Archived Story

There’s no cut-off age for another grand adventure

Published 11:10pm Thursday, September 26, 2013

While I have lifted my voice to join the chorus of, “Will this rain ever end?” uttered non-stop since the beginning of July, I have a guilty secret to share:

I have been loving it.

Unless there has been a steady downpour, I’ve managed to keep the horses worked, not in my arena which, frankly, began to resemble an infinity swimming pool the first week of rain, but rather, along the fence line in the big field.

Walking hills is terrific cross-training for horses and the steady rhythm of this four-beat gait beneath you sends you into the land of Zen where all the problems of the world can be solved after 30 minutes in the saddle.

But even better, when the frequent storms prevented any outdoor activity, I had completely guilt-free afternoons with endless cups of tea to pursue my other passion:

Looking at real estate.

Trust me: I’m not looking for a second home. Nor could I purchase one if wanted. No, my Internet trawling is something akin to the daydreaming of holding the winning lottery ticket… a whole afternoon of ‘what if?’

Truth be told, there will come a day when the farm becomes too much upkeep for two people. I am staggered that Paul can go out, after a run or simply working at his desk, in the early humid afternoon, and cut all the grass around the house and barn with our archaic, non-propelled, push mower. For the endless driveway and fields (which takes six hours) the tractor is used. It’s all rather easy to maintain in the other three seasons, but during a wet summer, when you swivel round in the tractor seat and actually see the grass rising up again behind you, it’s a bit unnerving.

So I am dreaming about a place to retire to that isn’t too far away from a boarding stable (because giving up riding is a non-starter), but may be anywhere that appeals. It should be said that Paul is a dreadful enabler regarding these romantic visions and for that, I’m very grateful. So far, we have it narrowed down to three places:

Central, coastal, Italy, because of the wine, climate and charming, ancient, hill towns, the west country of England, because of the fish and chips, pubs aplenty, and the fishing villages that tumble down from wild flower sprinkled cliffs to the harbor, or the Cognac region (‘nuff said) of France.

Naturally, our friends think we’re nuts.

“What about health care?”

“But you wouldn’t know anyone there!”

And the obligatory:

“You don’t think you guys would be a bit long in the tooth for such an upheaval?”

Pffffft.

There’s millions of people in Europe and the last time I checked, they have exceedingly good physicians and hospitals. And secondly, I didn’t know a soul when I naively moved to Los Angeles at the age of 25 and I had a wonderful time for the 15 years I called it home.

But that last comment, about being a bit old for such foolish schemes, frankly, took me somewhat aback.

My plans coincide when the number 6 is attributed to my age. Perhaps before, who knows? The point is, since when was there a cut-off age for another grand adventure?

Exactly which birthday comes with the whispered set of instructions, “Now, dear, let’s be a little realistic and tuck away such silly dreams. Because, after all, they are just dreams, aren’t they?”

Yes, unless you act upon them, dreams remain simply dreams.

I don’t see myself as the sort of person who intends to jump out of an airplane at age 80 or even plunge, screaming, through a gorge on a zip-line, tomorrow. But I do see Paul and I toasting a summer sunset from a bougainvillea-drenched terrace with a rustic Italian table wine, or going for an autumn hack on my horse through the open countryside of Cornwall and hearing the boom of the surf against the cliffs, or sampling the hand crafted cheeses in the village fromagerie.

Whatever the reality becomes, I intend to give it my best shot, because I can’t imagine having nothing to look forward to.

No matter what your age.

 

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