I’ve written a few blogs with some of the details from our trip to the Mediterranean, but in the midst of the holiday season I feel compelled to write about the joys of just being home. Regardless of where we travel, there is always a deep satisfaction in returning home. We were away for over two weeks at the end of October/beginning of November, leaving for another week away to celebrate Thanksgiving with a friend. As much as I enjoyed both of these trips, I breathed a deep sigh of relief as we crossed the threshold of our little condo on Bittersweet Place. We’ll spend Christmas and New Years here, luxuriating in our personal traditions, in full nesting mode.
For me, the pleasure of being home is found in simple routine. I like taking a hot bubble bath on a really cold day, raiding our own refrigerator for healthy snacks, monitoring my connection to friends on Facebook, choosing to dress in sweats or fleece because I know I’m not going out today, or venturing out into the neighborhood to run errands. I revel in enjoying what Chicago has to offer. Every time I take public transportation (the el or the bus), I am impressed by how well it works, and how ingrained it is into the fabric of the city. It’s an important part of the “City That Works”.
Granted; a big part of how we are able to enjoy life at home can be credited to being retired. One of our favorite things to do is to pour an after-5 glass of wine and sit in the front room to watch the neighborhood come home from work. In other words, we’re still wallowing in the pleasure of being strategically unemployed. When people express surprise that we would tolerate the harsh winters of the frozen north by choice, our answer is that if it’s bad outside we just stay home. If the streets are icy, we don’t take the car out; we take the el.
So for now, we have no travel plans. My brother, Jason, will be joining us to celebrate Christmas in Chicago. The tree is trimmed and the fireplace is keeping us warm and cheerful. Sometimes, there’s just no place like home.