While the exchange also meant giving up a beautifully refurbished Victorian for a tiny log home, the evening wines on the deck have him reciting one of my Dad's, his Pa's, favourite lines, "I wonder what the poor people are doing."
I should note, that this was always said with tongue planted very firmly in cheek. My father was not a wealthy man. He didn't make that comment in a derogatory way. He wasn't lording it over anyone. He was simply finding a way to express contentment with a particular experience.
He appreciated the riches he did have. For Dad, who spent four decades toiling at a job that took a physical toll, that was any time spent in leisure. He loved being on a golfcourse with his grandsons, loved sitting at his summer place with his 4:30 cocktail in hand. He knew they were experiences many didn't get to enjoy. And so he found his way of expressing how blessed he felt to be having them.
My nephew has found his prosperity in peace and quiet. Recently retired, (early, another blessing) he's beginning a second career as a contractor. There's no question that his modest hovel is going to be made over. But for now he's content to just be where the calm wraps itself around him, where birdsong, lapping water or the buzz of a distant boat have replaced the drone of city life.
Being near water has a calming effect on many. And for me, it has always been a great inspiration for counting my blessings too. Whether by the lake, or cruising the French River I find myself pondering how lucky I am to be there.
Next week I will be. For a bit. I've scheduled a mini-break at a favourite summer stomping ground and I couldn't be more eager. My plan is modest, little more than dedicated hours beside the water each day — the perfect way to recharge.
In the meantime I'm taking us all to the beach with these great clipart collections:
iCLIPART.com Beach Images
Clipart.com Beach Images