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Lisa Graff - Doing a tree pose yoga exercise on the north rim of the Grand Canyon feels great!
Doing a tree pose yoga exercise on the north rim of the Grand Canyon feels great!
Lisa Graff

Lisa Graff

Are you set in your ways?


When you think of older people, or shall I say people of retirement age, you may think of the phrase, “set in their ways.” Yet retirees are also the ones who like to travel. I’ve always been set in my ways, and travel has always been challenging.

Just ask my poor husband.

I’m embarrassed to admit, he dutifully unplugs the small refrigerator in hotel rooms because the hum and buzz drive me crazy. The plugs are not easy to reach and there’s a dresser to move away from the wall. My heart swells at his attempt to please me.

There’s always a heater or air conditioning hum which cannot be silenced no matter which hotel you choose or how much it costs. On my last trip, there was a sneaky kind of air conditioning with no noise, but as soon as I fell into slumber, it cycled on with a roar every hour or so through out the entire night. No switch to turn the bugger off.

Before bed, I lay a washcloth over the neon-red numbers on the alarm clock. Under my pillow, I place a large bath towel folded to fit the appropriate level of neck support. Then the drapes must be drawn to block out all light.

And then I ask the man who is still married to me, “Can you just move the drapes together a tiny bit more? There’s a crack of light. I hope there isn’t too much noise in the hallway tonight.”

My husband isn’t bothered by any external noise. He simply wishes he could duct tape my mouth. He has accepted my travel quirks in much the same way I have accepted his charming complacency. That is, until there is no coffee.

“What – only decaf K-cups in the room? Nothing in the lobby until what time? Where is the closest coffee shop? What kind of hotel is this?”

On our last trip, there was a coffee pot in the room, but the plug would not reach the outlet in the pull-out drawer. We needed to board a train soon, and I would have to sit next to him for hours while he fumed in his seat. I hustled to the train station ahead of him, secured an oversized cup of coffee and placed it in his hands.

His eyebrows unfurled, his eyes brimmed with tears, and with lips trembling, he nodded thanks.

We travel because we love seeing the world, yet fully admit we are spoiled-rotten ingrates who long for the comforts of our own home. We have reached the age where coming home is as wonderful as leaving it was to begin with.

Tonight, he makes the coffee and sets the timer so that it comes on promptly at seven. I lay my head down on my Posturepedic pillow and lower the blackout shades. Tonight I am grateful for the night light to find my way to the bathroom. Oh, but it was a marvelous trip!

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