Over the river and through the woods

The trip to Gram’s house is always a pleasant one, especially because she makes her home at the foot of the Hilton Head Island bridge. The resort neighborhood where she dwells is called Moss Creek Plantation, a tidy, oak-lined senior-adult Disneyland with amenities like a groomed golf course, gourmet clubhouse, walk-in pool, fitness center, marina, and an all-you-can-meet buffet of affluent retirees.

A weekend at Gram’s is always a good one, especially if you happen to be three years old. My wife’s grandmother, a very young 82, has remarkable patience and grace with our little one. She welcomes him to climb, touch, and explore her treasure-laden house, keeping a closet full of Duplo blocks and Matchbox cars at the ready, and even getting down on the floor to play with him despite her history of several recent surgeries.

A trip to Hilton Head for a taste of retired life is admittedly a bit of a departure from the BlinkPacking adventures typically recounted in this blog. However, Thanksgiving is a brilliant impetus for reconnecting with faraway family, slowing life’s frenetic pace, and picking at the remains of breakfast until lunchtime, and this refreshing weekend was too rejuvenating to be absent from its pages.

The pace of the Thanksgiving holiday is the exact opposite of my many recent adventures. When BlinkPacking, I try not to cough or sneeze — a waste of a precious few seconds that can be spent speed-walking a step or two toward the next whirlwind stop. At Gram’s I can cough and sneeze all I want (and I did my fair share of both).

The November beach is too brisk to enjoy for long periods of time, and I am emotionally allergic to shopping the Black Friday sales. So instead I content myself with putting my feet up for a televised basketball game, thumbing through the pages of my paperback, munching on leftover turkey reincarnated into thick sandwiches on rye, and parking on the back porch to soak in a few warmish afternoon rays and chuckle at the golfers who plop their balls into the lagoon.

In a word, ahhh.

In December, there will be whirlwind trips to Cincinnati and Chicago, and January holds the promise of a lightning weekend jaunt to New Orleans. What a delight to content myself with a few endless days at Gram’s before I headed back to the office.

Postscript: I might add that the contents of Gram’s liquor cabinet are extensive and fabulous. I thoroughly enjoyed sampling a new cocktail each night of our visit, adding new levels of relaxation to the already-placid holiday.

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