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August 2, 2012 / hippiechickamblings

Ruth’s Bed and Breakfast

A sunset and the silhouettes of palm trees. Th...

Imagine glistening beaches, turquoise-tinted waters, and a balmy breeze caressing the nape of your neck while carrying the lilting strains of Reggae.  How about white-water rafting on Colorado rapids, or hiking up majestic trails near the Grand Canyon? And let’s not forget the glamour of Vegas or the magic of Disney World. If the idea of any of these hot vacation spots leaves you giddy as a school girl, you wouldn’t be impressed with how I choose to spend my down-time.

English: White Water Rafting,Tara Adventure;

English: White Water Rafting,Tara Adventure; (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I cringe at the thought of spending hundreds of dollars on gas or airline tickets, which, once gone, can never be put to use at Goodwill. Battling freeway traffic, worming my way through suffocating crowds, and standing in long lines induces enough jitters to make me gnaw my toenails. Being athletically challenged as I am, a walk from the back steps to the car can result in broken bones, so mountain hiking would be pushing it. I’m far too unlucky to ever set foot in Vegas, and as for the white beaches— well, the sight of me in a bathing suit frightens small children and animals, and I can live without that on my conscience.

Flash has never impressed me. I’m a low-key kind of gal. Watching flickering fireflies after dark or the dance of hummingbirds at the feeder is apt to hold my attention as easily as the latest blockbuster. You’ve heard people joke about watching the grass grow? I could probably dig it. So, typical vacation resorts don’t particularly turn me on. My preference is a little spot I like to call Ruth’s Bed and Breakfast. Okay, so it’s not really a legit inn. It’s my Aunt Ruth’s place.

English: St. Ruth's farmhouse Advertising bed ...

English: St. Ruth’s farmhouse Advertising bed and breakfast. On the R362 convenient for Athlone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She has no palm trees or pounding surf, but her pool is deliciously cold on a sultry summer’s eve. There’s no poolside bar, but Ruth’s ice tea hits the spot, and my daughter’s flips and dives are like watching a mermaid at play. You won’t find a string of comedy clubs in town, but sitting on the porch swing, listening to my aunt and uncle’s verbal sparring is just as hilarious. They have a unique relationship. Married over fifty years, she does her thing, and he does his. She says that if he dies before she does, she’s having him cremated and put in a can on her mantle so she can “cuss him out” every time she walks by. In the morning, there’s fresh coffee and easy conversation waiting on the porch. If it’s early enough, I might see a doe grazing on clover in the bottom field and catch the whisper of a cool breeze. When it’s a sunny day, a treasure hunt at a local auction or yard sale may be on the agenda, but if I’m more in the mood to be a lazy slob and kick back in a recliner with a book, that’s cool. A drive out in the country with the windows down. A lazy afternoon of writing, or browsing my grandmother’s journal left behind after she passed.  A relaxed dinner of garden vegetables and home grown pork chops with blackberry cobbler for dessert. Lots of laughs and endless conversation.

Not exactly a Wall Street trot in a Lear Jet or a jaunt to Martha’s Vineyard, but for the price of a tank of gas, I have a place where my daughter may spill a glass of milk or make too much noise, and no one scolds her. It’s a place where no one spazzes out if you leave a dirty plate in the sink. If I decide to slouch around for two days in a pair of scrubs, no one gapes at me and says, “You’re wearing THAT?” In truth, Ruth’s Bed and Breakfast is a place where judgment and expectations are checked at the door, and unconditional acceptance is the rule. It’s where people actually listen when you talk and respect what you feel, even if they don’t feel the same. That’s why I prefer it over bright lights and vacation madness. There, I find total freedom to be me, and my daughter can be a kid.  And I love it.

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