After you’ve built a Dream House (Casa do Sonho) and love every day of retirement in the Azores (well, not EVERY day, but damn close!), occasionally you need a road trip. A few days in mainland, a trip back to see daughters, sightseeing in Europe, etc.
As part of the planning, undoubtedly we digress to discuss “What are you going to really miss?” Over the years, some of the answers are already canned. “My bed.” “Multiple screens on a faster computer.” “My kitchen.” “My icemaker.” (Bet you can’t guess which one of these are from me and from the wife:)).
This year, the list got longer. Our neighborhood Mama Kitty (who started only understanding Portuguese directions and now ignores commands in every language) had six kittens and she would maternally drag the food we left on the porch back to the little ones to eat. We would occasionally follow mommy home and take some goodies and milk to the kittens in a nearby abandoned farm. Six kittys became four, and when the four were old enough, mommy kitty brought the gang to stay nearer us and we started putting out some food on the porch. One more disappeared about three months ago, and now mommy and the three stooges stay nearby and play in the yard, to the thrill of family and friends who come for dinner and get a free floor show.
So when we’re off on a road trip, we beg family and friends to come and drop some food on the porch for the “family,” and of course, we have to dial in and watch the antics on the surveillance camera.
If I had to prioritize the items on our list of “What will you miss most?” sisters, neighbors, shooting companions, creature comforts, favorite restaurants and menu items, but I think at the top of the list this time is “our kittens!”
Who knows, when we return, they may be all grown up and want to borrow the car keys:)