Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Getting Down to Busy-Ness

A friend and I were talking about how hard it is to coordinate getting together with people. Everybody is so busy.

My friend was trying to put together a dinner with two other couples. She asked them to indicate, on a calendar displaying four weeks including weekends, when they were available. One couple, out of town for 10 of those days and busy for many of the others, indicated one day they had free and clear. The other couple, (did you see this coming?) is free nearly every night except that one.

We were also talking about weekends and how precious they've become. This woman and her husband have a lake place south of San Antonio that is very remote. No telephone service there, no television set. Whenever they visit they are completely out of touch until/unless they head into the nearby small town and check the store there for newspapers and access to a phone.

When asked if she looks forward to retiring there full time she claims she wouldn't do it. She says, even if she is not going to participate, it is important for her to know about and feel at least marginally connected to the outside world.

She cited as her example, how in the Austin paper there are all these listings of concerts, speakers, museum openings, art shows, festivals, rallies, and retreats. The events and activities are varied and constant. She and I have in common with regards to this amazing array of potential fun that we mostly don't go. But we both DO like knowing about the activities.

We also talked about holiday seasons and how it had become important to each of us to be very selective in what we chose to do. (Only how many shopping days left?...sorry...) There are hundreds of activities that are all good choices individually, but trying to do them all runs counter to their purpose, enjoying the season. So we choose.

I mention all this for two reasons.

First, my husband and I will spend the weekend in Fredericksburg in a very cool lease house called "Inspiration Hill" with another couple we've known for years. We two couples haven't weekended together before, so this is new and we are all really looking forward to the extended time together.

We will be exploring Fredericksburg and the surrounding environs the weekend BEFORE the annual Food and Wine Fest in the area. Bad timing? I don't think so. I'd tried booking the house (a long time ago) for that weekend but it wasn't available. The more I thought about it, the more I began to appreciate that the 4 of us will be exploring on our own without the hundreds or thousands of extra visitors they might expect to show up for a designated weekend.

So we will wine and dine and make our own fun, which we are quite capable of doing. And we will do so without more than the usual crowd surge expected for the area in lovely weather on a regular weekend.

The other reason I say this is an opportunity I will unfortunately miss even though it represents La Dolce Vita. Life in Austin is indeed sweet. So is life out of town when it involves a weekend with dear friends.

I believe it crucial to create opportunities to spend time with people who are important to you. It is equally important that those shared times have as part of their structure, SHARED TIME, and not just time spent in proximity along with hundreds of other people.

A good balance is required so you are fed both personally and experientially. And that, my friends, is my basic recipe for La Dolce Vita - the sweet life.

An important side note: Thursday, October 18th is National Meat Loaf Appreciation Day! Whether or not you make one - be sure to appreciate a meat loaf, won't you?

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