I’d give him a week in the woods. With me.

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