Chapel Hill holds a lot of memories for us. We dreamed of it in high school. Some formative years and our college education were in Chapel Hill. Such an incredibly wonderful place! There were exciting times, new adventures, and new beginnings for each of us. Separately. Debbie and I met over twenty years after I left Chapel Hill. She and I each married in Chapel Hill. Her two children started life in Chapel Hill. We made many friendships there.
A year ago we stopped, upon friend’s recommendations, at Kentucky Horse Park Campground in Lexington, KY. By chance the campground assigned us the campsite next to an Airstream CCD 22 almost identical to our first (and second favorite) Airstream trailer. We backed in and Bea and Dave Witten welcomed us as neighbors.
Bea and Dave live in Chapel Hill. Turns out, they were in Chapel Hill when we were. I received help from Dave at his new bicycle shop downtown Chapel Hill. Like us, they both remarried since then and found new and different lifestyles. They are both award-winning professional photographers, specializing in capturing images of harness racing.
We spent a little time talking in Kentucky Horse Park and we all liked each other. They invited us to visit them sometime and park, using their hookups, by their house. We spent a few days in April this year with them and had a great time. They invited us to return for another visit.
Last week was a perfect time for us to visit again with Dave and Bea. We spent the week in Chapel Hill at the house Dave built in Hunter’s Ridge in the late 70’s. We parked our Airstream next to their garage and plugged into their shore power outlet.
Bea and Dave are wonderful hosts and we love spending time with them. Dave and I talk Airstream maintenance and play frisbee and hit tennis balls. Debbie and Bea take long walks and talk. Great fires flamed in the fireplace. We share wonderful meals and drinks and watch episodes of Fraser.
Bea is the most relaxed busy person we know. She never seems to hurry but is always doing something. She makes her own granola and bread and mayonnaise. While we’re talking in the living room she combs and spins woolto knit their socks. She darns the socks when needed.
Dr. Andrew Weil told us at a presentation a few years ago he advocates compression of morbidity. This means extending the duration of healthy years and compressing the time of morbidity into as short (and therefore less expensive) a period as we can. Sort of like dying with your boots on, eh?
Dave is my hero. He both runs and plays tennis every day. Weather doesn’t keep him from running. And, he can pound tennis balls across the net for hours. I, on the other hand, wear out after hitting for an hour. And I haven’t run for years. I want to be in better shape and want to hit longer. Do I have the discipline to train like he does?
When I lived in Chapel Hill I played tennis for hours at a time. I ran. I biked. But I was only twenty-two. Since then, I have either hit, or run, or swam, or biked. And through the years I have done less and less of any of these. Dave’s and Dr. Weil’s ideas appeal greatly to me. I think we feel better when we spend time getting exercise and taking care of ourselves.
Or, does the higher level of activity invite sweet memories of younger times?