Tuesday, June 28, 2016

redundancy, self-ratification, and travel

This has been the busiest spring in my entire life (with second-place going to our move to college in '74)!  On Saturday afternoon, we got back from an extended-family vacation, including a side-trip to visit my mother in Arizona, and a VERY sad trip to our daughter's veterinarian.  :-(  RIP, Spenser -- i miss you dreadfully!

He was the perfect poster-puppy for taking your dog off grain-based kibble -- only going to Taste Of The Wild was enough to improve his dental health, weight, and anal-gland problems.  The breed is predicted to live 15-18 years, and he was 16.  We woke one morning to find that he could not stand up anymore.  ...It was time.  He passed away peacefully in my arms.

We missed most of June in Missouri, going to TX, AZ, and FL (Disney and Universal parks with our daughter and family), and returned to St. Louis in a heatwave (97 degrees and 60% humidity).  I could only laugh when i saw our garden again for the first time -- the dill and cilantro looked like they were on steroids!  The zucchini with the weeds growing among them looked like a miniature jungle, and the tomatoes were sprawled like couch-potatoes in their grandma's basement.  ;-)

I ate horribly during our Florida idyll!  I drank lite beer in the parks, when available, to rehydrate and fuel my mad dashings (not to mention my standing in lines) between roller-coasters.  I ate pizza and hot-dogs-with-buns, and ham sandwiches on rye....

And ya know what?  I didn't gain fat.  And ya know the difference between Florida and the Mediterranean countries we visited earlier this spring?  SUN.  Our rental house had a screened-in pool, beside which we spent much of our after-park-hours.  Every morning I put on a hat and used zinc-based sunscreen on my nose, chest, and lower arms, but my legs soaked in the rays in a natural fashion.  I made an effort to get sun on my shoulders and back, too.  In Europe i wore trousers most of the time, and in Florida i wore shorts.

Over a comparable period of time, i walked a little less here than there (about 40 miles vs 50).  I remembered my vitamins about as frequently, and had snacks more often in FL but dessert more often on the ship.  (I also pretty much wore out my Vibrams by the time the second trip was finished -- i'm asking for new ones for my birthday!)

So what's the secret -- vitamin D?  Other beneficial effects of the sun?  Dopamine?  I did have a lot of fun, riding roller-coasters and interacting with our grandchildren.  I had a WONDERFUL time in both places, and though it was often exhausting, i wouldn't have missed either experience for the world.