A wooden screen door slapping closed. Small waves gently lapping up against a waterside cabin. Delicious lake breezes rustling the leaves and billowing a window’s curtain. The sounds of summer. The sound of leisure. The sound of unplugging. What could be sweeter?
Promise I’m not trying to rub it in, but… I’m in the midst of a well-deserved vacation after my recent book launch (check it out here). I’m on the shores of Thompson Lake – one of the prettiest, cleanest, clearest lakes in Maine – for my annual retreat to The Cape (though the pix there don’t begin to do the place justice…), an indescribably beautiful spot in the southwest part of the state. Highs in the mid-70’s, dry, breezy. Yes, we’ve had some rain, but even the rainy days are lovely in their own way.
40 minutes of swimming every morning in its brisk, bracing, crystal-clear waters (and a few more times through the day). Days spent reading, raspberry-picking, antique-store-hopping, farm-stand browsing (often unattended with honor-system cash boxes), and chowder- and lobster-roll scarfing.
By the way, for those of you who’ve never experienced a lobster roll – certainly one of life’s perfect culinary experiences – here’s the drill: the meat of an entire lobster, cut in bite-size chunks, mixed with a tiny bit of mayo to bind it, a dash of salt and pepper, and all crammed into a grilled, buttered, top-split hot dog bun. Words fail…
And naps. Oh, the naps – utter bliss. No place to be. Nothing to do. Time rendered relatively meaningless. Genuinely unsure of what day it is. Getting back in touch with nature and one’s natural rhythms and a simpler way of living. Reconnecting with family and friends.
Meals bursting with ingredients locally grown, made or caught: yogurt, granola, honey, vegetables, herbs, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries (pick your own at five bucks a quart), lobster, crabmeat, maple walnut ice cream and so much more…
And unplugging… No TV. No phones (yes, I have my cell, but it doesn’t always work…gee, what a shame). Email? I check it just once a day, and guess what? The world doesn’t end. Honest.
I do it from the wraparound porch of the main house (having to walk 100 yards to get a signal prevents more frequent monitoring, and that’s a very good thing…), sitting in a rocker overlooking stunning English gardens and the lake just beyond. It’s enough to make you giddy. Seriously.
I’m the first the admit that there’s no way I could accomplish what I do and have done minus my connection, but that same connection, let’s be honest, often links us to a world utterly lacking in richness, depth and substance. Regular unplugging is healthy. I’m guessing you won’t miss being connected all that much, and if you do, you need to disconnect more than you know. Doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to happen.
Next week, I’ll be all hooked up again, but that’s seven days away. And until then, I’m going to work overtime at being unproductive. Gotta go – it’s cocktail hour.
Do you take time to totally unplug at least a few times a year?