Gather ye rosebuds while ye may

January 25, 2015

Gather ye Rosebuds, painting by John William Waterhouse

You’ve heard the expression, right? You probably didn’t know its title, which is To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time.

Virgin or not, everyone can appreciate the reminder to seize the day, to live in the moment, to do all we can while we can.

And boy, does that take on new meaning after midlife.

“You guys travel a lot,” someone said to me last month.

That’s right, we do. We do it while we have the good health, the mobility, the time and the money to do it.   We don’t have a “bucket list,” not exactly, but we discuss the places we’d like to go, mostly when we walk Riley.

Some trips will have to wait for more stable world conditions

Egypt and Africa remain on our To Go list, and will stay there until things stabilize in those countries. Which is to say that we may never get to Egypt, which is a pity. It’s my husband’s last “really want to go” place.  We had a trip booked a few years ago, and then Arab Spring hit and our spring plans changed. We could have gone–the pyramids were like a ghost town and we would have had the place to ourselves. But why risk it? We still feel that way.

Ok, I hear you. You’re going to say that people travel to these places all the time. Or maybe you’ll tell me that you have traveled there recently.  I get it. But right now, we’re squeamish about it.  Oh, I’d love to go–it’s been a year since our last real exotic vacation–India–and two years since Morocco. We both agree that those trips were the most fascinating and best of our lives. We’d like to take a similarly different trip.  But right now, well…not so much.

We’re staying home. Sort of.

We’re staying in the US this coming year. One of my “nephews” is here for the second half of January and then we’ll speed up to NYC mid-February to cheer Rocky on as he makes his second appearance at the Westminster Dog Show.  Two of his offspring are making the dog show rounds and they’re also high achievers. We hope one of his sons will be in NYC (but not showing at Westminster) while we’re there so we can meet him. He looks gorgeous!

A kitchen/family room remodel starts when we return and will probably take three months. Which will be the longest I’ve stayed in one place for a very long time–I’m an itchy-footed girl. But I’m excited about the remodel.

As soon as it’s done (God willing) I am off to the Afterlife Conference in Virginia in June.  It’s now on my must-do list every year.  Here’s the link.

Girlfriend and I are ginning up a trip through Utah beforehand, though.

While M and I both been to Alaska separately, we’ve never been together. That’s our July destination and our cruise will be 10 days. Why again? Because we are fans of all the Alaska TV shows and will enjoying seeing the sights again, together.   And since it’s a state, it’s within our agreed-upon boundaries for 2015.

not all who wander santafeWe might have some family with us for a summer visit, and a friend in Sept. but once October hits we are packing up Riley and our stuff and spending an entire month in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Now THAT is going to be a fun time. Riley is a good car traveler and the cool house we rented is happy to have him.  Our Santa Fe friends are great companions and it’ll be great to be able to have them over for dinner, etc.  The house is magical and I can’t wait to post photos of it.  Day of the Dead celebrations hit just before we leave for home in early November, and I’m dying to participate. Hehehe–dying, get it?  I know. I know. You get it.

Even as I look at our plans they seem….lacking. Missing something.  Wanderlust is in my blood and I’m never happier than when I’m seeing new landscape.

So yes, we travel a lot.  We’re gathering rose buds while we may, and our cup hasn’t runneth over. Not yet.

Here’s the poem.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
   Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
   Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, 
   The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
   And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
   When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
   Times still succeed the former. 

Then be not coy, but use your time,
   And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
   You may forever tarry.


9 comments on “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
  1. I am so with you. Travel is really important to me and I often get, like Joni Mitchell sings, “the urge for going.”

  2. joan says:

    Why are you avoiding Africa? GO! I went to southern part of Africa this past Oct-Nov…. wonderful trip! No reason to avoid it…. You’ll go soon!!

  3. Myke Todd says:

    I enjoyed this. You are a mover and a shaker.
    I drive five hundred miles a week, and never really go anywhere, but that’s okay.
    That poem is to d̶i̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶… live for… I am all for giving flowers to the living.

  4. Lana says:

    Your 2015 plans sound fun. I love to travel, but have been limited by children’s schedules and work limitations. I hope when we retire we’ll be able to travel more – so many places to see and experience!

  5. Kathy says:

    I had a friend visit Israel in the middle of the recent skirmish there. She was unable to visit many of the things she wanted to see. She was also restricted and actually detained by the local police so I certainly understand your hesitancy to visit Egypt and Africa.

    I want to travel more this year if only in the United States. I do plan a trip to Arizona which was cancelled last year.

  6. Donna says:

    What a wonderful year! I hope you can fit lunch with me in there somewhere. I love that you are exploring Utah…we have spent a great deal of time there since my children went to school in Cedar City and now my son lives in Salt Lake City. I spent a couple of years in Provo. There are some places in Utah that are amazing. I am sad about Egypt. But don’t give up, Egypt has a great deal of hope in my opinion. So much history there. I adore Santa Fe. Something magical occurred there to make the whole place incredibly special. A dear friend lived there for years and my time there is never to be forgotten. Thank you for this blog….

  7. I definitely get it. This is the longest I have stayed still in our entire marriage because of taking care of mom. I am determined to take this cross country trip this fall for the both of us. We are missing the travel and we will one day again. For now we are saving up for those future trips. We have so many plans once he retires. My feet are definitely itchy these days and I don’t blame you a bit about Egypt I wouldn’t take those chances either in this climate. Hubby and I both want to go to Alaska and watch all of those shows as well. I’ve been looking at Alaska cruises for a little while now but it’s hard to make plans right now.

  8. Diane says:

    I feel exactly the same way about both Africa(ebola) and Egypt( unsettled). There are a few midle-eastern places I’ll avoid, too. But that leaves a lot of wiggle room. And Husby and I are anxious to get out there again. Love travelling!

  9. Carol,

    How I look forward to having the time to travel! My youngest graduates high school this year! I see myself off and exploring before too long! Alaska is Hubby’s dream destination…maybe before too many more years! We’ll be in Alaska while you’re in Africa… 😉

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