My diehard BBQer in December. brrrr

I’m good at doing nothing. I love to stay home. I love to come home. The pleasure my husband and I find in the smallest activities amazes even us. Part of the pleasure, in fact, is laughing at ourselves. We must be crazy, or really lucky, to have so much fun at the thrift store hunting for gems someone else got tired of.

We look forward to what other people think of as non-events. Winter dinners, for instance. Last night it was 36° outside and we craved burgers piled high with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, peppers and assorted sauces. Pictured here is the man I’m married to. What a trooper. What a guy. Most people cover the grill for the winter, but not us. Billy just scoffs and says. “It’ll be a Carhartt BBQ.” (Carhartt specializes in thick, warm clothing.) As long as there’s room on the tray for a shot of whiskey, he’s game, he’s got his headlamp! What a trooper.

I still receive holiday letters that recount a year’s worth of family accomplishments. But most are filled with travel destinations. Paragraph after paragraph — I drove here, I flew there — along with a group photo to catch me up on who got more wrinkles and who had more babies. Their lives seem to be full of adventure.

Well, mine is too. Just last Sunday we drove to Dairy Queen and ordered our usual, small sundaes with double pumps of warm caramel. Then we sat by the window, savoring each and every spoonful, as we watched a steady parade of shoppers. Some had cells to their ear or were looking down at the latest text ping. Some were talking and looking at each other… and smiling. Nice. Then there were parents juggling children so they could spend an afternoon in town.

Satisfaction Comes From Small Pleasures at Home

When I confess to enjoying such simple activities, I usually get a smile and a nod, but then a change of subject. People don’t say it, but I know what they’re thinking. “There there, my deluded friend. Simple pleasures for simple minds.” All that’s lacking is a little pat on the top of my head.

Maybe they’re right, but who in their right mind wouldn’t relish soaking in a hot tub at the end of the day, where the bonus is the relaxation you get along with clean feet… and other essentials. We’re lucky to have a fireplace and turn into happy zombies as we stare at the flames. Bill calls it “Indian TV” because he read a book once about a small Native American tribe in Alaska. They were trying hard to live in the ways of their ancestors and sat around at night watching what they referred to as “Indian TV.”


My happy griller in July. Little things count.

I know it’s cool to travel and love hearing about what it’s like in other places. But neither one of us feel that pressing urge. We’re either homebodies at heart … or the boring-est couple in town. Luckily our DNA has matched up nicely. Neither one of us is pining for Italy or wherever else a plane can take you.

We have been to a place or two over the years, but home is still our favorite destination. Travel documentaries keep us satisfied right now while we think about all the $$$ we’ve saved by staying home. Dinner in Hawaii, $5000. Home, $5.

SECRET: Set your home up for your own comfort and pleasure. Hang stuff on the wall that’s meaningful. Get chairs that feel good when you sink into them instead of being decorator beautiful. Give yourself more elbow room with less furniture, less stuff in general. And make sure the entrance you use says “Welcome” when you come through the door. You’ll be surprised at the difference.