Simple pleasures on a weekend afternoon

I recently asked my students to give a short presentation about their simple pleasures. They recounted to me what they did to relax in a fashion that was cheap and not complicated.

I figure that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, so I will mention a recent afternoon involving some simple pleasures of my own.  These activities took place at a men’s retreat my church offered last weekend.

We had about a little over 2 hours to take part in some recreation. There were some who took part in paintball. Others shot off a .22 at a shooting range. Some other men tossed beanbags into holes in an elevated piece of wood in a version of horseshoes. I chose to take a hike.

I didn’t get far on my walk. I walked passed some cabins and a dried up pond which was apparently used in the summer months looking for a trail through the forest. I thought I had found one, but it ended in woods of widely spaced trees with no clearly marked path.

It was a warm sunny day and I was pretty beat, so I thought I would take a little nap. I found the perfect place for my snooze.

There was a tree with an abutment at the base of it’s trunk. I lay down and put my head on that thing and was amazed what a pefect  fit my noggin’ was. I was quite comfortable.

As I stretched out, I faced the sun. This added to my comfort level. The only noise was an occasional rustling of what I hoped was just a squirrel (i.e., not a bear or bobcat), and the shooting of my comrades from the range.

After about an hour, I had had obtained a pretty good siesta, so I got up to see if I could resume hiking.  The only trail I could find was up the ridge, and I really didn’t have the energy to climb a semi-vertical incline, so I demurred.

As I headed back to the conference center, I looked to my right and there was a small family cemetery. I went in to take a look and found a variety of markers. There was a larger one that looked fairly modern, and some older headstones.

Some of the graves were just unmarked slabs sticking from the ground haphazardly. One from the 1940s marked the grave of someone’s infant daughter. It was sad to view and think about.

But then this Civil War buff hit gold. I found three worn markers next to each others bearing the same surname and different first names. All three read “28th Regiment Company B CSA”.

I pictured brothers going off to war for their beloved Virginia. Here they lay, unsung heroes.

Their regiment apparently saw a lot of action. They were part of Pickett’s division at one time, and I imagine it was possible these three brothers took part in the famous charge at Gettysburg.

I found one of the names on a Civil War registry. Apparently he was a prisoner of war, and a short history of the 28th reveals that a lot of their men were take prisoner during one particular battle.

I was quite impressed as I returned to the conference center’s main building. I took part in what one fellow called the “rocking chair competition.” I relaxed on the porch. One  man complained about his knee hurting and I remarked that the contest even had an injury.

In a couple hours I had enjoyed  a no-frills, but memorable afternoon.  You don’t have to be rich to have a good time.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Simple pleasures on a weekend afternoon

  1. Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye….

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